Mark Zuckerberg's Metaverse now a "deserted fantasyland"

I think that the “deserted fantasyland” is an unfair description. Actual deserted fantasylands are infinitely more interesting than the Metaverse.




I guess you could say the Metaverse is an idea that doesn’t have legs.

Eh? Eh?

I’ll go now. :tophat: :walking_man: :door:


woah, that joke is so meta… :wink:

( okay okay, following you out the door )


I wouldn’t even know how to log in to Meta even if I wanted to. Would there be big flashing advertisements for it everywhere if I had a VR headset? Because I sure wouldn’t want a VR headset if there were unblockable advertisements all over the place.

(Even without ads the appeal is limited. Half-Life: Alyx, I guess? Beat Saber looks like it could provide a good cardio workout, but there are probably better ways to achieve the same.)

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“Yes, Grams. You can share pics of your cat on the Metaverse. [sigh]”



All I can say is: LOL. Who, besides Zuckerberg, apparently, is shocked by this?

It’s doubly weird to me as someone who lived through the “VR is the future” hype in the '90s. There’s nothing even remotely new here - sure, VR is better and there are actual GPUs to throw at rendering, but the fundamental problems are the same (e.g. VR makes people sick, you can’t engage with VR and the real world at the same time, there are very few applications where it’s the ideal interface). Facebook’s implementation of VR wasn’t even original in any way - they brought literally nothing to it but an enormous existing user base (who are increasingly older and exactly the wrong demographic).

I feel like all the current (or recent, anyways) VR evangelists just aren’t old enough to have been aware of '90s VR (or even Second Life), and made the mistake of thinking there was something new here.

So basically the same uses VR has had for the last., uh, 57 years.

That ad feels like a parody, it’s so clueless. Even the kids in it seem put off by it all. Maybe because of the big “how do you do, fellow kids” vibes.

It used to be sparsely populated.



No self-respecting supervillain is ever going to use Zuckerberg’s place as an evil lair.


The thing I don’t get about this is… sure, there’s probably a way to take some part of my daily workflow and make it better in VR. While I can’t think of one right now, I also don’t believe for a second that we are at the pinnacle of UI/UX development, so sure, I accept the premise that VR can make the experience for some tasks better than they are today. But by how much? 10% better? 25% better? and how much worse is it that now I have to transition into this VR setup to do those things and out again if I want to, say, have lunch or use a tool that isn’t better in VR-land? And how many millions (billions?) of dollars will be spent to make those few things 10% better than they are now?

It’s pure fantasy to believe all workflows will be made better in VR, and as @Shuck points out above, mess with our access to the real world and, importantly, create new accessibility problems simultaneously. So, until VR is a thing you can add to your real-world experience and then step out without having to don gear, this will never work.

But really, the absolute worst part of this is there are 78345793475 things that these millions/billions could have been better spent on in the first place. :frowning:


Zume’s second law: All online spaces become MySpace


Even Neal Stephenson struggled to come up with an example of a task that would have actually been better in VR when he dreamed up the version of the Metaverse in Snow Crash.

The closest thing Hiro has to a fun experience on The Street is going to an exclusive VR club where he pretends to enjoy a virtual drink, while back in reality he’s sitting outside his shitty apartment drinking a warm beer. So basically a private chatroom but with a clunkier interface. Whee!


Now they need the META-equiv of spray cans.

It’s not a proper dilapos without the graffiti.


At the height of standing desk culture, I used to idly ruminate about what it would be like to try to use VR to turn database admin/development into manual labor where you physically move and manipulate tables in a virtual space…


It’s Unix SQL, I know this.

ETA: Fixed formatting.


Yup. Still waiting for all that Cybersex.



What rig do you use? How do you handle physical controls and how close does the VR setup get to an actual cockpit? This is the one use for VR I’ve been waiting for and I can’t wrap my head around being able to ‘touch’ all the controls you use during flight without there being a physical yoke/stick, rudder pedals, and at least a partial panel. I found XPlane on a flat panel with a yoke/rudder, throttle panel was great for chair flying and getting the mechanics of T/O and landing but trying to interact with the radios (comm and nav) a bit of a kludge since you had to know the shortcuts to make all that work. Love to hear what you’re using.

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it might be nice to have infinite monitor space if the resolution was high enough. and then if i could “turn” to see and talk to a co-worker who’s remote? that could be cool

but yeah, none of that would make me more productive, at best it’s a convenience.

oto, not being able to do simple things like seeing my coffee cup to drink from it, or taking notes with paper and pen would dramatically reduce my productivity

honestly, i think that augmented reality is way more useful than vr.

a handsfree phone that knows what you’re looking at, and can add information to what you’re seeing? it’d slot right in with lots of jobs, even if still not that useful for white collar at your desk style work

( and people already facetime on their phones and love it. a handsfree version of that would be widely loved, and widely hated, im sure )


I’m using an older build of my PC from 2015(!) that still works pretty well - an i7 4790 with 32 Gb RAM. Just upgraded my graphics card from a GTX970 to an RTX3060 and the difference is night and day. My controls are a Saitek X52 Pro HOTAS with rudder pedals, and I’m currently using a Quest 2 headset, though I have used Oculus DK2 and CV1 in the past.

As for the experience within the sim, it all depends on how well the developer supports VR, and the complexity of the planes you’re flying. I’m a soaring fan, so I primarily fly in Condor 2, and as you might imagine the controls are as simple as they are in reality: stick, rudder, spoilers and gear are really the only controls, and are easily mapped to the HOTAS so you don’t have to futz around with the keyboard. My other fave is IL2-Sturmovik Flying Circus, so there’s no dealing with radios.

I’ve messed around with more advanced flight sims like X-Plane and MSFS too, and they seem to have better and better support for in-headset control manipulation by natural motions like throwing switches, etc. Some don’t even require physical controls, using the headset’s controllers to allow you to grasp a virtual stick.

As far as being close to a physical cockpit, it’s as close as you can get to sitting in the real thing without going to an actual physical flight simulator. Some sailplane cockpits can get downright claustrophobic, and the open-cockpit flying of a WWI fighter is exhilarating. Most newer simulators even model the light interactions with the canopy, so you get these wonderful crazing patterns that change with the angle of the sunlight, giving a convincing sensation of being physically enclosed. I can’t endorse this kind of simming enough, and I think it ultimately ends up being cheaper than a typical multi-monitor hobbyist’s setup, while providing a much more realistic experience.

ETA: Here’s a video discussing a sim that was designed from the ground up for VR. Graphically it’s not as impressive as most, but as you’ll see, the controls are really intuitive. This VR Flight Sim is Terrifyingly Immersive - VTOL VR - YouTube


Just swap Microsoft for Meta


That’s all right, neither could any of the people working on VR at Meta, apparently.

(I used to get tons of spam emails from hiring folks at Meta, presumably via LinkedIn, asking me to apply for jobs there, working in VR. Every time I got one, oh how I laughed. I was tempted to apply just to see how far I would[n’t] get in the process, and in the hopes they’d stop spamming me.)

I mean, if you can’t even get people to use VR for porn, that’s not a good sign.