Is Zuckerberg’s Meta playing catch up to video games?

Hey all,

Wanted to share this article I came across which discusses how much of what Mark Zuckerberg has been pushing as the promise of Meta has existed to some degree within video games for years. Experiences like virtual hangouts, avatars and exploring virtual worlds exist in games from Roblox to Assasin’s Creed. Here’s a quick excerpt from the article to illustrate this:

Marne Levine (Meta chief business officer): “In the metaverse, you’ll be able to teleport not just to any place, but to any time as well. Ancient Rome. Imagine standing on the streets, hearing the sounds, visiting the markets, to get a sense of the rhythm of life over 2,000 years ago.”

Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed Origins” and “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” already both offer convincing, well-researched facsimiles of life over 2,000 years ago in their historical tour features. Both games allow players to freely roam through meticulously designed representations of ancient Egypt and Greece, including standing in marketplaces, watching iconic monuments being built and even learning factual information about them. The historical environments are so detailed, in fact, that Ubisoft’s recreation of Notre Dame was offered up to help with restoration efforts after the famed cathedral caught fire.
The article explains that much of what Meta aims to bring to the table is essentially uniting meta experiences into an integrated metaverse, rather than having separate experiences on different platforms. However, this would require unprecedented cooperation across all sectors. Zuckerburg is also placing heavy emphasis on VR technology, which as we’ve mentioned in class has failed to take off in a meaningful way. As a result, I would argue it seems unlikely that Meta will be able to make significant improvements on the meta experiences video games have already presented any time soon.

Overall, the article illustrates the overarching pattern of video games being somewhat overlooked as central tools of our culture. As the author concludes:

In reality, this was a news release about a company rebrand to spin the fact that Zuckerberg and Co. are catching up to the concept of the metaverse. They just happen to be a little late in hopping on board. Video game companies have already been hard at work building it for years.