Entering The Metaverse
There have been many popular entertainment themes over the years. In the early 50s, westerns wrangled the top, and science fiction mind-controlled the late 50s. Romance books loved the 70s and 80s took a circuit into cyberspace. Vampires sink their fangs into the 00s, and zombies slobbered the 10s.
Now, the Metaverse has slid into first place. The concept is that an infinite number of parallel universes exist, and one can “jump” from one to the other using a scientific device or supernatural powers.
Fiction writers invented this idea in the 50s, and I recall the episode of the original Star Trek where the crew jumped into the evil universe. “Mirror, Mirror” (TOS, Season 2, Episode 4)
The Metaverse is a great plot tool because writers can explore every conceivable difference. Animals instead of people? Animated characters? Different genders? Those big differences are easy for the reader or viewer to grasp.
Many recent movies have explored the Metaverse, and a great example is Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. In the movie (spoiler alert) the lead character (Spider-Man) travels to multiple dimensions to fight evil.
The enormous advantage is that there are infinite possibilities, and it is fun to keep readers or the audience guessing. Another advantage is that the multi-universe theory explains the difference. For example, superpowers are impossible in our universe, so humans cannot lift a train like Superman. In the Multiverse, it is possible because that universe has different physics rules. Therefore, the writer does not have to spend excessive time explaining the differences. “In Multiverse 293, the people are farm animals.” “In Multiverse 293, there is no sound.” Big changes are both fun and easy to grasp.
The Multiverse has endless possibilities, and I think it will be at the forefront of entertainment for at least two more years. What is the next big theme after people get bored of the Multiverse? Are Westerns returning? Telepathy? Artificial Intelligence? More comic book characters?
I have two guesses about the next big plot device. Steam Punk is a Victorian era with advanced period correct (steam) technology. This setting has a lot of space to explore and is visually stunning.
I think we are going to jump deep into Artificial Intelligence plots. The plots might include characters developed with AI, animated with AI, or written by AI. Perhaps this might be an average person who had their job replaced by AI or a child taught by an AI teacher instead of a human.
Where are the werewolf stories? It’s only natural to go vampire, zombie, werewolf, and we are due for this change.
There is still room to explore in the Metaverse; it will always be a great plot tool. I hope they do not overuse it like the gun duels in Western movies. But considering the infinite number of Metaverse possibilities, there are endless plot possibilities. Or we could go to a universe where there are no plots.

You’re the best -Bill
July 19, 2023
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