Iceland Tourism Pokes Fun at Facebook’s Metaverse With “Icelandverse”
With the overwhelming support of VR coming from companies like Valve and Facebook/Meta, it’s easy to find oneself lost inside worlds that they normally couldn’t go to. With people spending a lot more time inside due to the lingering effects of the COVID pandemic, as well as the changing temperatures, it’s hard for people to socialize, so they’ve turned to virtual reality to fill that void, something that Facebook/Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks is the future. About a month ago, when the company that runs Facebook changed their name to Meta, Mark Zuckerberg’s presentation on the future with what he calls “The Metaverse” showcased a reality where everyone owned a headset and used them all the time to connect with people for both work and play.
Even VR enthusiasts like the author think that this reality seems a little bleak. There are some things that reality can do that something like the Metaverse cannot. The tourism board for the country of Iceland knows this, and they’ve decided to entice players to come visit with a video poking fun at Zuckerberg’s presentation.
The video in question was posted onto the Inspired by Iceland YouTube channel. It features the chief visionary officer of Icelandverse, Zack Mossbergsson. It’s pretty obvious that it’s a parody of Mark Zuckerberg. The awkward performance of the actor playing Mossbergsson perfectly encapsulates Zuckerberg’s presentation. The video describes an “enhanced actual reality, without the need for silly-looking headsets” as well as “a revolutionary approach to connecting our world, without being super weird.”
Mossbergsson describes how the Icelandverse is a world millions of years in the making, where everything is real. There’s water that’s wet, real humans, moss you can look at, but not touch. There are also plentiful waterfalls, amazing displays of the Aroura Borealis that you “can see with your eyeballs,” horses you can ride, with hair you can touch, birds you can watch, geysers you can observe from a safe distance, and much, much more.
Mossbergsson invites people to come to visit the Icelandverse today, or tomorrow, or whenever, they’re very easygoing.
This perfect parody of what Meta is trying to sell reminds players and people from around the world that they’re not limited to the places they would normally call home. While something like the Oculus Quest 2 is capable of taking a person somewhere virtually, they’re missing something from that experience that prevents it from becoming real. Actually going places can provide a unique experience that people can cherish for years to come. This is what Iceland’s Tourism Board is promoting: having new experiences in the real world, without being confined inside spending most of the time on a VR Headset in a virtual version of the place you could be.