Who owns the Virtual Metaverse and the ideals it’s being built on?
What are the common, open, standards of the VR Metaverse, and will creation in the Metaverse become a human right?
The answer to this question presently is no.
We are in a new time of technological revolution, one driven by mankind inherent drive to travel to new places and build new things, the Metaverse is now actively being built.
But, unlike the birth of the internet, this time around, capitalism and corporations have a firm hold over users and they control the worlds biggest digital networks.
There’s a lack of WWW humanist ideals in VR.
Talking to many players in the VR production, all of them are trying to win a race to become the dominant VR platform.
But, without the open, shared and common standards that built the internet, how will we activate millions of developers and builders? Will the metaverse ever gain the open foundations for innovation that gave birth to the likes of Facebook, Apple and Google?
These Goliaths, all started in the sheds and labs on university campuses. By young folk playing with ideas in code. Non of these companies started off with a billion or two investment (see Magic Leap) before releasing a product.
They all started because the company founders had, free, open access to common standards, tools, and protocols that enabled connection and creation on the web. Non of these companies started tethered to some greater power.
VR and the race thats already underway needs open standards, but where are they going to come from? Could the thinking that may have born such standards have arrived and died too soon?
Take .ORBX file format from Otoy (and there’s the problem) a commercially owned file format that Facebook (obviously a for profit company) have gotten behind. It’s not a free file format, it is owned and championed by business.
If we continue, the Metaverse is going to be owned by a company.
I watched the film The Circle staring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, I binged on Netflix’s Black Mirror. The point is, the fear of the world we are moving towards is real, not only in my mind but in the minds of other artists too.
The war for the Metaverse.
There’s a war already started between the DCC (Digital Content Creation) tools that build the metaverse. They try to tie us into pipelines that serve someone other than us.
Unity and Unreal Engine and others are all in the trenches battling it out for the VR developer user base. But this is one level up from the open (by open I mean not owned any any one company) standards that built the web, like http. VR is the 2nd WWW and to date it looks very corporate.
WWW1 was so simple in comparison to where we are today.
Computerising the physical world into virtual worlds that will make up the Metaverse, takes massive amounts of computing power, integrated technologies, and costly human invention. Unless we introduce open thinking, the Metaverse will be controlled by companies, for one very good reason…
Because they can afford to build it.
Writers of science fiction have pitted people vs. evil corporations for years. Corporations that rule the physical world. If we don’t step in, the virtual world will be indeed controlled and run by giant companies – maybe not evil ones, but who will protect our human rights? And my right to create in VR?
Who’s protecting the Open Web in the metaverse.
We need to wake up the likes of Tim Berners-Lee and the fine folk at the W3C to start fighting for standards in virtual production and the creation of the Multiverse, after all the WWW will still be the backbone of the Metaverse, at least for now.
In the Metaverse, we’ll all be, playing, meeting, making and traveling between virtual worlds. I argue that it is a human right to create, to entertain, to invent, and to tell stories. If you put me in the Metaverse, its still my right. A corporation must not restrict or profit from my human rights.
I want us all to have the means, open standards and tools to have ideas, visualise them, develop them and launch them in to the metaverse, without having to pay a corporation for the privilege.