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Metaverse and NewsGames two sides of the same coin
Convergences and divergences between ludo-informational platforms in a scenario of synergies and
ambivalence between informing and entertaining, evidencing mechanisms of social control, changes in
the status of citizens, fragility of the State and the virtual advent of autocracies.
Geraldo Augusto Seabra
Luciene Alves Santos
This article explores perspectives pointed out by Manoel Castells, which starts from
the observation that the network, previously seen as a promise of free communication
and without intermediaries, has been transformed into mechanisms of mass social
control and the reduction of citizens to mere data donors. personal. In the same wake,
the frank weakening of democracies and the institutional security of the State,
becoming a fertile field for the proliferation of autocratic governments. Ironically, this
phenomenon has been occurring thanks to the accessibility facilities, via
interconnection, of network files. Thus, this academic article aims to direct the
discussion around convergences and divergences between two ludo-informational
platforms: the metaverse and newsgames. The first is still in gestation and the second,
in development since 2000. For the purposes of analysis, we will start from the
hypothesis that both work through the same informational engine: manipulation of
data by immersion of the user within a cognitive kaleidoscope, where flow all
communications, regardless of existing content and/or media formats.
Nobody really knows what the world will be like in 2082. According to historian and
philosopher Yuval Novah Harari (2015), humanity's ability to understand the world is
much smaller today, even with so much information that we have accumulated so far.
Because the world has changed and has become a gigantic cognitive kaleidoscope,
where all cultural acts and facts unprecedented in history converge. We are talking
about the complex coexistence between the pre-modern (unprepared civilians fighting
with improvised resources), the modern (nuclear threats, chemical and biological
weapons) and the post-modern (the advent of the cyber world and disputes over the
truth). In a speech after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, White House Security Adviser
Jake Sullivan said that what matters to nations is not territorial conquests, but
knowledge based on attracting brains. It is part of the whole process of hegemony for
the hegemonic country to attract the brains of peripheral countries. Especially, in
major international crises, this movement accelerates.
In the past, human knowledge increased slowly and technology was slow to develop,
so politics and economics also evolved at the same scale. Today, knowledge is
increasing rapidly and, theoretically, we should understand the world much better
than before. But the exact opposite occurs. In an attempt to understand events, we
Journalist, teacher, writer and master in Social Communication, Technology and Games as Information.
Journalist, fashion designer and specialist in Social Communication and Games as Information.
accelerate the accumulation of knowledge, which leads to increasingly recurrent social
unrest. Consequently, we are less able to make sense of the present or even predict
the future. Nobody really knows what will happen 60 years from now, or where and
how we will be in the future. In fact, in the same week that I started compiling this
article, the world was 'caught by surprise' with Russia's decision to launch all-out war
on Ukraine, when the Pentagon, European Union, UN Security Council and NATO still
believed that Russian dictator Wladimir Putin would remain with his troops limited
only to the provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, pro-Russian separatist republics located
in the eastern region of the former Soviet republic.
It is precisely in this scenario of uncertainty that humanity challenges a new frontier of
knowledge: the advent of the metaverse
. It is a 3D augmented, virtual and immersive
reality platform that allows the interaction between technology, politics, culture,
business, society and religion, all in the same digital communication space. In 'Homo-
Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow', Harari (2015) states that his book focuses precisely
on these aforementioned interactions, questioning what will happen, for example, to
politics when big data algorithms
meet our desires and opinions better than
A thousand years ago, in 1017, there were many things that people did not know about the
future, but they could be sure about the basic features of human society. If you lived in
Europe in 1017 you knew that in 1050 Vikings could invade again, dynasties could fall and
plagues or earthquakes could kill millions. However, it was clear to himself that even in 1050
most Europeans would still work in agriculture, men would still dominate women, life
expectancy would be around 40 years and the human body would be exactly the same.
Today, on the contrary, we have no idea what Europe or the rest of the world will be like in
2050. (HARARI, 2015)
These questions make it urgent to seek to understand synergies and ambivalence that
may exist between the metaverse and another no less powerful platform: the
. In this disruptive scenario, there is a need to confront possible metaverse
developments in relation to news-based games. Because? Because they are two
ludoinformational platforms
. Therefore, two sides of the same coin, through which
we will seek to point out possible convergences and divergences in a scenario of
synergies and ambivalence: entertainment and information, mechanisms of social
control and changes in the status of citizen, as well as the institutional fragility of the
State and the emergence of autocracies around the world.
Metaverse is the name used to name an immersive, collective and hyper-realistic virtual environment, a virtual
platform where people can live using customized 3D avatars, that is, a habitable form of the Internet powered by
blockchain technology (the same technology as cryptocurrencies) and accessible via web browsers and virtual
reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) kits.
