The metaverse is supposed to be the future, so it’s got the world buzzing with excitement. Hilariously, though, the prominence of the “futuristic” buzzword has caused old footage of digital worlds to explode on social media, largely driven by the fact that nobody really understands what the hell the metaverse actually is. And because the average person doesn’t know what the metaverse is, footage of shabby, lifeless digital universes that look worse than Roblox can pass off as unreleased cutting-edge tech.
In late January, for example, a reupload of a 2019 Facebook/Meta trailer went viral on Twitter, showcasing an awkward social virtual reality app called Horizon Worlds. Everyone thought it was a new announcement from Facebook, except it wasn’t. Somehow, this metaverse fakeout has happened more than once within the last year!
But going back to the viral ad: it tried to paint Horizon as this open and free place where folks could happily do anything and everything, while surrounded by friends all over the world. The happy-go-lucky vibe was out of The Good Place, the tweet noted, except of course, the TV show has a nefarious twist that makes the whole thing even weirder. The footage felt very artificial and ended up making a lot of people online kind of uncomfortable. Everyone depicted in the ad was a floating torso of endless smiles, sexless and toothless.