Key Questions About Metaverses In 2023

6 min readJan 27


It is traditional to set personal or corporate goals at the start of the New Year. What does 2023 bring to the development of metaverses? What are the close-term prospects for their incorporation into our everyday life? What is a potential barrier on the way of our expectations to come true? We spoke to Alexey Kulakov, JetStyle’s CEO and asked a series of key questions about metaverses. Let’s see what’s to come:

1. What is the most relevant definition of a metaverse? What are the current views on what it is?

Alexey: Metaverse will destroy the borders between the actor and the environment.

At JetStyle we’ve developed virtual reality for 8 years now. I have a UX designer background, so I view all processes as user scenarios. My vision is that virtual and augmented reality are the ancestors to mixed reality, which for now is a rare concept. So we view AR and VR experiences as the basis for what we’ll have in the future.

First of all, I’m curious to see how input & output means will evolve and influence the ‘people-people’, ‘people-machines’ interaction models. My main hypothesis is that in the XXI century we are witnessing the borders of interaction fade out.

Today humans believe they control the machines. Our input tools are directive ones: we type something in with keyboards, touchpads or use voice. We believe that what we’ve input is the signal for the machine to react. However, the main input interface is actually what the machine or the network predicts about our next move.

In VR the input means are the way we move. Moving consciously with your whole body is harder than just moving one hand. With the evolution of VR the notion of “I” will most probably transform. The actor and the environment are slowly merging, so with each next step of development it’ll be harder to see where one ends and the other begins.

2. What will people pay for in metaverses, and what will the currency be?

Alexey: The currency of the new economy is a coupon for creative labour.

In the world of information re-production and deeper labour automatization, it’ll be harder to distinguish between the creator and consumer. There used to exist a very specific dichotomy of the roles: author VS reader, director VS audience, etc. Now we have streamers, letsplayers, mode creators, etc. There’s a whole gradient system between the two poles.

It might lead to a new deficit: the one of paid-for creative labour. Money as a currency gives access to a deficit. People will likely spend money to buy products of creative labour.

3. Will user scenarios in XR change?

Alexey: Operator and environment will switch places, so all scenarios are going to change.

I work as a lead tracker at corporate accelerators. I’ve noticed that these days every 2nd startup is HR-related. Companies are looking for their way around distant work modes. At the same time, VR is the only existing single-purpose artificial environment. If you’re in VR, you cannot ignore it. You are wearing a helmet that limits to zero any other interaction with the outside world.

BTW, at this point I disagree with Mark Zuckerberg’s vision. He believes the media pressure on social media should be equalized to the one in virtual reality. He wants to make VR spaces more multifunctional. I’d say it would ruin the biggest advantage VR provides in the era of focused interaction deficit.

Another idea is a bit sinister: I believe the core interaction model will be predicting our next steps. It is similar to what the search bar shows when we type in our request or to a streaming service offering music according to what you’ve listened to previously. The prediction might go even further. It’s up to experimenting to see how deep it can be until people start resisting.

Alternatively, it could evolve to not just a movie or next music track on your playlist. Who knows, maybe we’ll get predictions on how to react to things or what to pay attention to. But when people’s behaviour is predicted, it becomes predetermined. Thus, roles switch.

When hardware progress brings us light and powerful XR gadgets with no sensory distortion, the extended reality will definitely give us hints about something. This is the moment when all scenarios change. They will not be linear anymore; it will be an open world with scenarios guided by stimuli.

4. What will be the most valuable competencies?

Alexey: Stimuli field production, new experiences design, digital objects development.

  1. The first skill in demand is the ability to control behavior via stimuli field modelling and building dynamic behavioral models. This one’s close to game design.
  2. Experience design. We’ll witness a growing demand for changing people’s behavior by offering them experiences they cannot have IRL. Might be the industry’s most expensive skill.
  3. Digital objects development. We will need to create a huge market of models and avatars. Avatars will need to travel from one universe to another, so the skeletons will need to be useful in various contexts and technically relevant to all of them.

5. In the world where user behavior is predicted, will we be able to preserve intention and free will?

Alexey: To preserve people’s intention, we need someone to pay for protecting the ecology of attention.

Modern economics and the patterns of information exchange are harmful for our mental health. There are a lot of people that profit from us being slaves of prediction based models. Who’s going to pay to have our attention protected? To preserve a person’s individuality, there should be someone who’ll take it as a work. However, ecological interaction is still not a priority.

Media pressure is increasing, so I’m sure there will be more demand for the ability to manage ‘silence bubbles’ around us. People will strive to control the frequency of the signals from the outside world and the contrast between the signal and the noise. I call this the silence design or emptiness design.

This trend has already started with Android and IOS integrating self-limiting mechanisms.

6. What are the most probable development barriers for XR?

Alexey: We’ll have problems if geography-based thinking prevails and if we create a second ‘Second Life’.

First of all, geography-based thinking may win: after Neal Stephenson wrote ‘Snow Crash’, ‘Second Life’ was released and it failed because we failed an interface-related task. We took properties of one medium and moved it to another without re-thinking and re-inventing the mechanics — it was clearly not effective.

If we make this mistake again, people will soon get tired of the new reality. One day Facebook will stop investing into it and metaverses are done.

If we don’t solve the problem of too much cognitive noise, we’ll be left with a thought product dump. It won’t be a nice place to stay in.

7. What’s the actual use of AR, VR and MR for the world in general?

Alexey: It’s crucial that people themselves start looking for new meanings.

Let’s talk about the use from the point of view of its recipients:

  1. Corporations and states: consumer economics growth. Also consumers will be more manageable as objects that bring profit.
  2. Users: experiences they cannot get IRL. Personally, it’s been an incredible experience to co-create 3d stuff with other people using Tilt Brush. The game is already developing its community with fans and streamers, but it’s only the beginning.
  3. Individuals: a chance to create associations and ‘sandpits’ where they can go through experiences they’re interested in.

People should show their interest. That’s how the environment will reply and give something to satiate this interest.

8. What are the benefits of this technology for users?

Alexey: Everyone will have access to creating their own worlds.

We can already create worlds using tools from game development. We can edit 3D worlds, too (with the Tilt Brush I mentioned before). These tools are few yet accessible.

What’s more to come: editing tools for behaviour scenarios within a virtual space. Rec Room has something like this, but we need more advanced 3D interaction design.

Do your thoughts match with our ideas? Let’s discuss the future of the metaverses. Leave your feedback in the comments section and don’t hesitate to ask questions we missed.




JetStyle is a complex digital-production. Our main expertise: UX, Development, Analytics, Marketing.