São gigantescas bases de dados em formatos comunicáveis e acessíveis, como o imenso arquivo da Agência
Nacional de Segurança dos EUA NSA situada em Bluffdale, Utah.
The term newsgames encompasses a vast field of work produced at the intersection between the field of video
games and journalism. This genre of electronic games, played in an online environment, is usually based on real
stories and events, but they can also offer fictional experiences based on real sources, where they can converge
with the same virtual reality of the metaverse.
Platforms that mix informational content and entertainment in the same environment, from playful resources
used in video game supports
1 Two sides of the same coin
The advent of the metaverse has moved the universe of technologies in various
spheres: from social networks to cryptocurrencies. The term originated in the science
fiction book Snow Crash
. In the work, the character Hiro Protagonist is a pizza delivery
man in real life. But, in the virtual world, he transforms into a samurai hacker. Author
Neal Stephenson called this digital reality the metaverse. More recently, the so-called
big techcs
began to invest in the development of this metaverse technology. In
addition to Facebook, which changed its name to Meta as a way of confirming its new
focus, other brands such as Microsoft, Google and Nike
have also invested in
metaverse technology for years. Unlike games made in realistic high fidelity the
architecture of the metaverse is typically designed in low resolution so that any
browser can access and load its spatial environments. Its platform can be considered a
kind of reimagining of real buildings, which promotes the union of avatars, non-
fungible tokens (NFTs), play to earn and cryptocurrencies in the same game space. By
absorbing architecture professionals and people with no experience, the platform can
be compared to the Wild West, where anyone with a pioneering spirit and a little
digital currency can plant their flag in the virtual world.
For centuries, architects, engineers, and builders dictated how cities should be built.
But this may now sound like an existential threat to some architects, as anyone with
no formal design experience can create a corner of cyberspace any way they want.
Considered by architects to be second nature to be explored, the metaverse is this
place of collective collaboration in real time, from futuristic rooms with holographic
tables that present data visualizations and 3D renders. On the other hand, the
metaverse will still be mediated by the same forces that control the real estate market
in the physical world: money, access and knowledge. And this is already a reality in
cyberspace where speculative crypto investors and real estate companies buy large
chunks of 'land' in the metaverse, whose share of virtual space can demand thousands
of dollars. Therefore, it is necessary to create ways to promote the contradictory so
that the metaverse does not allow the emergence of a 3D Wladimir Putin, with even
greater powers in relation to his empowered organic version. And it is in this context of
disproportionate power, also in the metaverse, that newsgamified metaverse
platforms seem urgent and necessary, in order to guarantee political, social and
democratic balance in the real and virtual world. For years, mega platforms like The
Sims, Minecraft, Second Life, and Roblox have been building immersive virtual worlds,
allowing players to build their own structures and explore ever-expanding landscapes.
And it was from these initiatives that it was possible to design immersive informative
games based on real and/or fictional events. After all, as Jacques Ranciére (2009)
states, ‘the real needs to be fictionalized in order to be thought’. Here's one of the
The book was published in 1992 by writer Neal Stephenson.
Big techs são grandes empresas de mídia oriundas principalmente do Vale do Silício.
Nike created the Nikeland metaverse, a piece of the virtual world that promotes users' social interaction around
the brand.
reasons to play with news and not just eat it like French bread. With that in mind, in
the early 2000s, Uruguayan Gonzalo Frasca launches his first news-based games,
mixing journalism and video games on the same platform. Although our studies
not included on the Wikipedia
website, in 2005 we had already started the first
research in Brazil on games as news emulators, within the master's degree in Social
Communication and Technology, started in Barbacena and defended in Juiz de Fora, in
Minas Gerais (MG). As a differential in relation to all other studies on the subject
outside and inside Brazil, we were the first to demarcate newsgames as a new model
of online journalism
, on whose platform it is possible to promote the production,
circulation and dissemination of news. As they can also offer fictional experiences
based on real sources, newsgames converge with the same proposal of virtual reality
of the metaverse, including the possibility of using avatars. In the article ‘Newsgames
Demarcating a new model of Online Journalism’, the authors Seabra & Santos
(2008a) even envision the possibility of players acting within the virtual board like a
through the streets of 19th century Paris:
(...) we look forward to the time when gamers can actually become a NewFlaneur, someone
with an avatar of a virtual walker, reviving the figure of the Flâneur that appeared in the
arcades of Paris in the 19th century. But, unlike the version given by Walter Benjamin, the
NewFlaneur would be more than a mere observer moving through urban landscapes and
crowds; would be a kind of cyborgamer with real powers to guide himself through the world
through the information that really matters”. (SEABRA & SANTOS, 2008a)
However, the metaverse as it has been conceived flirts to a large extent with the
premises of newsgames, carrying with it some semantic characteristics of
informational games. As well as news games, the metaverse are also games that
promote social interaction within a 3D virtual augmented reality platform. In the
metaverse, players can live a virtual life, interact with other users,
arrange meetings, and listen to music; enjoy the countless interactions built in the
game's virtual terrains. All through payment with cryptocurrencies in non-fungible
tokens (NFT) for avatar customization and in-game missions. Decentraland's economy
uses two tokens: LAND (focused on land and developments) and MANA, which is the
native token for payments and interactions on the platform. To play, you must have a
digital wallet, such as MetaMask
, to link to the platform and store the tokens that
will be used as payment in the game. That is, the current metaverse platforms are an
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Flâneur ( pronunciada (o) [flɑnœʁ] ), do substantivo francês flâneur, significa "errante", "vadio", andarilho,
ocioso, "caminhante" ou "observador". Flânerie é o ato de passear. Flâneur é um quase-sinônimo, é um
boulevardier. O flâneur era, antes de tudo, um tipo literário do século XIX, na França, essencial para qualquer
imagem que traduza a figura de um andarilho pelas ruas de Paris. (Fonte: Wikipédia)
Decentraland is a virtual world established on the Ethereum blockchain. The land on which it is built is called
LAND and is divided into small parts called parcels, measuring 16x16m, in the dimensions of the game. Each of
these tranches is a non-fungible token (NFT) asset that can be purchased by users.
