Tech Billionaires See VR As A Way To Shut Out Real World Social Change

  • THE FUTURE OF virtual reality is far more than just video games. Silicon Valley sees the creation of virtual worlds as the ultimate free-market solution to a political problem. In a world of increasing wealth inequality, environmental disaster, and political instability, why not sell everyone a device that whisks them away to a virtual world free of pain and suffering?
  • Doom co-creator and former CTO of Oculus John Carmack told Joe Rogan during a 2020 interview, “People react negatively to any talk of economics, but it is resource allocation. You have to make decisions about where things go. Economically, you can deliver a lot more value to a lot of people in the virtual sense.”
  • Worse, the virtual world will be one owned and controlled by the companies that create them. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a Facebook-branded set of VR goggles strapped to an emaciated human face—forever. Virtual worlds can be anything we want them to be, but Silicon Valley sees them as a place to push digital mansions and movie theaters on the hoi polloi. It will be a simulacrum, an ersatz world like our own with the pain edited out.

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