Podcast: Metaverse or Metamyth?


This month’s Dividing Lines podcast in partnership with The Near Futurist ask if the metaverse is actually a “thing” or a just a marketing construct? Host Guy Clapperton pitches author Nikolas Badminton from against BasedAF founder Robin Schmidt Take a listen here.

So this idea Facebook has got, this metaverse thing – what exactly is it?

That’s not a stupid question. Just about everyone concerned with technology has now heard about it. Facebook’s holding company is so concerned it should be a success that it has renamed itself “Meta” and essentially bet its entire future on the idea, and recently the company announced that avatars on it would have legs.

It’s going to be something big apparently but the applications of it don’t seem as obvious as they did for mobile computing or virtual reality – actually, is it all that different from virtual reality?

Those are some of the questions the participants address in the new edition of Dividing Lines, from the Near Futurist podcast and sponsored by Diffusion. Guy Clapperton hosts author Nikolas Badminton from who believes even if the metaverse is more than a marketing dream (and he’s not certain) there are more things on which we should be spending our energy by now, while BasedAF founder Robin Schmidt produces content for it.

Not that Nikolas is 100 per cent convinced by “content producers”.

It’s an emerging field and there are a lot of (civilised) agreements about where it’s going but that’s not all. They chat about publicity stunts and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – should someone have paid for the right not to own the original handwritten draft of “Hey Jude” in Paul McCartney’s own hand? And should Guy buy it now if it’s plummeted in value as the participants suspect?

Meanwhile the NFT debate really takes off when the topic of Damien Hirst kicks in. Readers might remember he had the idea of burning some of his paintings while people paid for the NFT versions and decided whether they wanted the digital or the real copy. We won’t spoil it by telling you how it kicks off but Guy wasn’t expecting it to take that direction!

Enjoy the episode!