Mark Zuckerberg Responds to Graphics Backlash, Promises Metaverse Won't Be Depressing to Watch

Mark Zuckerberg Responds to Graphics Backlash, Promises Metaverse Won’t Be Depressing to Watch

Mark Zuckerberg in Horizon Worlds, with an older version standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and a newer version showing better in-game graphics.

Image: Meta / Kotaku

Earlier this week would be a celebratory time for the folks at Meta, as the reality-devouring project Horizon Worlds was now available in more countries. The occasion was marked by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself who posted a “selfie” of his in-game avatar in front of a digital Eiffel Tower. Sounds cute, right? The problem was that the graphics were similar to what you would expect from a kid’s game like Roblox, not the efforts of a multi-billion dollar company to shape our collective virtual future. The Internet immediately roasted Mark Zuckerberg’s selfie to hell and back. And now Zuck is here to do some damage control.

Posting to Instagram, for those of you who have scrolled through enough recommended posts to see it, is an all-new virtual rendition of Zuckerberg. This one, I’m happy to report, seems to hold more life essence than the previous one, although it’s unclear how many souls had to be sacrificed to give Mark a little glint in his eye. For those keeping the count, this is the fourth or fifth VR version of Zucc we’ve gotten to date. However, the shitty we just saw came after he showed us a really nice one a few years ago. That is, don’t assume that what you see above will be permanent. He suggests so much in the post accompanying the new “selfie” when he says the VR service is always evolving.

Major updates to Horizon and avatar images are coming soon. I will share more on Connect. I also know that the photo I posted earlier this week was pretty simple – it was taken very quickly to celebrate a launch. The graphics in Horizon can do a lot more – even on headsets – and Horizon improves very quickly.

It’s true, screenshots from Horizon Worlds don’t always look as bad as what Zuckerberg shared earlier this week. But that’s also part of what made it so mind-boggling; why is That what does the manager show off? At the same time, Horizon Worlds still doesn’t look nearly as good as what you can find in other VR offerings.

Many will say it’s all about making sure Meta’s Quest hardware, which is priced for the average consumer, can handle tons of people at a time. But there is execution, and then there is artistry. What everyone reacted to was what appeared to be a bleak lack of soul. We all know that it doesn’t take a lot of polygons to make something look good, otherwise we wouldn’t remember retro games as much as we do. The Eiffel Tower would be an important cultural artifact, but you wouldn’t tell that from the VR version at all. The digital version isn’t inspiring unless we’re trying to summon a farmer. It’s not even particularly pretty. What is the point?

Meta as a business already leaves a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths, so to see them go strong-armed to VR dominance with endless piles of money while seeming to care little for the spirit of this thing that what is our exciting technological future supposed to be? That is what makes people jump when pastel Zucc doesn’t blink.

Better graphics anyway! Wow.

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