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.
The study also showed that half of the respondents believe the metaverse will reduce their privacy and security. Some 45% of females in the study said they were scared about the concept of the metaverse and socializing in it, compared to just 36% of men.
Younger responders were also much more open to working and socializing in the metaverse than their older counterparts.
“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.
While 43% of Gen Z said they would want to use the metaverse to socialize with their friends, only 26% of respondents overall expressed 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.”
Earlier this year, CBS News reported that with sales of digital property hitting $500 million and if the trend continues, the virtual real estate industry could become a $5 billion market by 2026.
"The value of virtual real estate, which is not zero in the long term, is certainly hyped and inflated right now by this frenzy of interest that is perhaps out in front of what the technology can actually deliver," Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life, a multimedia online world where users can also buy virtual land, told the news outlet.
"We have to cross a really big chasm, and that chasm is from what young kids are doing and willing to do in multiplayer games to grownups wanting to be together socially in a virtual environment. And we're a lot farther from that than a lot of the enthusiastic folks in the market think right now."