I seem to spend and extra-ordinary amount of time exemplifying what ‘the metaverse’ is.
I am not a futurist or philosopher — but felt like trying to visualise my interpretation of the metaverse interchange in this infographic. I confess I do subscribe to the discourses around connectivism.
Some of society today gathers at this interchange. The metaverse is not congruent to those displaced or consciously objecting to it. It exists regardless of political or ideological opinion.
Moreover, the ‘real world’ increasingly mirrors the metaverse. Part of what we want is unworldly (manage a cartoon farm, fight in a war, yell at politician) – yet infuses every aspect of life. You don’t need a spinal stem implant or drink Kool-aid. If you are jacked into the technology, you are part of world interface.
The metaverse offers tangible connections, whereby the latest knowledge and facts might be transferred; and intangible connections relating to the development of a critical inquiry approach to learning (anything); a stimulating and rejuvenating environment; a global connection beyond the individual level, making our digital-self a connected agent in a highly complex network of things.
There are repeated attempts to filters and partition this interchange by hierarchical structures. Employees, students and citizens endure FUD, filters, policy and socio-economic barriers that serve to impair diversity and create access-inequity in our ability to mine; construct and grow knowledge for own future. Rather than deal with the metaverse; those with incumbent social capital prefer to simplify the point of technological/human convergence as ICT.
I make a distinction between ICT and The Metaverse – because the world does.
Consider 1:1 laptops in the classroom. While a teacher may be using ICT, they may not be plugging learners into the interchange that exists in the real world. ICT is unrealistic, the ‘metaverse’ — an authors invention, is now an expanding reality for those whom have the ability and desire to do so.
The characterstics of ICT are limited by selective and contestable interpretations of what ‘information, communication and technology’ are. Generally, ICT is based on physical reality – the computer, the netbook, the filter, the modem, the spreadsheet, the virus, the internet – the syllabus demands. To reinforce this, ICT-czars tend to prescribe (or ban) ‘tools’ to be used in order to perpetuate their particular whimsical belief. ICT is not the metaverse.
think of it this way: sculptors sometimes say ‘the sculpture was already in the rock; I just found it’. And, quite literally, it makes no sense to say that the sculpture was not in the rock – where else would it be? Stephen Downes (2006)
The metaverse is salient to knowledge – and the connections we make in acquiring, distributing and using it. By visualizing the current ‘accessible’ facets, I hope that it overcomes the partitioning problem. Yes you have 1:1 laptops; but in order to take in the potential of the metaverse – as a network – the stimulus, connections, people, objects, articles (things) need to have an portal. Chances are, if your predominant experience of ICT though a portal – your experience, connections and knowledge is more erroneous than someone with access to the metaverse. The problem then becomes – who do you trust to lead you, now that you don’t need managing.