<p>Nick Clegg and Henry Mance’s avatars for their interview in the metaverse</p>

Nick Clegg and Henry Mance’s avatars for their interview in the metaverse

Financial Times.

Former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg conducted his first interview in the metaverse—and complained about one major part of the new product.

The metaverse has been marketed by Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg as an exciting modern virtual world where people can socialize, work, and play.

And yet when it comes down to it, it really just seems like yet another platform people can create a personalized avatar, not unlike video games such as Fortnite.

So when Clegg, who currently serves as Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, complained about the “wretched headset” he had to wear to during the interview—well, it doesn’t do much to convince us we need to hop on the metaverse train.

“I interviewed Facebook’s Nick Clegg somewhere where you can’t catch Covid - the metaverse,” wrote Financial Times Chief features writer Henry Mance on Twitter.

In the clip, Clegg explains that “if he’s lifting his head” it’s because he’s drinking coffee and the bulky headset doesn’t allow him to do so without moving it.

When asked how it felt to conduct the interview, Mance said:

“My experience of meeting someone in the metaverse : 1. disorienting. 2. oddly intimate . 3. not that easy, as my list of questions disappeared from the virtual screen so I had to keep peering out of my Oculus headset to my written notes. Would I do it again? Yes.”

But still, people were left largely unconvinced that the interview benefited at all from taking place in the metaverse as opposed to go-to platforms such as Zoom.

“Aside from the coffee ‘incident’ which is great. I don’t see how this is any better than an interview over Zoom/Teams,” wrote one.

“The genius is taking things that already exist (remote meetings) and making them worse and more expensive,” read one tweet.

Another said: “It's Skype with cartoons instead of real faces. IOW, a degrading of information. Not useful.”

“getting... boss baby vibes from this,” one person joked.

Others took a larger issue with the avatar cartoon interview.

“So Facebook is going to do cute interviews in the metaverse and we’re all supposed to pretend that we didn’t read all that horrifying stuff in the Facebook leaks document dump?” wrote The Atlantic writer Molly Jong-Fast.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)