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January 27, 2023

Let’s Take a Quick Tour of EY’s Metaverse Space (It Doesn’t Suck)

When the first glimpses of KPMG’s metaverse space appeared earlier this summer, my first thought was how much it looked like first-person shooters I played 20 years ago. I was also struck with a sense of deja vu, it looked oddly similar to the Maryland Association of CPAs’ CPA Island in Second Life which existed a whole 15 years ago (when the PS3 was still new). All that to say, I was not initially impressed with this metaverse thing. I play GTA V after all, I expect my accounting firm metaverse meeting spaces to at least top the graphics of an almost ten year old video game that’s persisted through three entire generations of consoles. Just, you know, without the griefing. I would absolutely pay money to see Bill Thomas show up to a meeting room on an Oppressor MK 2 though, I think we all would.

Well now we’re getting a look at what EY’s been working on in the metaverse and let me say…I don’t hate it.

People in the metaverse be like:

Now THAT was revolutionary in its day.

Forbes wrote about the challenges EY’s Cognitive Human Enterprise team is encountering as they build their base in the metaverse, among them making people look not so creepy and weird:

One of the challenges facing every metaverse builder today, according to Domhnaill Hernon, engineer and Global Lead of the Cognitive Human Enterprise, is that we don’t yet have the technology to create fully naturalistic human avatars. Despite advances in skin and movement rendering, most avatars that strive for ultra-realism fall short of what feels natural. Instead, they find themselves in the dreaded “uncanny valley,” where real human beings are often unsettled by an almost-person who seems… not quite right.

UM EXCUSE ME. Is my Fallout 76 alt unsettling and/or not quite right?? I NEVER.

Nothing unsettling here!

OK maybe I get their point. As long as avatars don’t look like this I think we’ll be OK.

What’s interesting about EY’s approach is that they’re turning to artists to help them form a more diverse — and visually pleasing — metaverse space. The Forbes piece introduces us to several of these artists, each approaching the task from a different point of view.

There may just be hope for the metaverse as a transformative, cutting-edge, better-than-PS2 graphics space after all. And if not, there’s always GTA 6.

Artists Are Helping To Keep Humans At The Center In EY’s Metaverse [Forbes]

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