Saturday, January 22, 2022

Life and Love in Metaverse Times



A confluence of disparate events led me to the subject of this week’s post.


Perhaps that’s because I’ve spent much of the week sitting on the sofa in my sun room, starring over the top of my laptop at a snow-covered pasture, hoping that inspiration would prance by and lead me out of the dead end I’m stuck in with a new book I’m writing.


I’ve found that diversions often help in such circumstances, and so I yielded to all that tempted me, including several long talks with my son. He is a cleric in Texas and a good friend of the Texas rabbi who, together with several members of the rabbi’s congregation, was held hostage this week at gunpoint in the congregation’s place of worship. After a half-day of intense media coverage and law enforcement activity, the captives saved themselves by exercising real-life ingenuity and courage.


Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker

In other news, Microsoft agreed to purchase Activision Blizzard, a leader in game development and interactive entertainment, for $68,700,000,000 (if you don’t have enough toes, that’s $68.7 billion), which pundits see as Microsoft’s bid to be a dominant player in the “metaverse.”  A place vaguely familiar to me from when I read of Facebook’s recent decision to change its corporate name from Facebook, Inc. to Meta Platforms, Inc.  And then there’s our blogmate Ovidia’s brilliant post on Monday, titled, “Murder is Everywhere in the Metaverse.”


Returning for a moment to real life, let’s not forget that Russia’s poised to invade Ukraine in what will undoubtedly be a raging bloody war should it happen… plus there’s China…the pandemic…recurring climatic disasters…etcetera, etcetera.


The Fates had signaled me: It’s time I learn more about this Metaverse.  And, so, I did…or at least I tried.


As best I can tell, it’s a fantasy parallel universe of sorts in which those who choose (at least for now there’s choice involved) to live a digital life alongside their flesh and blood “real” one, can do so. That may sound like a plot line from a Matrix film, but HEY it’s where the big boys of enhanced reality are betting big bucks our world’s headed.


And why are they prepared to invest so much?  Because they see unimaginable amounts of money to be made by those who control this new universe.


On the simplest level, think of the number of people playing video/enhanced reality games today who pay for the game, pay for the device that allows them to play it (which will soon be your smart phone), and pay additional sums for add-on gimmicks intended to increase their enjoyment and/or competitive advantage.  If you don’t play, just check with your children or grandchildren who do, and ask whether they’ve created an avatar of themselves to participate in the games, and whether they’ve ever paid for extras intended to enhance their avatar’s prowess.



Those who create these games are often brilliant marketers, offering enticing purchases that excite the buyer, bringing immediate rushes with each purchase. Yes, like an addiction.


So, imagine the Metaverse, a place where you simply don your reality modifying glasses and are
transported away from all the grief in your life and struggles in the world to a place where you create how you look, who you associate with, where you get to go, and how you choose to live.  All without any restrictions or prohibitions.  Of course, there is a price to pay if you want your Avatar-self to have the most powerful weapon, or–if you’re so inclined—to wear extravagant designer fashions, drive the hot car of your dreams, and enjoy the best of places, but even then at only a miniscule fraction of their real-life costs (multiplied by millions if not billions of potential purchasers).


One can go on and on about this, but as I see it, we’re headed toward a stunting of human interactions even more telling than what our smart phones have wrought upon us. 


And let’s not ignore an elephant in the room. Based upon statistics tracking Internet usage, pornography is a major draw. Hard to imagine how that would change once users or their avatars get to participate with whatever partner(s) they choose to conjure, and to employ add-on devices mimicking the real-life experience.


Think about it…and the effect such ready access to a fantasy sex life it will assuredly have on real-life sex, romance, relationships, marriage, birth rates, and a lot of other things. 


There’s certainly a lot to think about when considering this dawn of a new universe, but in doing so, I cannot help but wonder if those who escaped certain death in Texas would have achieved the same successful outcome had they not had their real-world experience and courage to rely upon.


God bless them.  God bless us all.


Now back to starring at the pasture.




  1. Aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? Please get back to that book of yours. . .I prefer Kaldis as my escape valve from this life you've described. . .(I also think you need to get back to Greece) ;-)

    1. I've actually finished a new standalone and have waded into a new Kaldis book of exciting potential. Yes, I'd much prefer writing it on site in Greece, but life must go on with us playing the cards we're dealt. As for the downer tone of this post, MIE is where I offer my observations on the real world, for better or for verse. Personally, I prefer writing fiction, and find mystery writing an exceptionally terrific antidote for the times in which we live. Mysteries by their nature restore order to a fractured society by virtually always ending in an optimistic resolution of sorts.

      As for the play, it was billed as a farce but ended in horror. Much like a recent presidency some might say.

    2. Truth is stranger than fiction - for sure! And that is why I am waiting for my next Kaldis getaway!! xx

  2. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of your new expertise. I'm told that Kaldis Undressed is the title of your new book.

    1. I dare not think what my browsing history would look like should I go off in that direction.

  3. The shrew’s metaverse is the library. Been there. It’s excellent!

  4. Very well stated, for an Old Fart. I, too, am feeling my years. I used to be on the bleeding edge of technology, now I feel, more and more, like, "Go away and leave me alone. I'm sick and tired of trying to keep up!" Oy.

    1. I think you mean I'm a "gas." Thank you for that EvKa. That said, if you're feeling lost in this brave new world, I dare not think of who isn't.

  5. Thanks for this. I'm so glad the Texas rabbi and his congregation came out safe. Our knowledge of America comes so much from media here that some of the neighbours were saying, 'why don't they just send in the SEAL team?'. I don't know enough about the metaverse but is it possible that now (early adopters phase) those venturing into the metaverse go for porn because they have less sex in their real lives? Like Colonial Expansion brought Sailors (no sex with women for months by the time they arrived) and Spinster Missionary Ladies ('no sex' women). Now we have porn addicts and computer geeks...

    1. Yes, Ovidia, the Texas situation had a thankful resolution. As for where your knowledge of America comes from, I suspect most Americans get their knowledge from less informed sources than yours! However, on the SEAL team point, that's an easy one to answer. US military units are basically forbidden from intervening in domestic law enforcement situations. However, the FBI and many local government police departments have specialized SWAT units trained to act is such situations...but storming the fortress is the least desirable solution, as they much prefer using trained hostage negotiators to defuse the situation.

      On defusing another situation you raise--pornography--I think it's safe to say it's been around since the first "man" picked up a sharp rock to scribble on a cave wall. As to the real life sex lives of those addicted to porn, I've no idea, but am certain there are such statistics and studies readily available on the Internet. Just be careful of your search terms. :)