As enthusiasm for the Metaverse, touted as the next version of the Internet, builds, the Metaverse is born in a very different environment. The world wide web was created by universities and public funds, with a sense of the common good for all.
In the meantime, the Metaverse will be born in a world of surveillance capitalism, in which companies will try to call the shots, while governments will try to regulate it in order to reduce potential personal and economic harm.
There will be no consortium for Metaversen as its future is decided in the tech giants and the options look bleak.
Given the recent controversies surrounding Facebook and the chances that parent company Meta will own the device that can access the Metaverse, it would be one of the ways to make it worse.
Google, on the other hand, would surely love to know exactly where every user is looking and be able to run some relevant ads, just like Amazon, while Microsoft would probably come up with a ham-fisted metaverse that would make LinkedIn look restrained and normal.
Apple, in turn, could come up with a Disneyesque Metaverse and restrict it to its own hardware users.
Microsoft may already have it via Minecraft, Epic Games in the form of Fortnite or Unreal Engine or even Nvidia with its Omniverse.
Unless a determined unicorn emerges to resist the headwinds of established tech giants, the usual suspects will surely have a huge impact on how the Metaverse would work.
The government, on the other hand, will seek to expand its current proposals to regulate big tech at the expense of privacy and data protection.
The Metaverse could indeed end up as the largest privacy-destroying machine mankind has ever created.
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