New Yorker: Money in the Metaverse

Anna Wiener discusses Alenda Chang and Nick Dyer-Witheford in the New Yorker.

A potent new book examines the overlap between our ecological crisis and video games Analyzes video games and their links with capitalism, militarism, and social control

If the metaverse materializes, it will probably look and behave like a video game, at least for a little while. For millions of people, video games already serve as everyday, immersive virtual experiences; gaming companies provide infrastructure for Hollywood films, spatial visualizations, and live performances.

Financially, it could look something like FarmVille, in which players spent millions of dollars on virtual windmills, fertilizer, farm animals, and water, tending to what Alenda Y. Chang, an associate professor of film and media studies at U.C. Santa Barbara, has called an “ecologically absurd” landscape, in which dying crops could be revived by “unwither” spray, and sheep produced wool sweaters after eating tomatoes.

UMP authors Nick Dyer-Witheford and Alenda Y. Chang referenced in the New Yorker.