Veteran video game developer Warren Spector has spent decades dreaming of possible futures. From the augmented-human-filled future of Deus Ex to the grimy evil-AI settings in System Shock, Spector's imagination is never too far from sci-fi.
In recent years, many have tried to bring humanity into an apparent future. Instead of physical currency, cryptocurrency is said to be the money of the future. Rather than physical assets, cryptoart NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have been proposed. The future Internet: The Metaverse. As for Spector, he just doesn't see it.
Warren Spector on NFTs
In an interview with VentureBeat, Spector discussed the ongoing trend of “non-fungible tokens”. Backed heavily by crypto enthusiasts, the blockchain-based digital assets have been a touchy subject, shrouded in scams and plagiarism.
Spector explained that he couldn't care less about the NFTs, decrying the technology as a terrible idea. Additionally, the game developer explained that the technology isn't anywhere near as competent as people claim it is.
“Here’s where I’m going to get in trouble,” the game developer said. “I’m literally going to have people giving me hell about what I’m about to say, but I really don’t think I care. NFTs are ridiculous. I do not understand why anybody would want to climb on that bandwagon. Ownership of virtual goods that can be instantly reproduced in unlimited quantities. Who thinks that’s a good idea? So NFTs, I have no interest.”
The Metaverse could happen, but not now
Afterwards, Warren Spector discussed the recent trend of metaverse projects. Spearheaded by Meta, formerly Facebook, massive companies are hoping to create a second Internet with full VR worlds. Just like the dystopic novels The Metaverse is taken from, companies like Meta want individuals to work, play and live inside the VR world.
Spector believes that this future might end up existing, but he's not happy about it. Part of this is due to the technology’s plans to destroy reliable reality, which VR and AR experts have already warned about. Furthermore, the thought of always having a headset on to experience the tech is not very welcoming.
“The metaverse, sure, maybe someday, but honestly it’s going to be long after I’m gone,” he said. “I’m happy about that. I like living in the real world. I don’t particularly find putting on a headset and interacting virtually with other people, not knowing if my wife is coming up behind me with a baseball bat–that just doesn’t appeal to me.
Spector went as far as to compare the tech to normal social media. With that in mind, he did not look favorably on the tech, saying:
“It’s not like you can look at the current social media landscape and say, ‘Hey, that’s great!’ I've not been on social media in two years, almost three years now. I just gave it up; I was tired of people giving me grief, tired of the time it was taking up. It didn’t add anything to my life.”