Wallets store collectibles and other game items such as LAND, clothes, avatars, among others.
updated version not only of Second Life
, but of other immersive supports created
previously, such as newsgames, whose research developed by Seabra & Santos (2014)
already pointed to the possibility of 3D news
as one of the pillars of games such as
news emulators the so-called NewNews played in an immersive environment.
Metaverse platform
Newsgames platform
After all, the news in three dimensions works from an augmented reality platform
where the entire city, from which the game is developed, is transformed into a
playable virtual board, which presupposes the use of avatars as in the metaverse.
However, as the designer Michael Beneville (cited by STINSON, 2002) reaffirms, no one
is building the metaverse as something totally new, as its entire platform is the sum of
several technologies already developed. Beneville also believes in the possibility of
navigation in multiple metaverses, a prediction that is in line with our thesis that
metaverse technology, also embedded in newsgames, may join them in the near
[Michael Beneville] 'Whatever the metaverse turns out to be, it will be the coming together
of all these things in what best serves humanity. In the future, people will not experience a
single metaverse; they will navigate multiple, interoperable metaverses, all with the ability
to connect to each other in a tapestry of digital spaces, and all powered by blockchain and
the internal currencies of platforms that will fuel their meta-economies. (STINSON, 2002)
2 - Convergence and Divergence between Platforms
The question that arises is how the convergences and divergences between these two
ludo-informational platforms should occur, whose engines revolve around the
manipulation of cultural, political and economic data through the full interaction and
immersion of the user. In this reality of complementarity, therefore of convergence,
the interface between the real and the virtual must take place within an immense
cognitive kaleidoscope
, where all actions and communications must converge,
originating from the real world towards the virtual universe, and vice versa,
independent of existing media content and/or formats, as mentioned above by
Second Life is a virtual and three-dimensional environment that simulates the real and social life of human beings
through the interaction between avatars. It was created in 1999, launched in 2003 and is maintained by the
American company Linden Lab.
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We are one of the few researchers to view newsgames as a huge cognitive kaleidoscope, which would not allow
us to subdivide it into editorial classifications as is done in traditional and online journalism.
Beneville and cited by Stinson (2002). However, at least from a gender point of view,
the two platforms diverge from each other. While the metaverse is centered on a kind
of extended entertainment
, newsgames use news information, based on a flexible
, as a narrative base in a playful environment. At some point, these
platforms and their media interconnections will intersect in the 3D network in a
scenario of synergies and ambivalence between entertainment and information,
highlighting gaps related to social control mechanisms, changes in the status of
citizens, institutional fragility of the State and the virtual emergence of autocracies.
In the galaxy of the metaverse itself, the virtualization of the real on an immersive
scale presents issues that concern parents and educators, as for example, the
dissemination and manipulation of false information, bank fraud and pedophile
content, not to mention the growing ideological bipolarization on the web. In contrast,
newsgames can act as a kind of 'information firefighter', putting out the fire where
there are smoke signals of manipulated information, such as ideologized content with
some political, ethnic or religious bias. Of course, it is not possible to predict how this
will happen in practice, as the metaverse technology is still in the testing phase. In fact,
the prototypes have been presenting several configuration problems. However,
Castells (2015) is skeptical of any kind of technology itself in the sense of promoting
real political change. According to him, technological means can do little to prevent
the growing political domination and commercial exploitation of people around the
planet. For Castells,
urban planners know how to use the current technological potential to improve transport,
quality of life, health, education and the environment. But companies are only concerned
with their greed and politicians are primarily dedicated to maintaining their power. In this
way, even though we are connected, we are increasingly disconnected from the power we
delegate and the wealth we produce with our work. (CASTELLS, 2015)
Contrary to Castells' positions, this article is based precisely on the premises, according
to which, both the metaverse and the newsgames platform can, yes, help in a
convergent way the multicivilization agenda that began to emerge from the recent
conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, in Eastern Europe. Even because the technology
itself is not deterministic, given that the two Koreas developed in different ways
throughout the 20th century, although both used the same communication and
production technologies available at the time in the two Asian countries. It is worth
remembering that South Korea became capitalist and the North opted for
communism, preferring to ally with the extinct Soviet Union (USSR).
