technology is advancing in the space of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), digitized social rating, and even blockchain supporting a decentralized structure .
I’m sure you can think of a movie that predicted the use of one of the above technologies long before its time. The Terminator, Matrix, and Simpsons Show are some famous examples.
One of the most recent correct predictions was Black mirror vs. Metaverse.
Can one believe that the Netflix series “Black Mirror” released in 2015 could have predicted the launch of the Metaverse and the future of our digital world?
In October 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced the rebranding of Facebook as Meta and outlined his vision for next-generation social media. According to Mark Zuckerberg’s vision, meta will unite the physical and digital worlds to become one.
WE KEEP FOCUSING ON BEING THE BEST AT BUILDING SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
The Black Mirror Metaverse episode was the first episode of the fourth season called “USS Callister”. In this episode, Robert Daly, a talented programmer and co-founder of multiplayer online games, takes revenge for the lack of recognition from his colleagues.
According to Black Mirror, the Metaverse is a fully immersive online realm identical to the real world but based virtually.
The entire concept is based on augmented reality-based technology, which allows general users to become their avatar characters in the Metaverse. Metaverse will allow you to have a new identity in the digital world.
You can interact with your fellow avatars and socialize just like in the real world, with the only difference being physical presence.
Metaverse is a virtual reality that allows us to escape from reality and enter a new one. It is not an alternative to the real world. Society in this new world is much more diverse than ours.
There are other popular tech apps that Black Mirror predicted along with the Metaverse.
5 Predictions Black Mirror Made About Metaverse and Future Tech in 2015
Avatars as a New Trend
In Season 2, Episode 3, “The Waldo Moment,” the main character becomes famous by using his avatar as a proxy. Surprisingly, he captured his comedic performance and made the most of it. His cartoon was able to criticize people on live television.
We realize this concept with today’s world; We may see avatars becoming more and more popular, especially after Apple’s recent Animoji program that creates animal emoji avatars based on people’s emotions.
Additionally, motion capture technology has progressed to the point where live projection of player performances onto a digital avatar is possible.
I can’t see without a screen
In the second episode of the second series called “White Bear”, a young woman wakes up and cannot remember anything. People here can’t take their eyes off their devices and constantly ignore communication with her. They are continuously recording and watching the protagonist through their devices.
Now wait a second and think about it. Don’t you see a similar type of behavior when getting commissions between people?
Even in today’s real world, people are so addicted to their smartphones and gadgets that they are unaware of what exists around them.
Today, people are more concerned with recording a crime than with trying to stop it. It seems that this addiction is also being ignored by the natural sense of humanity.
Growing addiction to social media
ratings Black Mirror’s “Nosedive” depicts a world where looks and popularity are everything.
Black Mirror episode Nosedive highlights the charms of appearance and the popularity of online likes/ranking. It represents a world where people are judged based on their various preferences.
The plot revolves around the heroine Lacie, who aspires to high-five so she can live in a better house in a charming neighborhood. His need for a high grade crushes his life and devastates his personality.
If we compare this to the Metaverse, today’s social networks, and even professional networks like LinkedIn, today everyone wants to be famous and liked more online.
The influencer marketing industry is built on the same concept: popularity, reach, likes, and influence on specific audience segments online.
Record your story to relive memories
The episode “Your Whole Story” featured in Black Mirror is an example of how technology can invade privacy and affect the way we live our lives. In the episode, people live in a world where they have access to their memories through a device called a grain, which is implanted in their foreheads. They can replay memories, share them with others, or delete them entirely.
The main concern about our future is that we will live in a world where we will be constantly monitored and our privacy will be taken away from us. These concerns have been amplified by the Black Mirror program.
The episode opens with a couple, Liam and FFion, considering recording their memories for posterity. They are shown to argue about this, and FFion storms out of Liam’s office in anger.
The next scene shows Liam at home, watching his memories on his television screen. He sees himself arguing with Ffion and her leaving her office angry from his perspective as if he was watching it on TV.
This episode is very similar to Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash Metaverse concept, in which people can share their experiences with others through a virtual reality world.
Some people are already using devices that capture every moment of their day, like Google glasses and Kapture, a bracelet that constantly records. These technologies are getting closer to being ubiquitous.
Cancel Culture: Death With Social Votes #Death
The episode ‘Hated in the Nation’ is a perfect example of how the internet can create a mob mentality.
Cancel culture is the idea that people should be able to cancel whatever they want and that it’s wrong to get mad at someone for taking something back.
Cancel culture is an idea that was created on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Made famous by comedians like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and has been around since the early 2000s.
