Some 43% of British people believe the metaverse will eventually lead them toward the matrix, “a simulated reality created by sentient machines to pacify and subdue the human population” as heat and electrical activity from their bodies are used as an energy source, data from a new study show.
The metaverse, described by Facebook officials as “a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you,” is also seen as the “next evolution in social technologies and the successor to the mobile internet.”
A significant share of Brits, however, believe embracing the metaverse will lead them toward the matrix depicted in the 1999 science fiction action film, “The Matrix,” starring actor Keanu Reeves, according to a recent survey of 2,000 people by Fair Betting Sites.
While the metaverse is being marketed as technology that will bring people closer together, 41% of respondents in the study said they don’t believe the metaverse is good for humanity even though 30% of them believe it will help people meet others they otherwise would not.
Half of respondents believed that the metaverse would compromise their privacy and security. A majority of female respondents were more concerned about the metaverse than men, with 45% saying they are afraid to socialize in it.
Younger respondents were also more open than their older counterparts to the idea of working in and socializing in metaverse.
“As to be expected …, ‘Gen Z’ participants were more accepting of the concept, with 37% [indicating] they would be willing to live out their professional lives at work in the Metaverse as opposed to only 27% of 25-44-year-olds,” the report on the study said.
Although 43% of Gen Z indicated they would like to use the metaverse to connect with their friends, 26% of respondents shared similar sentiments.
As interest in the metaverse continues to grow globally, Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have reportedly agreed to a deal with metaverse platform pax.world to launch a virtual world “to take their brand truly global,” The Mirror reported.
“Both Meghan and Harry believe they will have an even greater ability to spread their message if they have a presence in the virtual world as well as the physical world,” an unidentified source quoted by The Mirror said. “They’ve spoken to a variety of experts and the view is this is the next stage to take their brand truly global.”
Pax.world’s founder Frank Fitzgerald told the publication that: “We’re offering Harry and Meghan a plot of prime pax.world land and the chance to collaborate with the world’s leading architects, build on it, and connect with new audiences.
“If they are to pursue business and entertainment deals, position themselves as thought leaders, and progress their charity work, they must partner with a platform that shares their values.”
The Duke and Duchess will join several celebrities and big businesses that are have already invested in metaverse real estate, such as Snoop Dog, PwC, JP Morgan, HSBC and Samsung, Forbes reported.
CBS News reported this year that virtual real property sales have surpassed $500 million. This trend is expected to continue and the industry could reach $5 billion by 2026, CBS News reports.
“The value and potential of virtual real estate is not zero over the long term,” Philip Rosedale (the founder of Second Life), told the news outlet. He also said that the hype surrounding virtual land is out of control.
“We have to cross an enormous chasm. This chasm is between the things that young children do and are willing to do with multiplayer games and what adults want to do socially in virtual environments. We’re much further away than many people on the market think.
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