The metaverse is coming. It was once a science-fiction fantasy, most notably in Neal Stephenson’s novel “Snow Crash,” of an all-encompassing virtual universe that would exist alongside the physical one. But technological advances have brought this transformation of human society close enough to reality to demand that we consider its consequences.
In the metaverse, a user might curate a digital avatar, like a character in a video game. Through the eyes of their avatar, they would experience a digital reality as active and engaging as the physical one. Some futurists believe that soon we might attend doctor’s appointments or class there.
But while the metaverse could revolutionize work and play, it is essential to remain wary of the dangers that will emerge if it subsumes daily life.