Stick to the Meta – Week 2

Before anything, I wanted to open with my script/storyboard for a 30-second commercial advertising a UMW education that has been reimagined for the Metaverse.

*Commercial opens, pitch black*
*An image appears in a manner similar to that of turning on an old TV*
*The camera is clearly meant to appear as a first person view, looking out of the eyes of a student*
*Camera pans down to reveal hands and feet. The hands rotate around, showing potential bewilderment*
*Camera quickly pans up to reveal a stunning, futuristic campus with creatures of all shapes and sizes walking around, wearing bookbags, skateboarding, and socializing*
*The camera moves left and right quickly, looking around for the voice before giving up and looking down once again to show the feet and legs moving*
“Who said that?”
*Display VICE on the screen*
“Seriously, who’s saying that??”
*While walking around, the camera looks through windows into classrooms, seeing a history class with a dinosaur walking around the room, a science class with chemicals and concoctions erupting and foaming up, an art class with massive and magnificent sculptures, and a computer science class with students typing on holographic screens in the air. Every student looks engaged and amazed, happier than ever to be learning and living this way*
“Woooah…not bad…”
*Camera moves past a mirror, taking a second to step back and turn towards it*
*Mirror displays an avatar with arrows on the sides*
*Hands come up from bottom of the screen and tap on the arrows, selecting a mix of features to create a new avatar*
“Looking good!”
*Camera goes back to moving through campus, walking past basketball courts, a baseball diamond, and a football field with all sorts of creatures playing together, clearly enjoying themselves*
*The camera abruptly jolts and there’s a flash of bright light, followed by a blinking eyes effect on the screen*
*Eyes fully open to reveal the real world, sitting in a solid white room full of insanely bright lights*
*A person stands a foot away with a virtual reality headset in his hands*
“Well, whaddaya think?”
*The camera is now in 3rd person, showing the person whose perspective we’ve been seeing from*
*It’s Mark Zuckerberg*
“They’ll love it.”
*Ends on a frame of Zuckerberg giving a creepy smile to the camera*

This week felt like quite the long one, but in reality, it turned out really short for me. With MLK day on Monday and rushing around to get my brother from the airport on Friday, I ended up only going to one class. With that being said, though, I feel like I still have a good bit to take away from this week.

When thinking about the Metaverse, I can’t help but wonder how far out we really are from it becoming “the future.” Mark Zuckerberg loves to flaunt the fact that he is at the forefront of this idea and that its the future, but as Professor Whalen mentioned, the Metaverse, or similar concepts, have been the future for a long time. Yes, our technology has drastically improved from what we had in the early 2000s and even well prior, when plenty iconic science fiction was written, but does that mean we’re there quite yet? Is the world ready for what Zuckerberg and Meta have in store for us? Will it even be nearly as impressive and incredible as it is hyped up to be? Only time can tell, but the world is still certainly headed in that direction.

In terms of staying connected in general, I have nothing but praise for the advancements made in our society, especially when looking back on where we came from. Not only is it much easier to stay in touch, but there are more ways than ever now. Of course, the introduction of VR to many households around the world in the past few years has created an entirely new form of communication and staying connected, but before that there is:
– Discord
– Skype
– Zoom
– Chatrooms
– Telephone
– Email
– Steam
– Social media, posts and direct messages
The list could go on and on. When taking a look at The Wayback Machine, I was able to see how connections worked on sites such as Twitch.tv (once justin.tv) and Youtube. Playing around with LambdaMOO, I was able to interact with players from around the world that had been playing for years. The world was a huge amalgamation of creativity from players across decades, while all the while feeling like a ceaseless void. It is extremely interesting to also see how far games and creative outlets have come in the face of technology, even when sticking to simply text-based.