“The supporters of the metaverse wish, consciously or not, that the disciplinary utopia of the video game be transposed to life”

LThe metaverse still exists only as a project, and yet it already occupies a considerable place in the media sphere. He is praised in official speeches, TV reports, newspaper columns. Other voices warn of its dangers, even if that means citing critical works to give itself a subversive appearance. But we discuss the device as if it were already there, without ever raising the issue of its existence.

To justify their enthusiasm, supporters of the metaverse They promise us more intense communications, a stronger social bond, simulations that allow playful learning, unlimited creativity, etc. The Internet already allows teleworking and videoconferencing; video games, a virtual change of scenery. the metaverse intends to combine the two. Within the simulation, the most boring of the meetings will take on the air of a game.

Fantasy will reign supreme

Thanks to virtual reality, the participant will be immersed in a total video game. Thanks to augmented reality, this video game will overflow the screen, contaminating our perception of reality to the point of becoming one with it. Your association will seem to fulfill the promises of the imagination.

Fantasy will reign supreme, as will the miracle, since, in virtual reality, any contradiction with reality can be suspended; and in augmented reality, the slightest gesture can take on a magical meaning, be embellished and enlarged by the simulacrum.

But this imaginary is not as free as it seems, to the extent that it is objectified. It is no longer the product of a dreaming conscience, it is a computer fantasy that implies a procedure to follow in order to enjoy it. It is here that the video game trade-off of simulated freedom versus actual slavery is on a completely different scale.

The fusion of the interface and reality will allow us to extend the quantification of our actions, and with it the rationalization of behavior. Grafted to our sight, the program will restore the data of our slightest actions. The participant will be in constant self-assessment, locked in feedback loops. It will adjust her behavior to increase or decrease the stat her life has become. Access to the wonderful information technologies, therefore, will be paid for: it will imply aligning all human activities with a process of economic valuation.

devastation of nature

This process, already well advanced with smartphones and their apps, has a bright future ahead of it. Ultimately, it is a certain interpretation of the world: that of commodity fetishism. – appearing all the more objective as it will seem to emanate from reality itself, which will replace the world.

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