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PANEL // How has Science Fiction Predicted the Coming of the Metaverse?

A panel of experts delivers an inspiring video session about science fiction and the metaverse at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #7.

Everybody’s talking about the metaverse at the moment. But as a term, it harks back at least to author Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash novel. Shared online universes have since been a mainstay of film and TV. In this fun panel, our experts examine our current understanding of the metaverse through its depiction in science fiction, fantasy and popular culture.

The metaverse in all its messy glory

At the online conference Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #7 (July 2021), Kelly Vero (Core Game), Stefan Kreutzer (Behaviour Interactive), Louis Savy (SCI-FI LONDON), Houston Howard (One 3 Creative), Tanavi Patel (Robby The Robot’s Waiting) and Richard Edwards (Total Film/SFX/TechRadar) talk about representations of the metaverse both in fiction and in reality. In particular, they discuss the various ways it can blur the lines between what’s real and what’s not.

With the way technology is advancing today, it seems that the metaverse can be an all-encompassing experience from the cradle to the grave. It can affect everything from the Internet Of Things, through the concerts a person will attend, to their digital funeral.

Still, there will always be warnings that surround the metaverse. This is exactly what science fiction has always been good at pointing out. When all is said and done, can these developments snowball into something less than ideal?

On ethics and storytelling

Regardless of how we feel about it, the advent of the metaverse is inevitable. The panel goes on to share deep insights on how science fiction teaches us to adapt. They also touch upon science fiction as a form of escapism. Moreover, the metaverse isn’t accessible to everyone at the moment, either. Will it provide a universal connection, someday?

On the other hand, the dawn of the metaverse also puts in question how creatives tell a story. For instance, no one story is better than the other just because it’s in a different format. The narrative isn’t worse just because it’s in a game. How, then, can a story be told in a more immersive way? What are the ways we can update the three-act structure as narratives become more interactive?

How can the metaverse affect real-life relationships? Can haptics improve to the point where you actually feel what you’re feeling from the digital world into the real world? Towards the end of this video session, the panel answers a few hand-picked questions from the audience to cap off the talk. 

This one-hour session is ideal for anyone who’s always been curious about whether or not what happens in the metaverse stays in the metaverse. It’s also a great watch for anyone who’s eager to see how community platforms can improve when it comes to content creation, or the developments in science fiction between the east and the west.

Written By

Catherine Dellosa Lo is a freelance writer by day and a geek by night. She constantly struggles between prying herself away from her PlayStation console and sniffing the comic books lined up in her bookshelf, to the dismay of her husband. She one day hopes to soar the skies as a superhero, but for now, she strongly believes in saving lives through her works in fiction.

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