Silicon Valley has no idea about the ‘metaverse’

Michael Pusateri
4 min readOct 28, 2021

Silicon Valley denizens are making the rounds bloviating on their ideas about the ‘metaverse’ which basically are nonsense vehicles for selling more eyeballs.

No actual human wants to do this

Life is suffering and people want an escape from reality, somewhere to find solace and happiness.

No one finds solace in a business meeting.

The truth is the metaverse already exists in various places and people are living virtual lives there, without the help of the Silicon Valley echo chamber.

How do I know? Because I’ve been in a sliver of it for over 10 years, part of a huge virtual community.

In meatspace, I’m a bog standard corporate tech exec. I get my fill of meetings.

Why the fuck would I want to go into VR meeting room in an avatar that looks like me and talk about bullshit when I can be an immortal pilot flying a world killing spaceship, part of a group of like minded individuals settling a grudge against another group who wronged us in the past.

In the metaverse, I lead a global group of thousands of individuals that can be spurred into action by a single Slack or Discord message.

Space war is much more fun than a virtual shopping mall

Our IT stack is larger and more resilient than most companies on earth. We have divisions for HR, military, finance, infrastructure, technology and more that coordinate 24/7/365 on short and long term objectives.

We have logos, mascots, slogans, salutes, and even a mission statement.

Living in the world of EVE Online, a simulation video game about spaceships and solar systems, we are only one of many other groups that have similar capabilities.

We have diplomatic deals more complex than pre-WW I Europe, hurl thousands of players at each other in wars that go on for years, and run an entire free market economy based on virtual construction of in-game resources.

We get to be a whole other person, as disconnected as we want from the banality of our meatspace reality as we want. To think that people want their virtual life to replicate what is ‘real’ is to miss the entire appeal of the metaverse.

It’s not all fantasy though. The interpersonal relationships we have are strong and enduring. We hold vigils when people die in real life, larger than most funerals. We have organized support groups for mental health and other issues.

People want the un-reality of the metaverse

Let’s be honest, despite all their well-rehearsed and focus group tested talking points, the Silicon Valley/VC world is solely about making money.

They can only envision a metaverse that they can relentlessly monetize and control to maintain optimal growth KPIs to appease the board of directors and Wall Street.

They give no fucks about the long haul truck driver logging in after a long day to become a military commander. They give no fucks about the queer young person stuck in a rural area that can live their truth online much more than they can in their hometown. They give no fucks about the person with untreatable terminal cancer that becomes the respected fleet commander with hundreds acting on their words, in complete control of this part of their life.

These metaverse communities exist all over the universe, many in video gaming, but popping up elsewhere. They aren’t easy for tech giants to make money on because the allure of the metaverse is the freedom and opportunity that technology platforms are designed to control.

There are global communities everywhere that are creating their own version of the metaverse based on a variety of technologies. Discord was intended to be a chat tool for video gamers but has been pressed into service as the defacto standard community for artists using NFTs with their creations.

These key aspects of people wanting to associate in common interests and enjoy a metaverse not bound by real world constraints are antithetical to the Silicon Valley goals of monetization, DAUs, and algorithms driving engagement.

The proponents of this ‘corpoverse’ can’t imagine a world not driven purely by the tools they already have. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. All they have are algorithms to try to force new interactions on people. Unfortunately, that’s not what builds communities and communities are the core of the metaverse that already exists.

Despite all the slick marketing, there is no heart & soul in the kind of metaverse Silicon Valley is advocating. It’s a cold and calculated effort to create and control the communities of the future. It has nothing to do with people and giving them a way to find some joy in life.

People want escape from the constraints of the real world and all the ‘corpoverse’ offers is rules and control.

In the words of Chuck D, “Don’t believe the hype.”



Michael Pusateri

Evil Corporate Exec, previously Technology Ronin & Man of Leisure