The Metaverse Reloaded: An Essay by Extropia DaSilva

Once more, I welcome Extropia DaSilva’s insight and her most excellent newest essay, that she so kindly allows me to reprint here. Enjoy her fascinating thoughts 🙂 – Gwyn

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that the pace of technological change is quickening. One of the surest signs of this is the tendency for useful analogies and metaphores to become defunct with almost alarming swiftness. A company releases a virtual world and it easily fits into the catagory MMOG. But another company releases an MMOG, does away with the end user license agreement and the notion that all content belongs to the company, putting creativity in the hands of the users, and we find our old analogies no longer hold.

Still, while those lured into these metaverses might consider it vital to understand what this brave new world represents, others might consider it an ivory-tower debate quite unconnected from everyday concerns. Fair enough. But let’s consider another technology that has become rather more integrated into our everyday lives, namely: The Web. For here we have another example of sweeping change making metaphores and analogies redundant.

Imagine trying to describe the web to a person living in an era before computers existed. I suspect that most people would compare it to a library. It’s not a bad comparison. Both represent organised knowledge, we go to the library to obtain information and that is also the primary reason for surfing the web. Add a few colourful descriptions of a collection of written works far larger than any physical building could contain, plus wonders like moving pictures and audio all accessed via searches that take seconds and no need to pace up and down shelves, and you might think you had done a fair job of conveying the salient details of the Internet to your ancestor.

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