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元宇宙(上)

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Culture

文化板块

Book review: Technology and terminology

书评:技术和术语

Reality check - an introduction to “The Metaverse” explains where the idea came from and where it might be heading

现实检查——对《元宇宙》的介绍解释了这个想法的来源和它可能的走向

The Metaverse. By Matthew Ball.

《元宇宙》马修·鲍尔著

Do you remember the information superhighway?

你还记得信息高速公路吗?

In the early 1990s pundits predicted that high-speed data networks would soon connect millions of people, letting them exchange information and linking them to “movies and television shows, shopping services, electronic mail and huge collections of data”, as the New York Times put it.

上世纪90年代初,专家们预测,高速数据网络会很快将数百万人连接起来,让他们交换信息,并成为人们与《纽约时报》所说的“电影和电视节目、购物服务、电子邮件和海量数据”之间的纽带。

Yet today millions use Netflix and Amazon, Gmail and Wikipedia, and no one talks of “cruising the information superhighway”—or ever did.

然而,如今数百万人都在使用网飞和亚马逊、谷歌邮箱和维基百科,没有人在谈论“在信息高速公路上漫游”--或者从未谈论过。

The vision was prescient, but the jargon died.

这一愿景是有先见之明的,但这个术语已不复存在了。

Something similar may now be happening with the term “metaverse”.

“元宇宙”这个术语可能正在经历类似的事情。

It is also the subject of feverish speculation—this time about the possibilities of 3D virtual worlds, and a sense that video-game technology and online communication are converging in interesting ways.

这也是人们狂热猜测的主题--这一次是关于3D虚拟世界的可能性,以及一种电子游戏技术和在线交流正在以有趣的方式相融合的感觉。

But its definition is elusive, and none of the multitudes who congregate in virtual worlds today, such as players of the game “Fortnite”, actually use the word.

但它的定义很难捉摸,而且今天聚集在虚拟世界中的大多数人,比如《堡垒之夜》的玩家,其实都不会用这个词。

It broke into public consciousness in October 2021, when Facebook renamed itself Meta, signalling its ambitions in this new arena.

公众首次知道这个词是在2021年10月份,当时脸书更名为Meta,表明了它在这个新领域的雄心。

People who had not previously heard the word “metaverse” assumed it was a new Facebook product.

以前没听说过“元宇宙”这个词的人还以为它是脸书的新产品。

But the term has been used in tech circles for years, and other companies, including Microsoft and Roblox, had in fact already staked their own claims to be metaverse merchants.

但这个术语在科技界已经使用了多年,包括微软和Roblox在内的其他公司实际上已经宣称自己是元宇宙商家。

Metaverse is a relatively new name for an old idea, explains Matthew Ball, a technology analyst (and occasional contributor to The Economist), in his survey of the topic.

科技分析师马修·鲍尔(偶尔为《经济学人》撰稿)在他对这个话题的概述中解释说,元宇宙是一个老想法的相对较新的名字。

The word was coined in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his novel “Snow Crash”.

这个词创造于尼尔·斯蒂芬森1992年的小说《雪崩》。

Mr Ball traces the concept of a parallel, synthetic reality back to “Pygmalion’s Spectacles”, a short story of 1935 by Stanley Weinbaum, and later tales by Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov and William Gibson.

鲍尔将平行合成现实的概念追溯到斯坦利·温鲍姆1935年的短篇小说《皮格马利翁的眼镜》,以及之后雷·布莱伯利、菲利普·K·迪克、艾萨克·阿西莫夫和威廉·吉布森笔下的故事。

Strikingly, all their synthetic worlds are dystopias—a detail modern tech bosses have failed to notice, or chosen to ignore.

引人注目的是,他们笔下的所有合成世界都是反乌托邦的--现代科技界的老板们没有注意到这一细节,或者选择了忽视。

Mr Ball’s summary of the history of virtual worlds, in both fiction and computer science, provides helpful context.

鲍尔对小说和计算机科学领域中的虚拟世界史进行了总结,这提供了有用的背景信息。

But his book’s most valuable contribution may prove to be his definition of the metaverse: an interoperable network of 3D virtual worlds that can be accessed simultaneously by millions of users, who can exert property rights over virtual items.

但他这本书最有价值的贡献可能是他对元宇宙的定义:一个可互操作的3D虚拟世界网络,可供数百万用户同时访问,这些用户可以对虚拟物品行使产权。

This definition is interesting as much for what it leaves out as for what it includes.

这个定义很有趣,有趣的点不仅在于它省去的信息,同样还在于它包含的信息。

It is not simply a rebranding of virtual reality: headsets are optional, and today virtual worlds are mostly accessed using flat screens.

这并非只是给虚拟现实换了个名字:人们可以选择要不要戴耳机,而且如今的虚拟世界大多都可以通过平板屏幕进行访问。

Nor are blockchains or non-fungible tokens mentioned, though Mr Ball concedes they may have a role.

区块链或非同质代币都没有被提及,尽管鲍尔承认它们可能会发挥作用。

He insists that, just as there is only one internet, made up of many different networks and services that have more value for being connected, there should be only one metaverse, made up of many virtual worlds.

他坚持认为,目前世界上只有一个由许多不同的网络和服务系统组成的互联网,这些连接在一起有更大的价值,同样,世界上也应该只有一个由许多虚拟世界组成的元宇宙。

译文由可可原创,仅供学习交流使用,未经许可请勿转载。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
['hediŋ]

想一想再看

n. 标题,题目,航向
动词head的现在分词

 
[sin'θetik]

想一想再看

adj. 综合的,合成的,人造的
n. 人工制

联想记忆
[sə:'vei]

想一想再看

v. 调查,检查,测量,勘定,纵览,环视
n.

 
['kɔntekst]

想一想再看

n. 上下文,环境,背景

联想记忆
['kɔnʃəsnis]

想一想再看

n. 意识,知觉,自觉,觉悟

联想记忆
[.spekju'leiʃən]

想一想再看

n. 沉思,推测,投机

联想记忆
[ə'sju:md]

想一想再看

adj. 假装的;假定的

 
[tʃek]

想一想再看

n. 检查,支票,账单,制止,阻止物,检验标准,方格图案

联想记忆
['dʒɑ:gən]

想一想再看

n. 行话
vi. 说行话

联想记忆
[saiməl'teiniəsli]

想一想再看

adv. 同时地(联立地)

 

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