“The metaverse is world apart, a virtual reality that has no physical existence but that is inhabited by millions of people around the world. It is a place where you can be anything you want to be, do anything you want to do, and be with anyone you want to be. It is a place where your only limits are the limits of imagination” – From Neal Stephenson’s classic science fiction novel ‘Snow Crash’
The metaverse is a new rising innovation that has picked up an unbelievable pace of development and has spread like a wildfire among the people. It is a virtual world that permits people to visit anywhere while staying in their homes. Although the metaverse has a great potential, there are some concerns regarding its effect on society.
One of the most important debates regarding the metaverse is whether it is a good thing or a danger in disguise that people can visit anywhere they like in the virtual world. The metaverse can be a very useful tool for individuals to investigate and visit unfrequented places and a blessing for people who are physically incapable of visiting places. Some people can use the metaverse to visualise goals and various plans they would do otherwise never have the opportunity to see or do.
However there are some concerns regarding the effect it will have on society due to its “no limits” factor. Without proper laws and rules, people in the metaverse might take advantage of it for destructive and inappropriate purposes. To avoid this kind of chaos reigning in the metaverse there must be a proper system of rules.
It should also be noted that not everyone will have access to the metaverse. The people who cannot manage to afford or get the required essential equipment or programs needed will be left out. Some endeavors are needed to be implemented so that everyone in spite of their financial and social problems will be guaranteed access to the metaverse. Another aspect of the metaverse that can cause a significant impact is its extremely realistic graphics. There is a direct relation between the graphics of the metaverse and by how engaging and immersive it is, it is directly proportional. For some people the relation between graphics and the real world could become blurred possibly resulting in dangerous situations, and to prevent such things from occurring, proper codes and rules should be implemented .
Another important significance of it will be the amount of money spent. The metaverse is likely to become a billion-dollar company with people spending large sums of money on various services and goods. Entrepreneurs, businessperson and salespeople can use it effectively to earn money but it also opens a path for exploitation and manipulation. It could also broaden the existing social and economic inequalities and create a digital divide.
At the end of the day, the effect metaverse will have on humans will totally be dependent on the way it is managed, implemented and the way in which it is allowed to influence people's lives. It may be a blessing or path of destruction in disguise, both are possible, and it will totally depend on the proper foresight of people in charge. Thus, I will end with a quote
“All tools are weapons in the hands of the wrong people.”
STANDPOINT WRITTEN BY ABHIRUP SEN