One of my favorite things about Second Life is visiting the often extraordinary spaces that residents have created. In Dreamers by Cica Ghost, fifteen sightless figures turn their faces skyward. Some share their visions.
As one moves into these dreams, the avatar is transported to different spaces to wander and think, before choosing to return to the Dreamers to consider another vision. It is truly a beautiful installation, and I encourage you to visit and wander through. As with visits to compelling places in the real world, taking the time to sit, be quiet, and reflect takes the experience to a heightened level.
This last week, I’ve read a number of articles online about the Metaverse and what conditions it will take to actually achieve. Realism is one. In an article for ACM Computing surveys, Dionisio, Burns, and Gilbert discuss where we currently are and where we need to go to reach the Metaverse. When they say realism, they mean that the Metaverse must seem real enough that users are immersed in an environment that is so convincingly life-like that we completely believe the space, as much as I believe that I am currently sitting in my living room and drinking a cup of coffee. So when we say that, and I look at the images that I’ve posted, it would mean that those sunflowers would not be flat, that Francesca’s hair would truly be hair and not a still, sculpted suggestion of a hairstyle. Further, I would be in these dream visions looking at them myself, and not seeing Francesca as I do a third person.
Yet the space is compelling. Ah, we do stand at the edge! I see us just — well, it would seem moments — from breaking through to the realism that the Metaverse requires. I dream about reaching it.