Is the Metaverse really 'here to stay' for arts and cultural organisations?

It is, according to Kay Watson from the Serpentine. What do you think?

  • It definitely is, we’re living it!
  • Maybe some time in the future, but not yet
  • I don’t expect this to impact us really
  • I still don’t know what it actually is

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Reminds me of this article from a few years back, about Second Life. Second Life Still Has 600,000 Regular Users - The Atlantic which reflects on the feeling and meaning of such spaces.

Minecraft’s ubiquity for kids is an instance of a mainstream metaverse (are are World of Warcraft etc) - though I’d hope what we end up with is more metaverses, than some monolithic Zuckspace.

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And this article from the Guardian recently I’ve seen the metaverse – and I don’t want it | Games | The Guardian which also focuses quite heavily on the aesthetic issues with a sanitised, Zuck-approved playground and how that blandness actually only functions by reflecting and in some ways exacerbating the marginalisation of the real world.

All issues that the cultural sector in particular will need to grapple with – it’s not implausible to imagine that art or cultural experiences delivered for a Meta-verse product (i.e. under the T&Cs of Zuck) might ripple out into the sector at large, similar to the impact Amazon has had on the novel as explored here: Is Amazon Changing the Novel? | The New Yorker


Interesting articles, ta.

I agree with the point that forms/platforms/technologies shape content/possibilities/meaning - though that does also affect how things may spill out (or not) into ‘real world’ spaces with different constraints.

Perhaps one similarity between Amazon and Meta is the attempt to monopolise a whole domain of activity (buying things / connecting online) - but the more I think of different types of immersive digital environments the more I feel like they’re likely to remain fragmented and largely incompatible - and that we’re further down the ‘metaversification’ process than Meta’s pitch as the metaverse presumes. Or perhaps I’m being optimistic…