The Most Basic “Metaverse” Test


With the approaching Zuckerverse being aggressively marketed as the “future”, along with whatever the crypto bros are trying to sell, I remember this being achieved around 2003 with Second Life. There has been a lot of trying to reinvent the wheel lately, and not just in PC digital game stores it turns out. At the very least a new approach to virtual worlds that have been coined as “metaverses” could build better on previous effort, but instead some just decide to go for the most basic denominator of low poly human, maybe with anything below the waist if one asks nicely enough.

It turns out that seeing how viable a virtual world is for messing around in can be boiled down to one question. This question, which seems to be dubbed the “Argent Stonecutter Test” after a Second Life user who would frequently bring it up in regards to other virtual worlds, is simply this: “Can you be a ferret?”

It’s a single question that does have a loophole if a virtual world chose to have limited choice and just throw a ferret option in for the hell of it, but it gets the point across. It could be drilled down further into the general “Can you be a furry?” and “How customizable are said furries from the base model?” if there’s a core base model for everyone and so on if needed.

Examples that pass the single-question test are Second Life of course, VRChat, and NeosVR. There are probably several others, like someone’s probably made a ferret head for Roblox but no idea if they’ve even been compensated properly for it. However ones among those that I’m certain don’t currently pass would be Rec Room, Decentraland, and Horizon (the Zuckerverse). I’ve also looked at Bigscreen, which is more of a movie watching platform, and its terribly limited customization options. Generally speaking, these virtual world options I guess could be split into “ferret-friendly”, “ferret-less”, and “technically ferret-supported”. Like say they added a ferret skin into that ever-persistent one game that Epic keeps pushing and keep claiming is a “metaverse”, that would fall into the third category, as would any potential Roblox option. The first category is more reserved for ones where anyone can upload anything, like the examples mentioned above that pass, and the second for anything else. Also I’m pretty sure the ferret option has to be relatively complete and not just an obvious costume with a human face poking out, at least how I’m interpreting it.

Of course the test doesn’t mean one has to be a ferret, unless someone made a specific ferret-only virtual world, but that might only apply to one specific map in a platform and not globally. I feel being able to be whatever in 99% of the maps available is the general idea here. I just often choose to be a robot. And not the default performance block or error robot either. I made the robot myself. Unless I’m being a different one someone else made. Or a lizard or something. But ferrets are cute.