Approximately two weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder, and CEO of Facebook announced that the company is changing its name to Meta Platforms and brought first insights into Metaverse – a virtual environment that’s accessible by many devices. So far, nobody has elaborated what Metaverse is, but some can argue that it’s the first step towards the development of the real-life Matrix – without the squid-like machines. Still, contenders are on the horizon, and Icelandic Tourist Board offered their own platform – the Icelandverse – but instead of VR, the Icelandverse is based in real reality.
The Inspired by Iceland Twitter account shared a promotional video in which Icelandic tourism takes aim at Mark Zuckerberg and Meta platforms, mocking his recent video announcement of Facebook’s name change and the announcement of Metaverse. The Metaverse-parody video features a Mark Zuckerberg look-alike named Zack Mossbergsoon (an obvious pun), welcoming the viewers to “this very natural setting” in a “not-so-new chapter in human connectivity.” The discount version of Mark Zuckerberg then says that the users, or in this case visitors, can view the beauty of the natural world, touch real water, and hang out with real people in the Icelandverse.
The hilarious clip points out the absurd nature of human experience through virtual reality, followed by “why do it virtually when you can do it in real life?” Actor Jorundur Ragnarsson, the Zack Mossbergsson of the video, urges people to visit the Icelandverse, pointing towards snowy wonderlands, stunning waterfalls, wild horses, and even sky, which you can “see with your eyeballs.” The video even called it a revolutionary approach on how to connect the world without being super weird in an enhanced reality that offers an open-world experience without silly-looking headsets. It’s a real reality, and it has been there for millions of years.
The Metaverse parody video caught Mark Zuckerberg’s attention, and the CEO of Meta Platforms responded that he’d make sure to visit Icelandverse soon, praising the actor for wearing sunscreen – which is an obvious take on an embarrassing incident for Zuckerberg last year. Hopefully, he won’t colonize Iceland the same way he nearly colonized the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Zuckerberg’s Metaverse is currently the major talking point of corporate America since Facebook announced its rebranding last month, following a series of whistleblower events that revealed the company’s negligence towards public safety and human rights. The term was coined in the 1992 sci-fi book Snow Crash and referred to next-gen internet access through augmented and VR hardware. Zuckerberg, who also used the exact same words to describe his Metaverse, said that the company plans to spend billions of dollars on the platform’s development, hoping that one billion people will join his VR world in the next decade.
Ad revenue, and the interest of companies such as Nike, Disney, and Bumble, who are already looking to capitalize on the platform, will largely fuel the development of Zuckerberg’s AR and VR project despite already announced low initial profitability. Let’s see if this little joke from Iceland does anything to tip the proverbial scales.