The Metaverse, Millionaires & Democracy

Owen Kelly explores the consequences of Facebook’s declared intention to build the metaverse and the deeper problems of “virtual reality”.

Episode 009     September 10, 2021
Contributors    Owen Kelly    

Late last June while addressing a meeting of Facebook employees, Mark Zuckerberg claimed that Facebook would grow from a company involved in social media to building “a maximalist, interconnected set of experiences straight out of sci-fi — the metaverse”. He argued that “you can think about the metaverse as an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content — you are in it. And you feel present with other people as if you were in other places, having different experiences that you couldn’t necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage, like dancing, for example, or different types of fitness”.

Second Life attempted to build and popularise this idea fifteen years ago with a very limited success. Two questions therefore arise. What makes Mark Zuckerberg think he can succeed where Philip Rosendale failed? What consequences will we face – socially and individually – if he actually succeeds?

In this episode of Genuine Inquiry Owen Kelly explores these questions and the deeper problems of “virtual reality”.