It takes a pioneering spirit to get things moving. The risk takers, those with true entrepreneurial and innovation spirit, where ROI isn’t the sole motivation…I’m talking about establishments such as The New York Times, Facebook…Google.
In 2015, reading about NYTVR, I remember, it was nothing short of euphoric. They were bringing the world – the real world- closer to all of us through Virtual Reality.
Now, almost 10 years later during a lecture on Immersive Journalism, it got me thinking: The NEWS in the Metaverse —would it affect us emotionally?
After all, if the Metaverse affords full immersion either as we enter it donning Virtual Reality eyewear or if the Metaverse gets “pulled” into our world via Augmented Reality; I call it the XRMetaverse…would we then be “living the NEWS“; experiencing factual stories play out around us? Sadly, the Blocky(chain) ‘Cryptoverses’ are a far cry from what the Metaverse is capable of.
Crypto speculators selling ‘land’ in pixelated cryptoverses based on speculation of ‘coins’ have degraded the higher purpose of the Metaverse — a digital world where minds collaborate for the advancement of Humanity.
If there’s any doubt about the psychological impact on people’s minds that a synthetic immersive environment is capable of, look no further than the military. Why does the military spend millions on state-of-the-art Stereoscopic 3D visualization and display systems? The answer is simple – A Simulation of a real-life scenario is the next best thing to actually being there.
Systems similar to BraveMind, are now affordable (via current VR HMDs and computers) and within reach for the treatment of patients suffering from a multitude of such ailments. We now know via these systems, how the Virtual world can affect and influence our Reality.
It is worth arguing that the NEWS if presented in an immersive environment such as the Metaverse, might then:
Galvanize us into action? — As passive consumers of the news, we have quickly become desensitized to human suffering, but just as soldiers are being immersed in VR, maybe the realism of NEWS stories recreated in the Metaverse could move us into positive action against the plague of war.
Or make us push the Donate button when we are “standing” right there in the middle of a synthetic world, seeing, perhaps on a subconscious level, even ‘feeling’ the suffering of refugees or famine.
The “Hunger in Los Angeles” experience, is a recreation of a real-life event… being immersed in the scene, and wearing VR headwear, does have an effect on the viewer of this NEWS story. Imagine what might happen if this were the aftermath of a man-made disaster or natural calamity and we were “living it” as a re-creation in the Metaverse discussing it in our own voices with other metaverse visitors, some from the next town, others, from halfway across the world. Would it trigger a heightened sense of collective empathy?
NEWS in the Metaverse does not have to be about suffering alone. Sports NEWS, the Red Carpet at the Oscars, and other feel-good moments can also relieve stress from a hectic day at work, for people who come home and jump into the Metaverse to escape the drudgery of their everyday reality.
Sporting events as far back as the 2014 FIFA World Cup brought the realism of having Goal side seats and perimeter-like first-hand realism when viewed by audiences in 3D Cinemas in many countries.
With Virtual Reality eye-wear now in millions of homes, will sports “miniverses” be where people tele-port to and congregate, as the larger Metaverse takes shape?
Facebook offers full immersion with its VR hardware and social platforms, which already allow for the viewing of Netflix movies in a personal Imax-like environment.
Will the Cinematic Metaverse be the final nail in the coffin of the brick ‘n mortar Silver screen?
MBO (META Box Office) could be a new household acronym, given it’s not hard to see Facebook monetizing its flavor of the Metaverse with access to live events and entertainment while allowing seamless engagement with friends across the world in a virtual social environment.
Experiencing The NEWS in the Metaverse might give us a glimpse of the reality that exists outside our living rooms… perhaps ironically, bringing us closer to our real world.
Also published here.