Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to be liked, we all do. The problem: Zuckerberg isn't liked. Since creating Facebook — a website that started as a way for Zuck to rank the attractiveness of college girls — Zuckerberg hasn't really been greeted with popularity.
Compared to the likes of Elon Musk, another billionaire with a laundry list of terrible deeds, Zuckerberg is almost hated by the Techbro community. With this in mind, why is he trying to be the future's Walt Disney?
Mark Zuckerberg vs Walt Disney
Not quite an Epic Rap Battle of History, it's obvious that Zuckerberg is taking a lot of inspiration from the late Walt Disney. As the creator of Disney, Walt Disney caused the animation industry to thrive, founding a company that’s held up as the mascot of IP and consumerism.
Disney wasn't a universally beloved man. While the public saw him as a figurehead of creativity, others couldn't see past Disney's reported anti-Semitism. Of course, Disney's anti-Semitism remains a hot topic with many calling the man a Nazi, likely due to Walt giving Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl a studio tour a week after Kristallnacht — The Night of Broken Glass.
Despite the whole anti-Semitism and racism thing that plagues the Disney image today, the masses were happy to overlook that decades ago. This allowed Walt Disney to continue making movies and, crucially, open his still-beloved theme park: Disneyland.
To this day, Disneyland is one of the most beloved theme parks on Earth. Despite long lines and pricey tickets, hordes of fans crowd around to taste a morsel of Disney magic. And that's exactly what Zuckerberg wants to own — not create, own — but will it work?
Could The Metaverse be Disneyland?
With the launch of Horizon Worlds, Zuckerberg is already pitching himself as the Walt Disney of The Metaverse. Inside the Meta-owned virtual application, there's an experience for users to go on entitled “Mark’s Riverboat”.
In this ride, “players” are situated on a virtual three-story riverboat that moves around a set location. It's similar to a certain Disneyland ride: It's A Small World, or Jungle Cruise, or Pirates of the Caribbean. You know what, Disney has a lot of boat rides!
But calling the experience “Mark’s Riverboat” is incredibly telling. Despite being crafted by Meta employees, Zuckerberg’s name is first and foremost. Much like the enthralling contraptions of Disneyworld, Meta wants you to believe that a Higher Power created everything you see. However, instead of believing in a magical world developed by a dead guy who revolutionised animation, you have to believe in a man who squat-surfs holding an American flag on the Fourth of July.
Despite holding terrible world views, Walt Disney has brought families and friends together, especially after his death. In comparison, Zuckerberg's legacy has peddled misinformation and antisemitism, turned families against each other and has resulted in idiots eating horse paste.
It could be theme park one day
The Metaverse could, one day, become a cold, distanced version of Disneyland. After all, many introductory virtual reality experiences are crap reconstructions of rollercoasters nowhere near as satisfying as the real thing. On the other hand, theme parks exist tangibly. While Disneyland may be off the table for a large number of people, there are alternatives.
After all, if you want to make lasting memories, where you remember the smell and feel of your surroundings, The Metaverse won't do that. Well, it won't do that yet. And, if it does do it, it won't be Mark Zuckerberg doing it, it'll be his employees.