3- Synergies and ambivalences: inform and entertain
Although it is an evolution of the current 2D internet, the metaverse emerges as an
immersive, collective and hyper-realistic virtual environment, where people can live
This is more expanded entertainment compared to the current internet; an immersive, collective and hyper-
realistic virtual environment, where people can live together using customized 3D avatars.
They are called 3D news (NewNews) that do not follow the same conceptual rigidity of traditional news, based on
the six elements of the lead (why, where, what, when, who, how). (SEABRA & SANTOS (2014)
together using customized 3D avatars and headphones to communicate within the
platform. To understand the concept, just compare the metaverse with today's
internet. Currently, social networks are the main mediators of the virtual environment.
By means of cell phones and computers, users can access their 'digital life', an
experience that will be even more interactive and immersive on the new platform.
More than surfing in 2D virtual environments, it will be possible to experience it from
the inside in three dimensions, which would take away from the user that feeling of
'control' of the environment, if he ever had that feeling. After all, people tend to
confuse any media support
(physical material) with available entertainment
(symbolic content), which is why news information ends up losing its ability to
influence because it is conveyed in media that, from the perspective of common sense,
are viewed by users, generally, as supports for fun, even if unconsciously for most of
them. An example is smartphones.
In principle, in our view, the metaverse presupposes the emulation of a broad
entertainment environment, since most companies that develop this new platform
relate it to social interaction games
. According to Phil Spencer (cited by Stinson
(2002), responsible for the project being developed by Windows, the initiative involves
the Xbox video game console, which would be planning to create a 'mixed reality',
although Bill Gates' company is also still designing a 'business metaverse', which in
essence is a game of social interaction between people interested in trading view
. In
the same field of video games, the company Epic Games, owner of the game Fortnite,
is developing projects for the new platform, which can be incorporated For platforms
like, Microsoft Mesh, and Horizon Worlds (Facebook), the metaverse
environment feels like an extension of the work or natural life of ordinary citizens,
where avatars can meet in modern environments or alien landscapes to social
gatherings. On the other side of the same coin, long ago, major platforms like The
Sims, Minecraft, Second Life, and Roblox were already developing virtual worlds if m
take the name of metaverse. However, these supports also allowed players to build
their own structures and explore ever-expanding landscapes, as proposed by
metaverse technology. Regardless of being more or less playful, the metaverse
definitely opens a Pandora's box for the harmful manipulation of information,
implying, yes, questions related to the real world. Well, the architectural
characteristics of the new virtual environment can create gray areas of perception,
especially for cognitively immature users, such as teenagers and children. As explained
by Johnatan (2022), users invested with their digital avatars will surf through a series
The term support (text or genre) has become recurrent in the theoretical debate on language in recent years, at
least in Brazil and in some European countries (notably, France). The definition of support is, however, an open
question (Bonini, 2011). This characterization necessarily involves a survey of the relationship between support and
genre, for which three explanations have been outlined in the literature so far: 1- Marcuschi (2003) defends the
support thesis as a material (physical) element and gender as a symbolic element; 2-Bonini (2005) defends two
forms: the physicists and the conventional ones; and 3 Távora (2008) focuses between the material (physical),
representing the support, and the conventional (symbolic), representing the genre.
They are games that promote social approximation between users in different forms of sociability.
They are social trading platforms that allow the user to chat with millions of traders from different countries in
real time, read and publish trade ideas directly on charts or watch and record ideas on video.
of metaverse labyrinths, whose perception can be emptied as they explore this new,
almost infinite world.
