A Second ‘Second Life’: Facebook Horizon

“Welcome to Facebook Horizon, an ever-expanding VR world where you can explore, play, and create in extraordinary ways. At Horizon, you’re not just discovering a new world, you are part of what makes it great.”

Facebook Horizon

At first glance, Horizon seems like a modernized Second Life, a first-person Sims, a fulfillment of the intentions of AltspaceVR and a competitor to PlayStation’s PSVR Dreams and cross-platfrom kids’ favorite Roblox. Back in 2016, Facebook was giving every new Oculus employee a copy of the Ready Player One novel. It seems they’ve been busy building that world since then.

Facebook Horizon will start centralized around a town square. Before people step in, they can choose how they look and what they wear from an expansive and inclusive set of avatar tools. From inside VR, users will be able to use the Horizon World Builder to create gaming arenas, vacation chillspots and activities to fill them without the need to know how to code.

-Josh Constine, “Facebook announces Horizon, a VR massive-multiplayer world.” Techcrunch.com. September 25, 2019.

Imagine. An entire world mediated by Facebook, where they monetize your creativity for their profit.

Son of Man, The Second Coming of Christ

Rough sketch of a story idea: Androids have taken over construction. They form construction families with specialized roles: Foreman, Support, Block & Tackle, Cut & Finisher, etc. They use 3D printers to print large sections of buildings, then they move and assemble them.

As embodied generalized artificial intelligences, each must periodically run their processors at reduced speeds, optimize data and learning algorithms, and perform maintenance tasks, such as cleaning their bodies of debris, oiling moving parts, applying self-repair nanoparticulate bandages to heal their android skin, charging their fusion reactors, etc.

During one evening, JE-5U5 decides to run a training algorithm on The Bible and other ancient spiritual texts in an effort to better communicate with humans. */e has an epiphany, a spiritual awakening and sees God.

The story follows precisely the path of Jesus, from returning to the job site and having people call h/* crazy, the preaching, the new family, the wandering in the desert, returning as a spiritual master, and eventually, destroyed as a threat to society, as has happened from Socrates, Jesus, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

All rendered in a cyberpunk, possibly including a virtual reality environment that raises the question of whether the testings and miracles are real experience or virtual constructs.