The Wild, Microsoft Mesh, and Facebook’s Horizon Worlds are just a few of the businesses creating their own metaverses. Additionally, Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard—one of the biggest video game companies in the world—has given the tech giant an advantage in creating its metaverse.
However, science fiction films have consistently been way ahead of the curve, giving us a fleeting glance of a time when we will literally live in the virtual world. To help you get started envisioning what a metaverse could perhaps bring to mind, here is a list.
Our list of top 9 Sci-Fi Movies About the Rise of the Metaverse:
- Ready Player One (2018)
- Avatar (2009 – 2022)
- The Matrix series (1999-2021)
- Inception (2010)
- Free Guy (2021)
- Tron series (1982-2010)
- Wreck-it Ralph (2012)
- Source Code (2011)
- Surrogates (2009)
Ready Player One (2018)
The metaverse is discussed in 97.3% of news stories about the 2018 Steven Spielberg film Ready Player One, which is based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 book with the same title. When Facebook changed its name to Meta in 2021, the metaverse first came to the attention of the general public. At the time, Ready Player One was a VR-themed film that was still fresh in everyone’s minds.
The “Oasis” in Ready Player One is a representation of the metaverse and, as its name suggests, is a rare instance of highly technologically stimulated wonderfulness for the protagonist of the story in an otherwise harsh reality.
The inclusion of Ready Player One is justified by the narrative’s emphasis on gaming as the main use of the metaverse. In contrast to the internet, which only recently became an essential component of today’s gaming experience, games are likely to be a major driver of metaverse technological innovations from the start.
Today, games like Minecraft, GTA Online, and the amazing Microsoft Flight Simulator are the nearest thing we have to real-world metaverses.
Considering the large size of the gaming industry today and the revenue it can generate, game companies are likely to play a key role in advancing the technology needed to create a virtual world that is truly real-time and synchronous. It’s not at the moment. However, having the chance to generate billions of dollars in earnings has a peculiar way of altering things.
Avatar (2009 – 2022)
A group by the name of the Accelerating Studies Foundation released a report called the Metaverse Roadmap 2 years before James Cameron’s record-breaking film Avatar was launched, highlighting what the 3D internet would look like in the distant year of 2016.
The metaverse has certainly been the subject of increased discussion in recent years, but Avatar was released at a fascinating point in time in technological history. As the metaverse Roadmap report clearly demonstrates, thoughts on the metaverse subject were just starting to take off.
The launch of the new Google Street View also demonstrated that it was possible to recreate the world digitally and then be able to move around it at will. At the time, Second Life was getting a lot of attention as a sort of metaverse.
The plot of the film Avatar, in which humans control alien Na’vi bodies on a far-off planet via remote control, incorporated many of these prevailing notions.
Of course, it gave them a futuristic twist, but the idea of a virtual embodiment will continue to gain ground in the metaverse.
Additionally, although James Cameron’s film did not coin the term “avatar,” it undoubtedly made its current usage known to a much larger audience.
The Matrix series (1999-2021)
The Matrix film series must be at the top of any list of produced virtual realities.
Although virtual worlds have been discussed in other works of fiction before, the Matrix series, which debuted its first film in 1999, really established the concept. Neo, a hacker who learns that reality isn’t what it seems, is portrayed by Keanu Reeves.
The Matrix metaverse
Following a conflict with humanity, sentient machines created the virtual reality known as The Matrix.
In this timeline, machines attained subconsciousness and made peaceable coexistence proposals to human governments, which the governments vehemently rejected.
The humans were woefully underprepared for the power of the machines in the coming fight, and in their desperation, they obscured the sky with nanites to cut off the machines’ main source of energy—the sun. Unsurprisingly, this also had a catastrophic impact on the planet, causing a global food shortages and the rapid decline of biological life.
The machines started harvesting people for their bio-electric energy as the planet became completely uninhabitable, effectively utilizing them as batteries.
For hundreds of years after the war, humans are raised in liquid-filled pods from birth to death, completely unaware of the essential nature of their reality.
The machines created various incarnations of the Matrix so that people could use it as a construct—the universe as we know it—to divert their attention and calm their minds. The struggle for human freedom from this enslavement is the series’ main subject.
Inception, written and directed by Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan, follows Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his crew as they embark on a mission to thieve corporate secrets using a potent dream-sharing technology.