Digital avatars can wander through a series of seemingly endless labyrinths of rooms
painted by sunlight and whose architectural features seem to have been taken from a
drawing by artist M.C. Escher. The rooms are designed with a hazy smoothness that Lesmes
says helps with load times and to ease screen-addicted eyes from getting used to a new
environment. “Lighting is incredibly important; it can make a virtual space much more
pleasant. (JOHNATAN, 2022)
How not to associate terms such as immersion, interaction and alienation in a context
of virtual distortion in an augmented reality environment? In contrast, newsgames
present themselves as a kind of 'cognitive firewall' that would instrument the user to
'defend' himself from possible setbacks of this expanded entertainment, stimulated by
the nebulous labyrinths emulated by the metaverse. Although it also encompasses
informative possibilities, the essence of this platform flirts more, in a broad sense, with
entertainment than with the referential function
of information. At least
theoretically, information based on the referent would make reality more predictable
and controllable, since what is at stake, as Castells (2015) ponders, is the life of the
human being transformed into data
In this digitalized and connected world, the State watches over us and Capital sells us, that
is, sells our life transformed into data. They watch over us for our good, to pro tect us from
evil. And they sell us on our own accord, when we accept cookies and trust the banks that
allow us to live on credit (and therefore believe they have the right to know who they give
cards to). The two processes, massive electronic surveillance and the sale of personal data
as a business model, have expanded exponentially in the last decade, due to the effect of
security paranoia, the search for ways to make the internet profitable and the technological
development of digital communication and data processing. (CASTELLS, 2015)
In an environment of hyperrealism, interactive immersion can create what Lazarsfeld
and Merton classify as narcotic dysfunction
, due to the large volume of information
made available. This dysfunction can also be related to Walter Benjamin's theory about
the sensorial hyperstimulation of the modern world, in which stimuli, especially visual
ones, because they are so widely diffused in our society, end up trivializing and
becoming imperceptible. Of course, this already happens on social media, but it would
be much more leveraged in an immersive 3D environment. As we have already
mentioned, in most organizations in Silicon Valley, the development of the metaverse
is focused almost exclusively on entertainment-related content, as they basically
Commitment to informativeness is its main characteristic; characterized by the message centered on what is
being talked about.
Pure data is the record without connections or interpretations. Information recorded in its natural state, without
necessarily context. Data can be numbers, words, images, among other records. The most important thing is to
understand that it is raw data, or Raw Data as it is called in the information technology area, which is that
data/value collected and stored exactly the way it was acquired, without any kind of treatment or interpretation
(...) when pure data gains context, it becomes Information. (CAPPRA, 2015)
Exposure to large amounts of information can cause the so-called narcotic dysfunction (Lazarsfeld & Merton,
1948), which can lead to the so-called cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957), which refers to the individual's need
to seek coherence between their cognitions (knowledge, opinions or beliefs); occurs when there is an inconsistency
between the attitudes or behaviors that are believed to be right and what is actually practiced.
function as games of social interaction on several levels. Thus, it is essential to focus on
the power of newsgames to promote an exogenous confrontation with the available
content, whether inside or outside the metaverse, with interoperability mechanisms.
After all, the essence of the newsgames narrative is the analysis, confrontation and
proposition of information that promotes social, cultural and political engagement in
the players, as already happens in 2D social networks. However, with an important
detail: in an immersive and labyrinthine way. Thus, informational games can be used
as alien or endogenous media within the metaverse. It is enough to create the
technological bases for this possibility to be possible. This is because, on a 3D platform,
users are more at risk of being manipulated from ideological content, since big data
algorithms know them better than they know themselves. But it was not always like
that, as Castells (2015) points out,
(...)because we were not digitized and there were no technologies powerful enough to
obtain, relate and process this immense mass of information. The emergence of so-called
big data, gigantic databases in communicable and accessible formats (such as the immense
file of the US National Security Agency - NSA - in Bluffdale, Utah) resulted in the
strengthening of intelligence services after the barbaric attack on New York , as well as
cooperation between large technology companies and governments, in particular with the
NSA (which is part of the US Ministry of Defense but enjoys broad autonomy). (CASTELLS,
In turn, as Pierre Lévy (1993) suggests, the audience will only come out of its famous
social inertia from an emotional involvement with the information it consumes. In the
case of fruition taking place in an immersive environment, such as the metaverse, the
tendency is for the user to apprehend and understand the information even if it is
made available on a playful platform. According to Lévy, emotion contributes in an
incisive way in the apprehension and understanding of information, because it reveals
the personal involvement with the received message. Therefore, according to Levy,
people's emotional involvement with the items to remember will also drastically change
their mnemonic performances. The more we are personally involved with information, the
easier it will be to remember it] (LÉVY, 1993).
4- Social control and changes in citizen status
As stated by Castells (2015), 97% of the information on the planet is digitized, most of
this information is produced through the internet and wireless communication
networks. By communicating, we transform a good part of our lives into digital
records, which makes us hostage to mechanisms of social control, both by the State
and by large media and technology companies. According to Castells, these data are
communicable and accessible via the interconnection of network files, which places
each of us in a position of vulnerability regarding to information providers, whose
mechanisms of social control imply a change in the status of citizens, reducing them to
mere data donors, as Castells illustrates, given the progressive transfer of personal
information to media and technology companies.
