11 Aug 2021 1:57 PM +00:00 UTC

Pokemon Go Founder Rants Against the Metaverse Calling it a Nightmare

Pokemon Go is a game developed by Niantic which has helped augmented reality games get more traction. The company's CEO, John Hanke, isn't a fan of the ‘metaverse' which was made popular by other science fiction properties like Ready Player One.

In a lengthy blog post on the Niantic webpage, the co-founder talked about how the metaverse represents something completely different from what Niantic is trying to build with their augmented reality games and other projects.

The metaverse is a virtual reality allowing users to enter using avatars. Some examples of the metaverse are Sword Art Online and Ready Player One. Hanke stated that the metaverse is a cool concept from a technological point of view. He added that it came from one of his favorite science fiction writers, Neal Stephenson. The term was coined in the novel Snow Crash in 1922.

Pokemon Go
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Credit: Pixabay

Hanke continued to say that many people seem very interested in bringing the near-future vision of a virtual world to life. It included some of the biggest names in the world of gaming and technology. The CEO proceeded to say that these novels were giving warnings on a dystopian future where technology has gone wrong.


Hanke said, "I'm not denying that the metaverse is a cool concept from a technology point of view; it comes from one of my favorite sci-fi writers, Neal Stephenson, who coined the term in his 1992 novel, 'Snow Crash.' A lot of people these days seem very interested in bringing this near-future vision of a virtual world to life, including some of the biggest names in technology and gaming. But in fact, these novels served as warnings about a dystopian future of technology gone wrong."

The metaverse's idea is built around the idea of escaping reality. Niantic's goal is to augment reality with its products and apps. He explained the differences between Niantic's aim and the metaverse's ideology. He said that they can use technology to augment reality where it encourages people to walk outside, stand up and connect people which is Niantic's aim. Meanwhile, the metaverse is basically "replacing" the core human experiences rather than making them better.

Hanke added that their AR technology respects the people utilizing their services and even those who don't use it.

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