On October 28th, millions of parents suddenly had a major crisis- after years of putting it off, they actually had to spend time with their children. This horrible state of affairs came about because Roblox, a game so popular with younger kids it’s legally a babysitter, had a complete outage. As old toys were fished out of closets and chests, I’m sure parents and kids were reassured by the same thought: “It’ll be back up soon.”
But as playtime stretched on and the night of the 28th came to a close, Roblox didn’t come back up.
And it didn’t come back up on the 29th.
Or the 30th.
After three days of a complete outage, Roblox finally came back late on October 31st, long after action figures and coloring books had lost their charm.
Now, I’m just kidding around when I say kids were playing with physical toys- they obviously just played different video games. But it’s not an exaggeration to say that these kids spend most of their time on Roblox because Roblox is a prime example of a modern metaverse. For kids growing up now, the metaverse isn’t a buzzword to entice investors; it’s a reality of their social life. Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft are the biggest metaverses right now, but every game is trying to ape them and take a slice of the pie.
Roblox’s outage reminded me of another outage from earlier this year, when Facebook had a miiiinor configuration issue that caused a teensy-weensy global outage across all of their services. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about; it was the one day this year when no one from high school told you you could be your own boss if you sold their skin cream. (Also, sorry about everything I said and did in high school, babe!)
Facebook’s outage was just funny to me since I depend on Instagram for my insecurities, not for my living. But for millions of people, the outage was a huge deal that lost them hundreds or thousands of dollars. The Mark Zuckerberg memes aren’t as funny when he took your rent money.
Anyways, now Facebook is looking to get into the metaverse space, and they want to take all of their businesses and #girlbosses with them. And that should give everyone pause.
See for games, Metaverses are great. You can hang out with your friends, build your own fun environments, and mess around exactly how you want to. And core to the idea of a metaverse is that there are basically infinite ways to customize it- meaning infinite ways you could break it. Awesome for gaming.
But once a metaverse becomes a center for commerce, as Facebook will no doubt make it, the stakes become a lot higher. It’s funny to joke around about kids’ Lego-simulator going down for three days. But it won’t be funny when “Meta” has an outage, and society grinds to a halt.
Top Image: Meta