With an individual ID that connects with our credit cards, our health card, our bank account,
our personal and professional history (including home), our computers (each with its own
code number), our mail (required by banks and internet companies), our driver's license,
our car registration number, the trips we take, our spending habits (detected by card or
internet purchases), our music and reading habits, our presence on social networks (such as
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr or Twitter and many others), our searches on Google
or Yahoo and a wide range of digital et cetera. And all this referring to one person: you, for
example. (CASTELLS, 2015)
And, as Castells maintains, it is assumed that, without a shadow of a doubt, individual
identities are legally protected and the data of each one of us is truly private. Of
course, this can be true until the moment that this data ceases to be private due to the
fact that it has fallen onto the network by mistake, or intentionally. And these
exceptions, Castells points out, are actually the rule, and maintain an almost symbiotic
relationship with the two central institutions in our society: the State and Capital.
Proof of this capitalist intersection came in 2013 with the revelations of Edward
on practices of permanent spying of ordinary citizens. With little judicial
protection or simply illegal, as Castells claims, these discoveries have exposed a
worldwide society in which nothing can escape the surveillance of the so-called Big
Brother, not even the former prime minister of Germany, Angela Merkel.
In this digitalized and connected world, the State watches over us and Capital sells us, that
is, sells our life transformed into data. They watch over us for our good, to protect us from
evil. And they sell us on our own accord, when we accept cookies and trust the banks that
allow us to live on credit (and therefore believe they have the right to know who they give
cards to). The two processes, massive electronic surveillance and the sale of personal data
as a business model, have expanded exponentially in the last decade, due to the effect of
security paranoia, the search for ways to make the internet profitable and the technological
development of digital communication. and data processing. (CASTELLS, 2015)
Inevitably, these user weaknesses, in the face of an increasingly digitized and
connected world, expose biased intentions of social control mechanisms, which reduce
ordinary citizens to mere donors of data for political and commercial purposes, so that
their decisions are not guided. of its own volition, but by interference from content
manipulated by big data algorithms. And, in a 3D environment of extended
entertainment, the metaverse enhances these and other possibilities of ideologized
actions. On the other hand, newsgames can work as an instrument to promote
information equity in the network. In other words, to mitigate possible interference of
a manipulative nature based on personal data, captured in an even more sophisticated
5 - State fragility and the advent of autocracies
From the second decade of the 21st century onwards, the world has been witnessing a
new type of phenomenon around the planet: the great social protests. From the Arab
Spring to Occupy Wall Street, through the street demonstrations in London, Paris to
the protests in the main capitals of Brazil and the marches of the landless workers,
creating a kind of dystopian movement against the institutionalized legal system. In
He was a systems analyst, former CIA systems administrator and former NSA contractor who in 2013 made public
details of various programs that make up the US NSA's global surveillance system.
fact, the day after Russia launched its troops against Ukraine, Russian citizens took to
the streets of Moscow to protest against Vladimir Putin's regime. In these movements,
there is something in common: the use of the Internet as a tool for spontaneous
agglutination of indignant citizens, who use the force of the streets to give visibility to
all kinds of social injustice. Thus, Castells (2016) describes:
All of them are social protests, because people protest against the many injustices in all
spheres. But there are specific movements, which I call network movements, that have
similar characteristics across the world. (...) I identify the characteristic traits of the social
movements of the network society, movements that articulate the presence on the internet
with the spontaneous presence in the streets and squares, decentralized movements, which
arise spontaneously from the indignation against injustice, without party organization and
without centralized leadership. Its themes and origins are very diverse, but they repeat the
same forms and in all of them the space of autonomy that the network represents is
essential. (CASTELLS, 2016)
This new type of social phenomenon calls into question the state and interstate system
currently in force in Europe, Asia and North America, not to mention the peripheral
countries. In other words, current forms of political representation around discredited
parliaments. Apparently, the political crisis between Ukraine and Russia tends to
promote the accelerated advance of a new 'multi-civilizational era'. According to Fiori
(2022), the emergence of this new status quo will redesign all geopolitics and world
values rooted in culture, breaking with the political hegemony of the last 500 years,
based on a planetary project coined from an expansionism based on the Greco-Roman
tradition. Roman and Judeo-Christian.
Everything indicates that the advance of this new 'multi-civilizational era' can no longer be
reversed, nor is there any way to return the world system to its previous situation, of
complete Eurocentric supremacy. And even if the axis of the world system has not yet
shifted entirely to Asia, it is certain that a new 'balance of power' has already been
established that displaced the previous hegemony, from the universal project and the
'catechetical expansionism' of the tradition Greek-Roman and Judeo-Christian. (FIORI, 2022)
In this context of geopolitical ruptures, ambivalences between state fragility and the
emergence of autocratic governments are potentiated by new communication
technologies (NTC's), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data algorithms, so that the
advent of the metaverse gains even more importance, as it is an immersive platform
controlled by algorithms with a high power of media ideologization, which can make
users hostage to all sorts of manipulation as they have never been in street protests.
