Science and Technology

‘Searching for Friends in the Deserted Metaverse,’

— Christopher Cox, features editor, New York

There’s that moment in the movie Contact when Ellie, having glimpsed the grand, glowing arms of a distant galaxy, says, “They should have sent a poet” to describe what she’s seeing. The metaverse, with its lo-fi graphics and legless torsos, might not quite measure up to Ellie’s celestial wonders, but we sent Paul Murray, one of the funniest novelists of his generation, to explore it for us anyway. Away from his Dublin home as a visiting professor at an East Coast college, Paul’s primary mission was to make some virtual friends to replace the real ones he’d left behind. “On my initial visits, the metaverse seems sort of desolate, like an abandoned mall, and ordinarily I wouldn’t be lining up to join the misfits still populating it,” he writes. But when he finally meets a crew he enjoys hanging out with, he finds himself exploring new corners of the metaverse that are far stranger, funnier, and wilder than he expected — even if he decides not to abandon the real world just yet.
Who Is Still Inside the Metaverse? Searching for friends in Mark Zuckerberg’s deserted fantasyland.
Photo: Paul Murray
Read the full story
Enjoying One Great Story? Subscribe now for unlimited access to everything New York.
More From Today
On Vulture, E. Alex Jung profiles Yaeji — the musician and DJ known for introspective dance music that brings the house down — who went searching for herself in order to make her debut album, With a Hammer.
Read More »
“This set is fucking me. It’s sexual!” During a night out with professor and Raving author McKenzie Wark, New York’s Brock Colyar learned that Wark always remembers to avoid her students and hydrate on the dance floor.
Read More »
Why are this city’s pours so small? After three years in London, Amos Barshad goes in search of a “real” (20-ounce) pint of beer only to discover what he really misses about English pub culture.
Read More »
Sign up for Making It, a weekly newsletter featuring conversations about craft, cash, and compromise with Emily Gould.
get the newsletter

Leave a Reply