Trying to be charitable again…

What’s new about Zuck’s metaverse? The uncharitable answer is that it’s just an advertising slogan, not a real project or activity.

Charitably: Even if it’s a real project it’s neither new nor meaningful. Imagined universes have always been part of human experience. From church to sports to books to radio to movies to TV, we like to spend part of our time in a virtual elsewhere.

And there has always been commerce in the virtual elements of the virtual spaces. It’s just the old gold rush rule.

Church: Indulgences and penitences and prayer cloths. Sports: Betting and ‘fantasy leagues’. Radio (when it was active): quizzes and contests. Movies and TV: Fan magazines and fan websites.

Indulgences are the closest equivalent to the Zuck version. An indulgence buys you a piece of virtual real estate in heaven, or subleases your apartment in Purgatory Towers, or aligns you with the character of a saint.

The biggest metaverse commerce by far is betting on sports. When you make a bet you’re virtually riding the horse or virtually kicking the ball.

Books may be the exception. Why? Books are not an event. All the others involve large groups of people watching or hearing the same imagined universe at the same time. The groups are sometimes physically together, sometimes dispersed, but always simultaneous.

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Later note: Turns out the Church is jumping into the Zuckaverse as well. So far it’s not subleasing Purgatory, it’s only NFT-izing some of the artworks in the Vatican Galleries.

Some pastors are going the full idiotic route:

“The future of the church is the metaverse. It’s not an anti-physical thing. I don’t think the physical gatherings should go away. But in the church of 2030, the main focus is going to be your metaverse campus,” said DJ Soto, a Virginia-based pastor and the founder of VR Church, which exists entirely in the metaverse.

Soto believes that VR Church is no different from a traditional one. Still, as it allows parishioners to see and hear the verses at the same time, he considers the experience to be more meaningful.

Isn’t that pretty much like watching the service on TV? Or listening on radio with the Bible in your hands? The only advantage of the web-connected VR part is surveillance and control. NSA and Apple can watch and hear everything you’re doing, and can edit the sermon in realtime if the pastor Disinforms.

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