Because, as Castells (2016) warns, we live in a new world ethic and the old form of
social repression can no longer be exercised as before. Thus, what would be left for the
powerful is the exercise of manipulating hearts and minds in increasingly digitized
Repression is the weakest form of power. It is much more effective to manipulate minds
than to torture bodies. The power that needs to kill is a weak, weak, eroded power. The
political cost of systems that violently repress is so high and the ability to rebuild legitimacy
is so slow that large-scale violent repression is only exercised when the system absolutely
needs it. This is not the case for Western countries today. (CASTELLS, 2016)
But the same cannot be safely said about the countries of Eastern Europe, after the
Russian invasion of Ukraine, against a sovereign country with its democratically elected
president. For Fiori (2021), in the new world order a kind of ethnic-cultural diaspora is
created, in which the old civilization models, especially in the Western world, are no
longer in line with an increasingly multicivilizational reality, built on the basis of of the
second decade of the 21st century, mainly after the advent of the so-called social
media. And all of this gets even more out of control with the endless possibilities of the
There is no longer a single 'ethical criterion', nor is there a single judge with the power to
arbitrate all international conflicts, based on their own 'table of values'. And it is no longer
possible to expel the 'new sinners' from the 'paradise' invented by Europeans, as happened
with the legendary Adam and Eve. As this supremacy ended, it may be possible, or even
necessary, for the West to learn to respect and live together peacefully with the “truth” and
the “values” of other civilizations. (FIORI, 2021).
Faced with this scenario of almost non-negotiable changes, metaverse engineering
artificially alters and accelerates any process of political manipulation of the real world
through big data algorithms. If there is no system of checks and balances, the tendency
is for political ruptures to occur at a speed never before seen in the world. To stop any
manipulative fury of the real, it is necessary to create 'media containment barriers' to
enforce the real and true self-determination of peoples. For, mechanisms that
institutionally weaken the State pave the way for the rise of autocracies, as seen today
in Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. So, how to avoid the
institutional weakening of the State without hurting legal prerogatives that can reduce
the citizen to the status of a social area? In his article 'Surveillanced and sold', Castells
(2015) warns of this growing control of the State over the citizen in the face of the
gradual legal flexibility so that the means (espionage even of the common citizen) can
justify the ends (institutional security of the State and monetization of media and
technology companies). NSA Director Michael Hayden once declared that in order to
identify a needle in a haystack (the terrorist in world communication) it is necessary to
control the entire haystack and this is what the State ended up achieving, according
to its own criteria, with a more flexible legal coverage, yet, disreputable.
Although the United States is the center of the surveillance system, Snowden's documents
show active cooperation with the specialized surveillance agencies of the United Kingdom,
Germany, France and any country, with the partial exception of Russia and China, except at
moments of convergence. In Spain, after the scandalous revelation that the NSA had
intercepted 600 million phone calls, Snowden pointed out that in reality the CNI had done
this on behalf of the NSA. It followed the policy of former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar,
who gave US President George W. Bush unlimited permission to spy in Spain in exchange for
advanced surveillance material. And they watched anyone who was sharing information.
(CASTELLS, 2015)
To avoid or just minimize any kind of institutional weakening of the State and the
possible ascendancy of dictatorships around the world, it is necessary to create
mechanisms against content manipulation in the sphere of digital communication, as
you already see against fake news, whose vile expedient has been used. by supporters
of both the right and the left, to defend their ideological positions around the world.
Due to their power of analysis, confrontation and informative proposition, newsgames
can function synergistically as a critical and self-defense source for the citizen in the
metaverse, to face any new type of induced manipulation that may subsist in the
future. From the perspective of Castells (2015), even though surveillance without state
control is a threat to democracy, the erosion of privacy essentially comes from the
practice of communication companies to obtain data from their customers, aggregate
and sell them. In cyberspace, users are sold in the form of data, without any legal
censorship. In 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
, was pressured by senators in
testimony in the US Congress, about the use of data by the company Cambridge
Analytica, which would have contravened the social network's own rules. An example
of this flexibility that abuses the good faith of the citizen can also be seen in the
privacy policy published by Google:
the search engine grants the right to record the user's name, e-mail, telephone number,
credit card, search habits, search requests, identification of computers and telephones,
duration of calls, location, application usage and data. Other than that, privacy is respected.
That's why Google has almost a million servers for data processing. (CASTELLS, 2015).
