As we near the end of the first week of 2022 and glide through what might as well be a hybrid Consumer Electronics Show, the metaverse is being mocked and torn into on Twitter. It would be a pity, however, if what is justifiable skepticism about the over-use of the term obscures the real potential of the underlying concept.
Since Facebook’s rebranding to Meta Platforms, plenty of people outside the industry have articulated their skepticism toward the concept of the metaverse. But the calls of “BS” have escalated within the AR/VR community on Twitter this week: take, for example, this compilation of “every ridiculous usage of metaverse” seen at CES 2022 by Nima Zeighami, a longtime AR/VR producer and manager. See also the scorn heaped upon a 2017 video of a VR concept Walmart commissioned for SXSW, reshared inaccurately as how the retailer envisions “shopping in the #Metaverse.” Writer Tom Ffiske supposes the video has done “more damage to the popular vision of [the metaverse’s] potential than anything else” he’s seen.