The Philosophy Of A Metaverse
In the beginning; there was code.
What is a metaverse but another world, an interesting concept that we are yet to discover and explore? Besides terrains and the technicalities that surround the whole idea of a metaverse, we both know that the main factor is the community, meaning the people. The human experience in the metaverse is the most important aspect that should be present in the metaverse. The whole inclusion of the human experience considering that a metaverse is a digital world; means that there are a lot of abstract ideas and constructs that need to be implemented even within that metaverse.
Will we have grouped societies in the metaverse?
Concerning Earth2, we already have guilds and megacities. The interesting part is that having these miniature societies or guilds builds up a collaborative sense of contribution to projects. Is it a necessity though? Considering that in a lot of Games, communities are the main aspects of the experience, from Fortnite to World of Warcraft and Clash of Clans. Therefore, having communities was inevitable since online gaming is a major boom. The essence of a metaverse is being surrounded by those who are unreachable in terms of distance; essentially being close.
Is it a dystopia?
Seeing videos popping up on various social media platforms on the topic of the 'metaverse', a lot of comments are mostly focused on it being a dystopia (a future Cyberpunk/Ready Player One/Matrix). However, from a critical thinker's perspective, is that the case? Are we close to that so-called feared dystopia from Ready Player One or Cyberpunk 2077 or are people just afraid of radical change? The latter is more rational considering that we are not dystopic in our actual societies, we tend to forget that these metaverses are being built by humans for humans.
What is usually the reason behind the belief that the metaverse will be a dystopia? This thinking can be fueled by various misunderstandings; ranging from not knowing that these projects are community-driven, meaning the communities are also involved in these projects, not some big bad corporation. Ahem, Meta. A lot of dedication goes into the building of these projects. Also, to add, the metaverse doesn't mean there would no longer be a human connection with other humans or the idea that we won't be able to appreciate nature. The irony is that the whole idea of a metaverse is human interaction, also, why would you limit yourself to connecting with nature in your backyard only when you can get to marvel at a palm tree in the Himalayas right from your living room.
Are there Ethics/Morals in the metaverse?
Firstly, the true question would be; what are morals in our reality; what is morality? This as much as it seems like a deeply philosophical question that requires 200-page theses is a rather simple one. Morality is agreed upon rules and regulations; meaning agreeing on a set of rules and regulations as a community, for example; no trading items to each other when in a certain location in the metaverse. Rules then come with consequences if broken; for example; if found trading items within a designated area that doesn't allow trading, that user will be banned for a certain period. Lastly, despite rules, having certain consequences, they would need to be enforced, how then does one enforce rules and regulations within the metaverse? Easy, have certain privileges within the metaverse that allow you to enforce them in a specific area; for example; having administrative privileges that allow for someone to be banned from the actual metaverse maybe forever or for a certain time (therefore, owning parts of the metaverse allows us to do such).
Who is Who in the metaverse?
Who are we in the real world, and whom do we want to be? In the metaverse there is a lot of talk about avatars, representations of ourselves, for example, you can already see this in VRchat, where you'll find an anime teenage looking female avatar that has a voice of an old guy. Some might see this as part of the contributing factor to why the metaverse is considered a dystopia; however, in the real world, we already have people having a problem with how people choose to present themselves, so not something new. However, the question still stands, who is who in the metaverse? Well, the answer is quite simple, we are whom we choose to be!
Is the metaverse ideal?
We are creative beings, so why not create our ideal world even though it's merely digital.