Valve (Steam) boss, gaming legend Gabe Newell, is currently launching a radical attack on new trends such as NFT or the Metaverse. Most people who talk about Metaverse now have no idea, says the Steam boss. They would probably never have played an MMO.
Here is the situation:
- Gabe Newell is something like the “father of modern PC gaming”. He is an iconic game developer and entrepreneur who created the defining PC platform of our time, Steam.
- In recent years, there have been tech trends like “the Metaverse” that most gamers don’t really know what it’s supposed to be and why it’s so awesome. The Metaverse is apparently designed as a “virtual universe in which people and businesses are visually represented and interact and do business with each other”.
- Newell is now commenting on this trend as part of the “Steam Deck”: “Metaverse” presentation. It’s old hat for him.
Steam boss used to farm gold in WoW and didn’t earn badly
Here is what Newell says about the metaverse: In an interview with PCGamer, he takes a critical look at the current metaverse discussion. According to him, there are get-rich-quick schemes around the metaverse. For him as an MMO player, this is nothing new anyway:
“Most people who talk about the metaverse have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. And they’ve apparently never played an MMO before. They’re like, ‘Oh, you got these customizable avatars!’ And I I’m like, go to La Noscea in Final Fantasy XIV and tell me this isn’t a problem that was solved ten years ago. This isn’t some big novelty that you just made up.”
In any case, even science fiction writers would have covered the idea of a metaverse decades ago. Newell says he is a friend of author Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash). He is someone who is now considered one of the fathers of cyberspace with William Gibson (necromancer).
Every time Newell meets Stephenson these days, he gets upset about the latest silly “Metaverse” story. Tech companies today wouldn’t understand that the idea of a “metaverse” was depicted as dangerous in novels of the time.
New Metaverse Fans Are “Late To The Party” But Are Bringing Support
Is there a metaverse? Newell is rather optimistic: he thinks things will work out. But many Metaverse fans are probably behind the times right now:
“Obviously the game industry has been exploring these techniques for a long time. It’s interesting to see how people act now who come to the party so late and see what they’re going to bring, other than people wanting to give them a lot of money for some magical reason. But in the end, a useful technique will prevail, so I’m not too worried about that.”
MMO fans struggle to see more ‘Metaverse’ than ‘Second Life’
It’s behind this: Gabe Newell explains why it’s so hard for players to grasp what’s “unique” about the idea of a metaverse. Because vision ultimately feels like an MMO that relates to the real world of business, similar to Second Life.
If someone explains to you the fantastic idea that you can play an avatar in the “metaverse” and customize it, as an MMO player you shrug your shoulders. We’ve been doing this for decades and call it “character creation”.
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