Facebook: Although Mark Zuckerberg made “metaverse” the buzzword by changing his Facebook name to Meta on Thursday, the pioneers of these virtual worlds, which have been around for nearly two decades, were unimpressed with the world. promised by the new giant of Menlo Park. Metaverse developers criticize Facebook’s initiative as an attempt to capitalize on a concept it didn’t create.
In an article released this Monday (1) by Reuters, several creators of virtual universes, who spend many hours of their lives in these digital worlds, organizing meetings and developing possibilities, spoke about Zuckerberg’s project. “They’re essentially trying to build what many of us have built for years, but reframe it as theirs,” says metaverse pioneer Ryan Kappel.
Since the American Philip Rosedale created the first virtual world — Second Life — in 2003, many users take their “tours” through these places as avatars, meeting friends, playing games and dating. “I think Facebook made this name change to essentially legally secure the new trademark as quickly as possible,” speculates a UK virtual property investor known as Pransky.
Metaverses are alternatives to social networks
Doing business on many existing metaverse platforms is possible because digital worlds are built on blockchain technology, the same as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). A pioneer of 2017’s Somnium Space metaverse, Artur Sychov sees Facebook’s insertion into the metaverse as “hurried”, as if the whole thing were happening now.
Dave Carr, a spokesman for the virtual organization Decentraland, which now has about 7,000 daily users, said that this type of community was created precisely as an alternative to the big social media platforms, which sell user data and control the content of what they can see.