Plenty of us have become familiar with the concept of the home office over the past couple of years, thanks to the pandemic (you may have heard of it). But one person who clearly isn't familiar with the type of space we ordinary human beings work in is Mark Zuckerberg – if the new 'home office' space for the Meta Quest is anything to go by, that is.
Zuckerberg himself announced the new feature on Facebook recently, along with a virtual 360-degree tour of the space. It's somewhere for users to "take Messenger calls, read emails, or work on your next big project" – but based on how it looks, I can already say the office of the metaverse isn't for me. (Want to experience it for yourself? Check out the best Quest 2 deals.)
Like the kind of place you'd wait for an extremely expensive root canal treatment, the Quest 'home office' looks more like a corporate waiting room than an actual, you know, home. The whole thing is terrifyingly symmetrical and, like Zuckerberg himself, rather wooden. But hey, why splash out on the best desks and best office chairs when you can simply buy a VR headset and enter this total dystopia?
There's the least comfortable looking relaxation area I've ever seen, composed of a blanket and cushion atop a hard wooden bench (it's making me sleepy just looking at it!). And then there's the even-more-terrifying 3D 'artwork' (I think?) made up of foliage and leaves that appear to be bursting into the space. And the enormous windows allow for some pretty incredible views – of blindingly over-saturated woodland. I can't imagine anyone, save perhaps for a Bond villain, stepping into this space and feeling at home.
"More people are using virtual reality headsets in place of computers, and updates like these are making it easier to be productive no matter where you are," Zuckerberg argues. But Meta's foray into the world of VR hasn't been brilliantly received so far – fans of the Oculus brand haven't enjoyed the company stamping its name all over the Quest.
So there we have it. What is the metaverse? It's a place where you can go and respond to a few messages, then relax on a wooden bed. Ok, it has a little more potential than that – but this is perhaps our most dystopian glimpse yet at the kind of virtual spaces we might soon end up frequenting. Just don't forget to pack your pixel-flavoured Coke.