WORLD - Metaverse: What Is It?

Arno Froese

When we look back in 50 years’ time, it is likely that the 2D internet we now all use will seem laughably archaic.

Not only will the internet likely no longer exist behind a screen, but it is probable that we will interact with it differently.

We’ll manipulate objects using augmented reality (AR), explore virtual-reality (VR) worlds, and meld the real and the digital in ways we can currently not imagine.

The metaverse has become an over-hyped term, so it’s important to note that it doesn’t actually yet exist. And even those invested in the concept disagree about exactly what it will be.

Will rival virtual worlds interconnect in a way that simply doesn’t happen at the moment between competing technologies? Will we spend more time there than in the real world? Will we need entirely new rules to govern these new spaces?

None of these questions have answers yet, but that hasn’t stopped a barrage of interest and hyperbole as firms see a new way of making money. 

Herman Narula wants the metaverse to be radically different to the real world.

“Why would we want an office in the metaverse that looks like our real office?” he says. “The whole point of creative spaces in new realities is to expand our experiences, not to simply replicate what we’ve already had in the real world.”

Alex Rice, the co-founder of online security company HackerOne, thinks there needs to be a lot of thought put into the design of the metaverse before any firm can even consider letting their employees loose in it.

“Imagine something innocuous like a water-cooler conversation in an office,” he says. “Imagine that it’s happening in a fully-monitored metaverse environment—that is certainly going to have life-changing consequences.

“People could be fired outright for saying something they think is in a private, informal conversation with a colleague that is now subject to mass corporate surveillance.”, 9 January 2023

Arno's Commentary

We publish just a few excerpts from the BBC article, authored by Jane Wakefield, to illustrate that something is in the works, which even scientists have a hard time agreeing on what form it will take. As far as the outcome for society, of particular interest are the last three words: “mass corporate surveillance.”

With the beginning of the internet, we entered the age of communication like never before. Just a little over a century ago, communication was limited to written form: books, periodicals, reports, letters, etc. The USDA explained communication 100 years ago, stating: “The heliograph only worked when the sun was shining!” Alexander Graham Bell is credited as the inventor of the telephone in 1876 and the graphophone in 1886. This device was limited to the intellectual elite, the government, and the well-to-do, and not for the general public.

What a different world we live in today. Anyone, at any time, can communicate with someone living anywhere in the world—not only by voice, but even by high-quality, real-time video. Elderly people remember that when calling long-distance or overseas, one of the first questions was, “What’s the weather like there?” That has become a useless question, because on a smartphone, one can check the weather anytime for any place globally.

What is the significance of these developments for believers? New technologies do not recognize geopolitical borders, but totally bridge over language barriers, political convictions, and values. In summary, the world will continue to unite in two ways: first, by becoming independent from God the Creator. This leads to devaluing the written Word of God, the Bible. Second, when rejecting the Creator, humankind is forced to create his own object of worship, which ultimately will be Satan’s masterpiece: his superman, the Antichrist.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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