The dream-sharing technology in the known universe of Inception was created as a military tool to enable soldiers to start practicing combat maneuvers without suffering any actual bodily harm.
The characters employ this technology for similarly evil purposes. Although Cobb is a skilled “extractor” (someone who steals thoughts from a target’s subconscious), the movie centers on his attempt at “inception,” or the implantation of an idea into a target—a process that has never been done before.
Free Guy (2021)
An online multiplayer action-adventure game called Free City features a background character named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who works as a bank employee.
Free Guy metaverse
Jodie Comer plays Millie Rusk, a game developer for Soonami Studio, the team behind Free City, who is out to prove that the studio has stolen her game’s code base.
Guy starts to stray away from his programming when he meets Rusk’s in-game avatar, Molotov Girl.
Shortly after, Guy finds a set of game sunglasses and is able to see the Free City user experience in the same way that a player outside the game would. With this fresh insight, Guy joins Rusk in her mission to take back what is legitimately hers.
Tron series (1982-2010)
Tron, which had a mixed reception upon release in 1982, later developed into a cult favorite. The special effects in particular, which made use of computer-generated visuals, were hailed as groundbreaking. Kevin Flynn, played by Jeff Bridges, is a software engineer who was formerly employed by ENCOM, a large multinational technology company that has basically robbed him off his games and handed them off as their own.
As Flynn tries to break into ENCOM’s mainframe, the Master Control Program (MCP), a powerful and effective artificial intelligence, employs an experimental laser to upload Flynn into the “Grid,” a virtual reality environment populated by sentient programs.
These programs can be distinguished by “Users,” which are digitized representations of actual humans that have been brought into the Grid.
These sentient programs within the Grid are commanded by the MCP and brainwashed to deny the existence of Users. Those who refuse are forced to compete in public gladiator games until they die.
The Grid is visually developed further in the sequel Tron: Legacy (2010) with an updated appearance while keeping the original’s setting.
Sam, Flynn’s son, is digitized and transferred to the Grid in this movie in an effort to retrieve his father. Along the way, some intriguing findings about sentience and biological/digital hybrid life are made.
Wreck-it Ralph (2012)
The only film on this list targeted at children is Wreck-It Ralph. A video game antagonist named Ralph decides that he is sick of being the bad guy and sets out to change that.
Wreck-it Ralph metaverse
Wreck-It Ralph, which is set in an arcade, follows a collection of characters from different video games who come together each day as the arcade closes for the day.
Characters will exit their individual games using a power strip and interact in Game Central Station to socially interact away from the intrusions of humans.
There, Ralph, the main antagonist of the video game Fix-It Felix, Jr., meets with other antagonists from various video game series to complain about his assigned “bad guy” role.
The fact that the Wreck-It Ralph metaverse is a shared space between various “worlds” that overlap with different video games is arguably its most fascinating/funny feature.
Source Code (2011)
Jake Gyllenhaal played the role of Captain Colter Stevens, a U.S. Army pilot, is tasked with identifying a passenger train bomber.
Source Code metaverse
As a result of a government laboratory exercise, Captain Stevens has his consciousness transferred into another man’s body.
Over the course of several eight-minute loops, it becomes clear that Stevens has been placed inside “Source Code,” a simulation of the final seconds of a passenger transport train traveling to Chicago.
The train explodes at the conclusion of each eight-minute cycle, killing every person inside. This attack is thought to be the start of something bigger because the simulation has been recreated using the memories of the victims on board.
The last remains of Captain Stevens’ brain are kept on life support by life – sustaining treatment, and it is eventually discovered that he is actually dead. Stevens was chosen for the program because it was determined that his military experience was essential to the success of this mission.
Stevens’ mission to identify the bomber is complicated not only by the weight of knowing that he died, but also by the possibility of learning that dying is not the end…
In the not too distant future, people lead solitary lives and communicate with the outside world only through android “surrogates.” An FBI agent named Tom Greer (Bruce Willis) and his partner look into the murders of two people who had something to do with starting the surrogate initiative.
Human operators are typically viewed as slow and afraid of the outside world, at least in this instance, as surrogates allow human operators to live ideal forms of their existence from a safe distance, in direct comparison to the aesthetic and desirable forms of android surrogates.
The difference between this “metaverse” and the others on this list is that instead of using a headset or another similar device to access a virtual world, humans in this particular “metaverse” receive a whole Android body substitute, and they use it to view the real world instead of a virtual one.