John Carmack gives a few words of warning to Meta and her plans for the metaverse

John Carmack, who wears an early prototype of the Oculus Rift headset.

John Carmack, who wears an early prototype of the Oculus Rift headset.

Oculus’ technical engineer, consultant John Carmack, has long tuned the idea of ​​the “metaverse” as it will. among the first to point out. But co-founder of id Software conducted much of his large-scale main Connect report on Thursday, which sounded rather skeptical about the plans of the recently rebranded Meta (formerly Facebook) to build this metaverse.

“I am really worried [the metaverse], and I agree to the vision, “Carmack said, before adding quickly:” I was quite active against every single meta-global attempt that we tried to deploy within the company, even from the time before the acquisition. ” this seemingly contradiction is somewhat ironic, as Carmack says: “I have good reason to believe that creating a metaverse is not really the best way to end the metaverse.”

Today, Carmack said: “The most obvious way to the metacosm is that you have a single universal program, something like RobloxHowever, Carmack added: “I doubt that one program will reach such a level to capture everything.” This is because one bad decision by the creators of this meta-universe, surrounded by walls, can cut off too many opportunities for users and developers. “I just don’t believe that one player – one company – will make the right decisions,” he said.

<em>Roblox</em> can turn into a metaverse, says Carmack, but one-man control makes it unlikely. “src =” https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/roblox2-640×360.jpg “width = “640” height = “360” srcset = “https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/roblox2-1280×720.jpg 2x”/><figcaption class=
Zoom in / Roblox it could turn into a metaverse, Carmack says, but one-person control makes it unlikely.

The idea of ​​a metaverse, according to Carmack, could be a trap for “architectural astronauts.” These are the programmers and designers who “want to look at things only from the highest level,” he said, omitting detailed information about how these things actually work.

These so-called astronauts of architecture, Carmack said, “want to talk abstractly about how we will have common objects that can contain other objects that can have references to them, and rights to them, and we can transfer control from one to another. others. “This kind of high wave of his hands makes Carmack” just break up [his] Cut your hair … because that’s not what really matters when you’re creating something. “

“But we’re here,” Carmack continued. “Mark Zuckerberg has decided that now is the time to build a metaverse, so the huge wheels are spinning, resources are flowing, and efforts will certainly be made.”

Create products, not architecture

Carmack used his own experience Doom as an example of the value of specific product-based thinking. Instead of just writing abstract game engines, he wrote games where “some technology … turned out to be reusable enough to be applied to other things,” he said. “But it was always driven by the technology itself, and the technology was what enabled the product and then almost accidentally turned on some other things after it.”

On the other hand, building a clean infrastructure and focusing on “securing the future and planning broad generalizations” risks “complicating what you are trying to do today in the name of what you hope for.” do tomorrow and [then] it doesn’t really exist or it doesn’t really work when you want to do it, “he said.

To that end, Carmack has praised specific meta-products, such as Horizon Worlds and Horizon Workrooms, which can be judged on the value they bring to users. Interacting with other avatars in Workrooms, in particular, can be much more enjoyable than looking at a wall with Zoom’s faces, Carmack said. “You have to actually use things to get value from them,” he said. In order for Workrooms to work, technical issues also needed to be addressed in detail to help with unexpected sound processing and latency issues, solutions that can now be applied to many other products in the metaverse, he added.

Playing a show like Facebook Connect next year in the metaverse would be a great proof of concept, Carmack said.
Zoom in / Playing a show like Facebook Connect next year in the metaverse would be a great proof of concept, Carmack said.

But while Carmack identified some “good things” about the shared presence of virtual reality possible in Horizon Worlds, he noted that it was “far from the metacosm of our visions.” Although it’s nice to talk to 16 people in the Worlds room, he said, it’s far from something like a real-world conference where “thousands of people” could “chat” and wander to whim sessions and conversations. To fully create such a personal conference experience without having to travel long distances is something we have always pointed out the value of VR, he said.

With that vision in mind, Carmack said he “puts on the gauntlet,” that we should do [Facebook Connect] in the metauniverse “at next year’s show. “I will be really disappointed if next year I sit here in front of a video group and a camera in physical reality to talk,” he said. “I want to walk around the halls or walk around the stage like my avatar in front of thousands of people, getting the tape on several platforms.”

Focusing on the mission of moving Connect to the metaverse, Carmack said, is a specific goal that “makes sure we do something that is valuable at least to us, and then most likely it will be valuable to many other places.”

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