Tencent technology news on September 6, in the science fiction “ready player one” with 2045 as the background, people can escape the terrible real world by transmitting themselves to the “oasis”, including disasters caused by global warming and economic chaos. In the “oasis” similar to the parallel universe, people can change their identity, wander there and forget the pain of daily life.
In the book published in 2011, “oasis” is the creativity of a game tycoon who puts everyone’s best interests at heart. However, behind all this is innovation online industries, an evil Internet group that plans to acquire the whole and seek returns for itself. Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games, developer of online game fortress night, also used this description of “altruism vs greed” when talking about the “metauniverse”.
In fact, the idea of “meta universe” is very popular in Silicon Valley and is considered to be “the next big thing in the Internet field”. But no one knows exactly what this word means. In the eyes of most futurists, “oasis” is like a pronoun for the most ideal world in the eyes of scientific and technological Utopians.
For now, novel coronavirus pneumonia is not enough if you think you have too much time to surf the Internet. Using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology, cartoon avatars and lifelike computer images, metauniverse will further eliminate the boundary between people’s online life and real life. As expected, large technology companies are salivating at the prospect of opening more areas of human survival to the data world.
Sweeney is the same. He is creating a mini metauniverse for 350 million monthly users of Fortress night to immerse them not only in fantasy games, but also in virtual pop concerts and other activities.
However, he is determined to prevent today’s Silicon Valley elites from earning all the returns from this visionary future. His ambition is to promote dynamic competition, provide fair remuneration for creators and improve economic efficiency, which is very different from today’s network.
Epic Games has described the creation of the metauniverse as a giant killing game, as part of the company’s recent struggle in court with apple (the ruling is expected to be announced soon) and Google (the trial has not yet begun).
These antitrust cases mainly involve apple and Google’s app stores. Epic Games accused the two stores of price fraud, especially charging up to 30% commission from in app purchases, and refusing to let developers use alternative payment processing platforms.
But in court, Sweeney told the trial judge that this issue is also related to the “life and death” of the meta universe. He said that the goal of Epic Games is to build fortress night into a platform so that independent developers can publish their games and other forms of entertainment online and make more profits for themselves. “Apple’s draw is as high as 30%, which makes it difficult for Epic Games and creators to survive in this future world,” he said
Both apple and Google denied the allegations. In court, apple countered that the company’s commission rate met industry standards and did not make a huge investment in creating a user-friendly environment.
However, apple is being forced to make concessions in other areas. In a recent partial settlement of a class action lawsuit in the United States, apple agreed to make it easier for app developers to contact customers about other payment methods.
Then, on August 31, South Korea passed a law allowing smartphone users to pay directly to developers. Google said Epic Games’ allegations were groundless. What does this make of Sweeney’s vision for the new network? How likely is it to be realized?
Sweeney’s vision certainly looks attractive. No “big company” will dominate.
Instead, the metauniverse will be built by millions of creators, programmers and designers, who will receive a greater share of returns than the technology giants currently allow.
Sweeney said that the current Internet should not be isolated, but should be the free flow between game networks, such as Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation.
The cutting-edge engines used by the game industry for real-world simulation should be based on common standards so that they can also interoperate. Decentralized tools such as blockchain and cryptocurrency may increase economic benefits.
Sweeney bluntly compares this open competition with the current situation, but it will not prevent Silicon Valley giants from seeking to continue to play an important role in the future.
Game companies like Epic Games, roblox and minecraft are bringing advanced experiences similar to metauniverse to their platforms. Among them, minecraft has a virtual library of audited news articles to encourage freedom of thought.
But technology giants followed.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes that oculus quest helmet will become an important part of VR / AR in the future and may even replace smartphones.
In August this year, Facebook introduced horizon workrooms on its helmet, enabling employees to participate in virtual meetings as cartoon avatars. Satya NADELLA, chief executive of Microsoft, talked about building an enterprise version of the metauniverse.
There is no doubt that they want to build the metauniverse into a “walled garden” more than Sweeney.
As for Sweeney’s obvious altruism, it may be wise not to look at the surface value. Epic Games and other game companies may one day pursue the dominance of 3D Internet, similar to the practice of large technology companies in the field of 2D Internet.
As Daniel Newman of future research, a consulting firm, said, from Microsoft in the 1980s to apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon in the early 21st century, all technology giants have begun to provide unique services that consumers like and compete more openly with existing companies.
Over time, as the dominance of these technology giants strengthened, their enthusiasm faded. No matter how far away the future is, it is difficult for us to imagine that this model will disappear in a world.
At present, large game companies do not consider themselves cartoon villains. And the meta universe may really be too big for any single company to dominate.
However, no matter what kind of parallel universe they build, their desire to create fantasy dystopia or fight against the “competition moat” are typical practices of capitalism（ Tencent Technology (reviser / Jinlu)