Mark Zuckerberg updated his ‘Metaverse’ avatar after the whole internet laughed at him
When Mark Zuckerberg starts trending, it’s rarely for flattering reasons.
Over the years, the much-mocked CEO of Meta has become something of a living meme, a black hole of anti-charisma, who, despite his excessive wealth and influence, simply fails to convince. the public that he is a type with whom one can identify.
Whether staring glassy-eyed into a camera and talking in circles about “smoked meats,” slathered in an alarming amount of sunscreen, or floating awkwardly past a disaster area via virtual reality, the Facebook founder is often compared jokingly to an AI attempting to be human, a real person who somehow exists on the fringes of the strange valley.
So when Zuckerberg posted a screenshot of his baby-faced avatar inside Meta Horizon Worlds VR platform, i.e. its self-proclaimed “metaverse”, it immediately unleashed a tsunami of mockery and memes.
And it wasn’t just anonymous memelords – New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose called Horizon World graphics “worse than a 2008 Wii game”. Of course, video game graphics aren’t defined by technical flash alone – it’s the art direction that really makes the difference – and Zuckerberg’s Metaverse boasts a hideously ugly aesthetic, completely devoid of texture and, more importantly, , personality.
It wasn’t a great look for a project that Zuckerberg has invested billions of dollars in – why would the masses want to escape into a virtual world that seems as sterile and lifeless as a dental office?
Therefore, Zuckerberg apparently saw the criticism (really, it was impossible to ignore) and posted a response on Instagram, promising that the metaverse graphics would improve, and even boasting of a redesigned avatar, which had looks noticeably better than the empty-eyed abomination he’d chosen previously. While there’s not much an artist can do with Zuckerberg’s infamous “lego man” haircut; clearly, money can’t buy taste.
On Instagram, Zuckerberg wrote, “I know the photo I posted earlier this week was pretty basic – it was taken very quickly to celebrate a launch.
He added that Horizon Worlds’ the graphics “are capable of much more” and “are improving very quickly”.
The pivot was remarkably quick, and surely in response to massive mockery from the audience. Amusingly, Zuckerberg’s coaster mirrors that of the 2020 Sonic movie, which became a popular meme moments after the first trailer featured a photorealistic redesign of Sonic that made the hedgehog look like he was born from a puddle of pure nightmarish fuel.
The film’s creators reacted to the intense internet backlash and redesigned Sonic from the ground up; Upon its release, the aggressively mediocre movie received plenty of praise from longtime Sonic fans.
Whether public opinion can make a Sonic-style reversal in response to Zuckerberg’s new and improved Metaverse remains to be seen, but with all the bad press Facebook has garnered over the years, it might take more than an avatar. decent to reverse the trend. .
After all, Facebook has earned a reputation as the most miserable social media platform there is, despite fierce competition, a place where grandparents get radicalized by Minions memes, a hellish carousel of blurry family photos and damned comment sections.
Zuckberg’s Metaverse must engage in an incredible PR campaign to combat the terrible reputation of Facebook and its founder – and that’s not a good start.