It just takes you to another world, and when you’re not in that world, you miss not being there… And then you kind of want to stay there forever cuz life’s… Shitty.
John answers by saying:
VR should be better inside the headset than outside; it’s the world as you want it.
While I understand his point of view, I dislike this take so much because it alleviates our accountability about life in the real world.
It makes it as if life was this static thing, that is shitty and can’t only be shitty, and that you’d better immerse yourself into a fictional 3D world rather than use your accountability, your presence to change the real world.
People will argue that you can do both, to which I’d answer that looking at our current metaverses —social media for the past ten years, the answer is no, we can’t do both at all: our brains will prioritize the version of our environment that is easier aka, the digital one (no accountability, baby!). And that’s when things (in the physical world) go wrong, unnoticed and unwanted.
John goes on examples:
There’s plenty of things that we just can’t do for everyone in the real world; everybody can’t have Richard Branson’s private island but everyone can get a private VR island.
John, it’s a fallacy to think owning things is the ultimate goal. It varies. Owning your toothbrush, sure. Your house, not that necessary. Your private island? Fuck no. No one needs that. Besides, everyone owning expensive shit knows that it’s stressful; therefore, why would you think a virtual version of that would be interesting? It’s not. It’s empty value. We’ve seen that countless of times since Second Life, Habbo Hotel or Roblox.
But the bigger argument to me, is Time. It’s the real currency here. If you spend 1,000 hours in VR and virtual worlds, it’s 1,000 hours you do not invest in the gravity-based world. It will backfire in a myriad of ways that we don’t know.
It is thanks to thousands of people waiting for hours and hours to vote in Georgia that we avoided some stuff, recently. All the close calls on polls and elections. Kansas showed up more than virtually and that was effective. Yeah.
It’s fair to say that the not so subtle rise of fascism and authoritarian stuff these days comes also from the fact that people are distracted in online worlds, 24/7. Twitter, fantasy football, Tinder, Elden Ring, whatever. The time invested there, is not invested over here.
One perfect example of weird disconnect between people and high tech, is housing. In terms of engineering, it’s a done deal! We know how to make the most efficient, clean and healthy housing possible, under every climates. But instead of having engineers and designers work out the details of scaling this up to the world to solve a real, worldwide issue, homelessness, engineers want us to go to freaking Mars or live in virtual worlds to spend virtual money.
No. I do not want that. Focus on the physical world and healthy human needs, please.