Of course, this snooping by media companies, particularly on social media, tends to be
even greater in the metaverse. For this practice also occurs among the powerful.
According to the TASS Agency
, some 20 years ago, dictator Wladimir Putin directed
Russian oligarchs to withdraw their assets from tax havens, because he knew that no
account was entirely immune from breaches. Thus, he prevented Russian billionaires
from losing assets when the West decided to impose economic sanctions, during
Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. But how can this practice be minimized on both
sides? Betting on the same expedient used by big data algorithms, which are nothing
more than advanced forms of gameplay from old video games. After all, the mechanics
of any game whether board, electronic or digital work essentially with
constraints, which algorithms now do in a more accurate and assertive way based on
captured data, often without the user's permission. Thus, as in the fight against
unwanted State interference, newsgames can work synergistically against the erosion
of privacy in a metaverse environment. And better, with the user's permission.
Final considerations
There is no doubt that the technology of the metaverse, added to the synergy of
newsgames, will transform our notion of how to communicate in a three-dimensional
information environment. And the possible synergies, ambivalences, convergences and
divergences mentioned above between these two ludo-informational platforms can
help and strengthen networked social movements, since the old model of political
representation seems worn out and incapable of meeting the new multi-civilizational
Accessed February 28, 2002. Available in:
Accessed March 6, 2002. Available in:
demands. As Castells states, if the elites were willing, network communication offers
enormous possibilities for increasing citizen participation in public debate. In our view,
this spontaneous mobilization of ordinary citizens is possible, even in a metaverse
environment as long as there are checks and balances based on information platforms
that enhance the contradictory, such as the metaverse technology of newsgames.
After all, games as news emulators can help in the analysis, confrontation and
informative proposition, pointing out possible manipulative deviations enhanced in a
metaverse environment. In a context of disruption of the political system based on
institutionalized channels, the synergy between ludo-informational platforms
contributes so that autonomous forms of debate, organization and online
manifestation also gain the strength of the streets, and vice versa. In this sense, taking
a ride on Castells' words, network communication in a metaverse environment can
revitalize traditional democracy and create a new form of democratic representation
through ludo-informative platforms, which would demarcate a new type of extra-
parliamentary representation, going against the old parties. bureaucratized filled with
corrupt politicians. In general, Castells points out, these spontaneous networked
protests are a symptom of the crisis of current representative democracy, dominated
by parties serving themselves and not the citizens, for whom politics should demand
their efforts.
In addition to denouncing cash-controlled elections and media that promote hidden
agendas, these movements outside a traditional parliamentary form of representation
are still emerging to combat systemic and partisan corruption around the world. An
example of this extra-parliamentary participation occurred on the 5th day of the
Russian invasion of Ukraine, when FIFA was pressured by the international community
to revert to the position taken the day before, which guaranteed the permanence of
the Russian team in the dispute of the qualifiers for the World Cup in the Qatar, in
2022. But all it took was social mobilization (by players from other teams and an outcry
on social media) for the biggest football entity to ban Russia from the next World Cup.
This was only possible because traditional forms of control are dissolving, so the
current political system is in a deep crisis of legitimacy and representativeness around
the world. But at the same time, warns Castells, electronic surveillance and social
control through technology are increasing the authoritarian state's ability to make full
use of technology to counter democratic mobilizations and the demand for
transparency to reinforce domination and limit democracy. So let's not be silly, after all
the owners of the metaverse platforms can act, yes, as a new Wladimir Putin in three
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Full-text available
Resumo O conteúdo deste artigo é baseado em pesquisa de dissertação de mestrado, cuja análise aborda os suportes de games violentos como emuladores de informação e aprendizagem, com objetivo de atrair os jovens jogadores para o universo da informação que crie novas habilidades e competências para uso cotidiano e profissional. Os games são vistos como uma nova pedagogia informacional, utilizando-se de ambientes lúdicos extra-escolares, capazes de atuar como possibilidade de complemento ao ensino tradicional, promovendo assim a propulsão cognitiva para o advento do homem pós-humano. Palavra-chave: games, informação, aprendizagem, educação, pós-humano Abstrat The content of this article is based in search of a master's dissertation, which addresses the media analysis of violent games and emulators of information and learning in order to attract young players to the universe of information to create new abilities and skills to use daily life and work. The games are seen as a new informational pedagogy, using the extra-school recreational environments, able to act as a complement to the possibility of traditional education, thus promoting the cognitive propulsion for the advent of man posthuman.
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HARARI, Yuval Novah. Homo Deus: Uma Breve História do Amanhã. Tradução Paulo Geiger. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2016.
As Tecnologias da Inteligência
  • Pierre Lévy
LÉVY, Pierre. As Tecnologias da Inteligência. São Paulo. Editora 34, 1993.
Como o metaverso será projetado?
  • Liz Stinson
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