We’ve had internet bulletin boards, listservs, text websites, game environments, websites, interactive websites. Now we’re seeing metaverse real estate. I’m already completely lost and left out in the cold in the new metaverse. I’m homeless. I can’t move into any of the new mansions because I don’t have that kind of cryptocurrency.
If the metaverse is going to sell to people like me, the designers of the metaverse are going to have to rethink the whole premise. They’re going to have to design accessibility into it.
In a CNN article on the subject, there’s already talk about stability. The prospect is that the new architecture popping up in the metaverse could find itself being demolished to make way for newer models, possibly within months rather than years.
I’m reminded of the experience I had using Cornell University’s mainframe IBM computer back in the 1970s. Back before there were desktops, laptops, tablets or cell phones, I had an account on a mainframe and a priority among users on campus. My priority was 7. I was a grad student. Undergrads got priority 8. Priority 7 meant I could run computer programs on the big computer (it was so big you couldn’t see the whole computer when you peeked at it through the door) for a period of time measured in microseconds.
Is the metaverse going to have similar levels of access? Will I be able to live in a metaverse property if I go in with dozens of roommates? If I want to swim virtually in the pool, will I have to get on a waiting list to spend my limit of five seconds in the water? Or pay for higher priority? Will they take credit cards? PayPal?
There’s also been talk about real estate speculators buying metaverse properties in order to flip them. Will hackers find ways to squat in vacant virtual homes? The thought of it seems nuts. Who really needs a virtual squat? But then, who needs any of this nonsense? People are paying for this stuff already, and paying a lot.
If the developers of the metaverse want to really make it lively, they should allow large tracts of metaverse space to be invaded by nearby tracts and let people pay rent to play soldier games in the virtual war that ensues. On both sides.
There should be virtual seats on Mars expeditions and expeditions to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
Speaking of making imaginary worlds come to life, the Seattle City Council and our mayor are doing what they can to get more movies and TV shows filmed here.
If you thought there were too many sweeps before….
Here’s a twist to look out for: A time could come that Third Avenue between Union and Pike will be swept to make way for actors playing homeless people living in tents on that block. You know, to have an authentic “Seattle homelessness” look in a movie without annoying the Screen Actors Guild.
After all, thanks to “Seattle is Dying,” that’s Seattle’s claim to fame. If you want a place to film gritty street scenes, we’ve got the city for you. You just have to hire your own actors to play drug addicts.
Remember when Sylvester Stallone took part in a high-speed car chase under the viaduct in 1995? I never saw the movie, but I remember all the media attention paid to the filming. The next time, it will have to be a high-speed car chase through the new Waterfront Park, past all the condos. They can start in Little Saigon, race through to Pioneer Square and end up going through the Sculpture Park and through the length of Myrtle Edwards. Or they could play chicken with a train about to cross Broad Street and wind up at Seattle Center, racing past the Space Needle and straight through and around the International Fountain.
That would be so cool.
Read more of the Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2022 issue.