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Monday, February 14, 2022

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Martin K.

What if Horizon Worlds IS Meta's metaverse app for middle-age and old people, while Ready At Dawn is working behind closed doors on Meta's metaverse app for a younger audience as implied by this article: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/30/facebooks-meta-mission-was-laid-out-in-a-2018-paper-on-the-metaverse.html . At least that would explain why Ready At Dawn is looking for a monetization designer.

njmcdirect

I suffer from depression but seeing this AD made me go outside, take in the fresh air and sun and feel happy to be alive. Whoever came up with this should make dystopian movies, they gonna nail it, no doubt about it.

Adeon Writer

Wait, I thought they had legs now, they are really rolling with the legless ones?

Adeon Writer

Also - nobody sees pizza joint animatronics and thinks Chuck E Cheese anymore - they see creepy Five Nights at Freddy's killer robots now.

Luther Weymann

The average Resident age in Second Life is what? 52+?

Gwyneth Llewelyn

@Luther — 52-year-old here, but in my defense, I like to say that I was only 35 when I joined — and already felt that I was the youngest person around :-)

Actually, let me play Devil's Advocate here. What's so wrong about targeting GenXers with a depressing video? Most of them are on Facebook anyway, and already depressed (and getting worse). So that's Meta's target audience — trying to recapture those GenXers who finally gave up on Facebook and are ready to try the Next Best Thing.

Interestingly, the best part of that ad is the most depressing one — the one that uses real life action with CGI for the animatronics. That's the bit where the director's got creative.

The worst bit is, well, Horizon. I'm sorry, but shelling out a small fortune for a VR headset to get legless, low-polygon avatars that seem to do little more than crowd around you, having a weird minimalistic almost-wireframe-y background of speeding flying cars... I don't know, but the appeal is simply not there.

Unless things start to improve soon and fast, I'm not really sure that Horizon will last long as a Meta product...

However, I'm not saying that Meta will move out of VR gadgets and games. These are lucrative businesses by themselves, with strong, well-proven business models. And with hundreds of millions of computer game players world-wide, that's not a niche market. What Meta could attempt to do is a long-running series of (independent) games that use the same avatar technology, and capitalise on the ability of players to personalise them (even outside of the game itself) on a 'social' VR platform where outfits and props for avatars are for sale — a bit like the old PlayStation Home (https://www.nme.com/news/gaming-news/playstation-home-is-back-from-dead-after-6-years-thanks-to-fan-project-3104756), which has been resurrected by the fan base (https://nagato.gitbook.io/playstation-home-online-faq-page/), and, looking at their Git repository, it's being actively maintained.

Now, I never owned a game console (I have no time for that!), so I cannot tell how much interest PlayStation Home has (or had). There is clearly a reason for why Sony abandoned it in 2015 (I just don't know what reason was given at the time). Nevertheless, the notion that a fan base can resurrect such a project shows that there is some interest in such a product. How 'niche' it will ever be is anyone's question. But I'd say that Horizon could become the next 'PlayStation Home' for the Oculus ecosystem.

The question is just if Meta is really interested in such a niche audience. From the link posted by @Martin L., I'd guess that the answer is 'no'.

It's also weird to think that Facebook acquired Oculus back in 2014, Horizon is just starting to roll out after 7 or 8 years of 'development', and the best they can show is an ad with legless avatars — while in 2018 they were internally discussing that it would take them perhaps another decade until they get some traction from a VR-based 'metaverse'.

Ha. I predict that Facebook will not be around in a decade any longer! I hardly believe that Zuckerberg will manage to push all his Boomer/GenXers currently on Facebook into his home-cooked VR social environment — even if he gives them all some Oculus goggles for free. The issue here is that most Facebook users are not using it on a desktop computer, but rather on a mobile phone, and that's the kind of experience you need to get billions of users. No, people will not spend 'all their time' with VR goggles on, no matter how sad and depressing their lives are. On the other hand, they will carry their smartphones everywhere — and everybody will have one (or more than one). The popularity of Meta's 2D environments comes from the simple fact that 2D social spaces only require a mobile phone and an opposing thumb, and can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

You can't do that with VR unless you get a brain implant from Elon Musk's Neuralink (https://abcnews.go.com/Health/elon-musk-unveils-brain-chip-implant-fitbit-skull/story?id=72703840). That technology is already here and it's not sci-fi, but it'll require another decade or so until it gets approved by the FDA and similar regulatory bodies world-wide to become a routine surgery that can be done anywhere in safety.

It will also cost substantially more than an Oculus Quest :-)

Gwyneth Llewelyn

... oh wait. Actually, it looks like I wasn't very original about Horizon becoming the 'new' PlayStation Home. Someone else had the same idea a few weeks ago and even made a video about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHEhegSczXQ

Cisop Sixpence

No legs?! Looks like the participants all have to wear those closed-off VR Headsets. I'd personally prefer to be able see reality at the same time, either like I already do with Second Life, or maybe with Augmented Reality glasses, oddly enough this video shows a company back in 2014 called Meta that had augmented reality glasses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJNnX3OaCTY

Tonia Thraw

Old friends are the very thing that is depressing about Facebook itself. The need to desperately hang onto the past and people who would otherwise, without Facebook or now Metaverse abandon you. More hope to cling onto people who don't give a damned about you, but might hang out with you given a new shiny platform...

Count me the heck out.

Facebook always had the problem that it doesn't truly promote making NEW friends. The very basis of it is to cling onto your old and tired circles of friends, GAIN NOTHING. Stagnation is why Facebook is so... Horrible.

And yes, I am also prone to nostalgia, and there are people who I'd gladly see again, but Facebook doesn't allow for picking and choosing. And now, you can not pick and choose from your depressing past as a LEGLESS plush toy (that is literally the stuff that toy junk is made of)!

Iggy 1.0

"I've got two legs from my hips to the ground, and when I move 'em they walk around! And when I lift 'em they climb the stairs! And when I shave 'em they ain't go hairs."

Goodness, but this thing takes "lame" to an entirely new level.

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