Odds are you may not fully know or understand what the "metaverse," is but you're definitely sick of hearing about it at this point. Along with "crypto" and "NFTs," metaverse was easily one of the most popular buzzwords of 2021 with Facebook being one of the major industry leaders to make the pivot towards a virtual business model. And while there certainly is a great deal of hype from Silicon Valley behind the metaverse, it seems like no one has asked if this is anything the public wants.

A proof of concept video presented in 2017 at SXSW recently resurfaced, imagining what shopping at Walmart in virtual reality would look like. Created by Mutual Mobile, the VR experience imagines what the future of shopping at Walmart might look like with users navigating a virtual supermarket, grabbing products off digital shelves that instantly show things like nutrition facts, price comparisons or recipe recommendations, and having their order shipped off to them via drone.

While not originally intended as a vision of what a Walmart metaverse might look like, it also isn't far off from what others have presented in the virtual space either. Given the new wave of omicron cases prolonging any return to pre-pandemic life, it's not hard to imagine a world where retailers rolled out some sort of VR substitute in an attempt to make online shopping more immersive — but it begs the question: do we really need a Walmart metaverse?

As any one who's tested out their friend's Oculus headset can attest, trying to do anything in VR can be a chore. From finicky controls to a lack of depth perception, the platform doesn't lend itself particularly well to simple object manipulation, which would no doubt make trying to grocery shop a long and drawn out process.

As many Twitter users point out, there really is no point in reinventing the wheel when eCommerce is perfectly fine the way it is now. From serious cynical critiques to satirical dystopian visions about what a Walmart metaverse might look like, check out the best reactions and memes, below.

Photo via YouTube

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