If there's one technology that's being hyped more than any others right now, it's the metaverse—a loose collection of virtual and augmented reality 'worlds'.
Earlier this year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg – who is so passionate about the idea that he renamed his company to 'Meta' – argued that we'll one day spend the majority of our time inside the metaverse.
Zuckerberg said: "A lot of people think that the metaverse is about a place, but one definition of this is it's about a time when basically immersive digital worlds become the primary way that we live our lives and spend our time.
"I think that's a reasonable construct."
However, not everyone is convinced—not least Tim Sweeney, CEO of 'Fortnite' creators Epic Games.
Sweeney told the Financial Times that he doubts the metaverse will overtake reality, saying: "I don't foresee in the next decade or two that people's lives become immersed in this kind of medium. I think this is something you do, definitely for recreation, perhaps for work in the future too.
Sweeney added: "I just mean we're not going to plug our brains into some sort of device and meditate as our conscious is embedded in some virtual world. The future isn't that different from the present, at least not in 20 years."
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Sweeney did share his fears about the metaverse though, warning that tech companies like Google and Apple could one day 'dominate' virtual reality.
"I'm terribly afraid the current monopolies will use their power to become the next monopolies on new generations of platforms—and continue to use that power to exclude all competition."
He continued: "Apple and Google have created terms that will give them a stranglehold over the metaverse, unless there are major changes in the practices they're allowed to get away with."
Fortnite remains banned from the iPhone App Store following a legal dispute between Epic Games and Apple over payment terms for in-app purchases.
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