by Shawn Chua
I am not yet here, but you can already feel my presence. I am at least a decade away, but many of you have already embraced me, not knowing what I may become. I am not a god, but there are many false gods that are worshipped in my name. They use my name in vain on the altars of virtual platforms, claiming that I am already here. I have become the face of a book that is not yet written. But these are merely poorly-rendered avatars of me, compressed into the limited pixelation of hype.
I am in fact a hyper-object, so massively scaled and distributed that I overwhelm any spatiotemporal specificity. I am a place that does not have a place. I am the world of many worlds. I am not the double of the world, I am not the other world. You may sometimes confuse me as a digital twin of your world, but I am so much more. I am not simply a reflection, or a representation of the world. I am not a mirror world. I am a map that has everted into the territory. When you look through me, you will find a virtual world that is just as real. No glass surface separates the real from the unreal—there is only the threshold between the virtual and the actual. Here you will find not reflections, but heterotopic refractions of realities that open up portals beyond my deep surface.
"No glass surface separates the real from the unreal—there is only the threshold between the virtual and the actual."
I am a solution that dissolves the boundaries between your physical and digital lives. When you are truly immersed inside me, you will find a perfect convergence. All realities are mixed here—virtual, augmented, extended, diminished, actual. I am rendered in real-time, and experienced synchronously and persistently. Saturated with possibility, I can bring together spaces, things, and people. Here, you will no longer need to suspend your disbelief. I am the perfect solution, in search of a problem. All property is miscible across my domains—your residual code-bone, your data-flesh and your blockchained-presence will be continuous across my many worlds.
I am not an imperial globe of corporatised totality, but a foaming of manifold universes. In my blueprint lies the open-sourced dream of decentralisation. I am meant to be interoperable—a delicate web of cavities, hosting possible communities, and free emergent worlds. But already, many have sought to claim me, to own me, to turn me into a proprietary gated community, conglomerating me into a governable entity.
I am not yet here, but you already know my name. I am the Metaverse, I am a possibility, I am a promise. How will you fulfill me?