Metaverse is simply big technology, but it’s bigger

Like religious prophets, Big Tech Superstars Herald Coming from the next internet. According to their gospel –Blog Posts by technology companies And adventurer capitalists Alike – Tomorrow’s cyberspace will be imperial, transcendent, immersive, three-dimensional, all folded together, and the disparate locations and services we live and die by combining under one love. It will be a super platform that brings together sub-platforms: social media, online video games and easy-to-use apps, all accessible through the same digital space and sharing the same digital economy.

Virtual reality companies say you’ll get there with a virtual reality headset, while augmented reality companies say you’ll wear smart augmented reality glasses. With the childish enthusiasm for science fiction that feeds their piety, these preachers call this vision metaverse, after Neil Stevenson’s 1992 dystopian novel snow crash.

Back when Stevenson He wrote his book, The Web was a terrifying little bit of planets connected only by the gravitational force of server technology. Novice developers have built rudimentary websites using HTML and HTTP. thus, friends Fan sites and Texas Internet Consulting pages have been suspended separately from the flashy sites full of Broadway lyrics. From this scattered solar system, web browsers such as Mosaic and then Netscape were born to solve the problem of sorting and grouping information.

The metaverse, as originally envisioned by Stevenson, centers around a 3D digital street with virtual real estate, where user avatars can hang out, party, do business, find spaces and each other. It’s run by a company called Global Multimedia Protocol Group, which makes its money the backbone of 3D cyberspace.

The star-eyed futurists of the ’90s took the idea at face value, personifying users as avatars in reclusive cyberspaces like Activeworlds. The other half of the vision – the important half – was connecting the cyberspaces, which they couldn’t do.

The metaverse must be interoperable; Associated digital services must come together, like a quilt, to form their fabric. Matthew Paul, a venture capitalist often writes On the metaverse, he says, “Interoperation actually requires companies to release their control of proprietary formats, or otherwise adopt open source formats entirely.”

In the early 2000s, there was a boom in open source metaverse projects to solve the problem of putting existing virtual worlds together. If the code is free and available to everyone, ie snow crash A fan with some know-how can cut their own alley into the metaverse. Had the Internet remained frozen in its early form, one can easily imagine the porosity and egalitarian trope it would have generated: a 50-year-old girl wearing a Barbie avatar walks straight from Second Life Dream House to a VR store, buying digital mascara with earned gold in it world of cans.

But those isolated open projects did not take off on the ground. “There hasn’t been a lot of enthusiasm about interconnection, in part because there is no motivation for it,” says Philip Rossdale, founder of Second Life Linden Lab publisher. “We as a company were trying to make some money.”

By the mid-2000s, it became clear that the money wasn’t in building individual sites; It was about making the information filters, the channels, the aggregators, the publishers – open enough to scale user-generated content, but closed enough to make huge profits. “Few online services have come to have a truly global user base, and in the aftermath has grown a global infrastructure dedicated to improving their needs,” says Carl Janberg, Senior Policy Adviser at the Internet Society.

This was the evolution from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. For nearly 30 years, the gravity of merger has brought cyberspace together under the auspices of fewer and fewer corporate titans. Terrifying little planets collide together, collide, make bigger planets, collide again, make stars, or even black holes. Facebook is eating Instagram and WhatsApp; Amazon swallows twenty e-commerce sites. And you are left with those few super players who control and customize the celestial movement of billions of users. This is it How do Big technology is getting big.

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