Our society will be seeing an entire move into the Metaverse. Environments or areas formally in real life would be mass “converted” into the Metaverse. This essentially means taking an environment in real life and making an equivalent in the Metaverse with the same utility; thus creating a need to use the Metaverse since converted areas can only be access via the Metaverse. For example, converting a generic office building from real life into the Metaverse.
Less Complex Environments
Furthermore, converting an office building is a good idea since it is a less complex environment (LCE), which is an environment easily simulatable in VR. Office buildings as an example consist of objects such as cubicles, computers, papers, staplers, etc. All these objects are all easy to simulate, thus an office building is an LCE.
In addition these LCEs would be initially converted since naturally they’re easy to convert. In fact, this exact example is already being converted by Meta in Horizon Workrooms. Afterwards more complex areas would be converted as the Metaverse’s engine (eg. physics, objects, etc) becomes more realistic. However nothing will be converted just for the sake of conversion and there needs to be an incentive, so building off the same example I’ll list benefits.
Benefits of a Workplace in Metaverse
Firstly, working in the Metaverse combines the benefits of working from home and at a workplace. Secondly from a financial perspective, buying a server to simulate a workplace is cheaper than renting a physical office building. Thirdly, working in the Metaverse allows individuals around the globe to work together, thus working well with the trend of globalization and allowing diverse workplaces. No longer shall people be separated by geography.
Fourthly, equipment or objects can be simulated instead of bought. For example, there’s no need to buy a real EXPO marker, when you could just summon one in the Metaverse for free with basically the same use. Additionally simulated objects can have infinite durability (eg. knife is always sharp), infinite amounts of things (eg. staplers with infinite amount of staples or never dry EXPO), etc; the only limitation being the software for the object itself breaking because it’s outdated.
Limitations and Drawbacks
However inherently the Metaverse has its limitations. No matter what, the Metaverse won’t be 1 to 1 in terms of realism and some environments or things can’t or won’t all be converted. Small things such as the cells in virtual plants replicating, simulating the electricity moving within a circuit board of a virtual computer, dust physics with dust accumulation, etc will probably not be converted; but the majority of individuals will probably overlook these small elements.
Also people inherently feel sick from VR. This sickness is often referred to as “VR Sickness” and similar to motion sickness in many aspects. Sensory conflict theory theorizes that VR sickness occurs because of a mismatch between what the user perceives and what the body perceives. For example, eyes see movement but the vestibular system doesn’t sense movement, thus those senses are at odds.
Therefore VR sickness gives a sort of time limit on how much time can be spent within the Metaverse; plus there aren’t any known complete cures, though there are some things that relieve symptoms such as. However there is one hypothetical potential cure which will be discussed in part 3.
Ultimately this example lists just one of many benefits and drawbacks of conversion. Showing there is mostly an incentive for conversion into the Metaverse. Due to these incentives, more environments are converted. Thus naturally people will stay in the Metaverse more since there’s a need, which is a point that will be discussed in a future article.