4 Black Mirror Predictions That Are Closer Than Ever With The Metaverse
Other than the aforementioned Black Mirror-initiated predictions we’ve seen come true, in many episodes, Black Mirror has also warned its audience of predictions that are closer to us than ever. .
And at least as far as how reality progresses in the Black Mirror stories, it’s best to stay as far away from them as possible.
Let’s now look at what Black Mirror predicted the reality would be in some of the alternate universe episodes, how we are extremely close to that in our reality, especially with the start of the Metaverse project, and how it may affect our daily lives.
15 Million Merits (S01E02)
One of the show’s underrated episodes, 15 Million Merits shows little to nothing about the real environment of the people in the episode. We don’t know where they are or how they got to this point, however, what we are shown in the episode is that they all live under a routine that helps them earn merit.
The routine is to wake up in a technologically advanced room, with floor-to-ceiling digital screens showing a fake sunrise on the screen, brush your teeth, and get to work.
What is work? Using a stationary cycle. The more you cycle, the more merits you earn.
These merits can then be used to buy virtual things, like games or movies, as well as physical items like food, toothpaste, and water.
The scary part of the episode is how close it now seems to the real world. Merits are extremely synonymous with digital or virtual currencies.
Even if these coins only buy virtual items from us, it seems that we are more interested in them than real coins.
Some of the metaverse currencies known as LAND or SAND have a much higher value than real currencies like USD.
But the scariest part is the climax of the episode. Since the characters in the episode are stuck in reality, they only have one option to experience something new: earn 15 million merits and participate in a reality show to show their talent, which could be their way out of this realm.
And mind you, the technologically advanced world they live in is not boring or tedious at all. For a couple of hours of cycling, you can do almost everything we do virtually in this world. However, from the most advanced games to a plethora of entertainment options, all the characters in the episode are seen to be struggling to somehow earn 15 million merits and try their luck to break free.
Whereas in the world we live in, we live in freedom, but we are trying to trap ourselves in an augmented reality called a metaverse to deal with virtual currencies, virtual entertainment, and a virtual society.
White Christmas (S02E04)
The highest rated episode of Black Mirror, White Christmas sees a pair of protagonists sharing past stories from the world they used to live in.
While the entire premise of the episode is extremely scary and daunting, there is one scene that stood out to me, which I could compare to the reality we live in right now.
It was then that the protagonist was being controlled by an authority of what he can do, who he can see or touch, and who he can interact with.
Much like the blocking feature on Facebook or Instagram, in the episode we see a world where you can block people from even seeing or interacting with you in the real world. All they can see when they look at you is just a blur.
And that sounds good if done right. Surely people who misuse their privileges or are considered stalkers or hackers should be blocked and limited in control of a metaverse that will exist, right?
However, since we are talking about creating a complete reality, a universe, who will be the judge? Would there be any measure to sanction the indicated person?
What if you spend 10 years in the metaverse and create a life of your own but are wrongly accused and framed to be a convict? Blocked from everything you put in for 10 years. Relationships, assets and their currencies.
Striking Vipers (S05E01)
In the latest season of Black Mirror, we get a closer look at what augmented reality can help us explore when it comes to love and sexuality.
In this episode, we see two real-life best friends hook up with each other in an AR game they play together that helps them find new sexual interests for themselves within the game, but only in the game.
Which begs the question: If the metaverse were as real as the real world we know right now, what would relationships look like in the near future?
Inevitably, the more technologically advanced we are, the easier it will be for people to erase their histories and hide using proxies, but is that too much freedom?
Would we then see a decrease in real relationships and an increase in virtual relationships in the metaverse? Or would people choose a different partner for both worlds?
I’ll be right back (S02E01)
This episode isn’t really that focused on the tech part of the world, however it does raise a question for me when it comes to the metaverse.
How would another reality affect people’s life cycle? Would a person who dies in the real world face the same consequences in the metaverse? This episode shows proof that may not be the case.
In the episode, the female lead finds it extremely difficult to deal with the death of her boyfriend and finds a way to get back a ‘robotic’ version of him who could learn to be her boyfriend again.
With the rise of artificial intelligence and deep learning, we can already see that happening in the real world.
If computers can find songwriting patterns of dead artists and create new songs after that, I think we could see an option to be alive in the metaverse even after we die.
Surely our character would have enough information from our inputs to live and act the same way we did.
And maybe our loved ones and social connections prefer to keep us in augmented reality when we can’t be available in the real world? To go fishing in a virtual lake or to a virtual cinema to watch a movie?
At least, in the episode, the AI algorithm couldn’t work that well and the female protagonist is shown to discard her artificial boyfriend after a while, leaving him in the attic far from her life and accepting her boyfriend’s death.
What about the metaverse? Only time can tell…