Pokemon Go’s creator, Niantic CEO John Hanke, has stated grave concerns around the proposed immersive nature of MZ’s metaverse plans. In an interview with Wired, he set out his plans for Niantic’s version of the metaverse.
He believes that an augmented reality version has much greater mental and physical health benefits than the immersive virtual reality version. In a similar way that Pokemon Go encouraged children and families to get out into nature, his plans are to enhance reality by layering on virtual images in ‘the merger of pixels and atoms’ and ‘where bits meet atoms’.
He used the example of historical events being ‘played out’ over the current geographical space, or virtual arrows highlighting the direction of travel.
His overall aim is to enhance reality, get people off the couch and out into nature/the real world, and improve overall mental health, rather than encouraging them to stay indoors and immerse themselves in a virtual world.
There is no doubt that his motives are financial, but they also seem to be humanistic and empathetic.