Meta's Horizon Worlds expansion announcement causes mirth and mocking

Mark Zuckerberg in VR
"It's Second Life copied by a toddler." Photo credit: Supplied / Newshub

Facebook's plans to drive innovation with a view to creating the Metaverse was so important to the company it says that is the reason it changed its name to Meta.

It's also provided fans and critics with plenty of ammunition as the potential future of the internet is revealed.

However it's unlikely even CEO Mark Zuckerberg knew what he was in for when he released an update on VR game Horizon Worlds.

"We're launching Horizon Worlds in France and Spain today!" he posted.

"Looking forward to seeing people explore and build immersive worlds, and to bringing this to more countries soon."

But it wasn't the words themselves that were the problem - it was the attached image that caused mirth and mocking.

The picture features a cartoon avatar of Zuckerberg with the Eiffel Tower and a Spanish church that some appear to think is Barcelona's Sagrada Familia, but actually looks more like the Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, dumped crudely in a green landscape.

Twitter swiftly responded.

Writer of tech newsletter The Terminal, James Hennessy, started with a sarcastic "Looks great!", and from there the ridicule began.

Someone posted a screenshot of the legendary Nintendo game Mario 64, released in 1996, saying how they couldn't wait to see how London looked in Horizon Worlds.

That drew a scathing response: "Clouds in the sky? Textures on the building? This is way too advanced."

Many more were unimpressed, comparing the graphics to old tech.

"Okay, I stand corrected. That whole Horizon Worlds is not like Second Life reinvented. It's Second Life copied by a toddler," one wrote.

"You might laugh at Mark Zuckerberg but don't act like you've never spent billions of dollars building a virtual reality universe that looks like shit," laughed another.

Others were left uneasy by the CEO's avatar, not least the eyes.

"Zuckerberg's creepy Metaverse avatar still looks more human than he does," one commented.

"The funniest thing is, that avatar looks like when you accidentally skip the character creation screen and get the default settings. But we all recognise it as being Zuckerberg," wrote another.

A third compared it to a familiar moment in scary movies.

"Zuckerberg's Metaverse avatar looks like that character in horror films whose first line is, 'I'm sorry, did I startle you?'," they wrote.

Perhaps the whole situation was best served by a Forbes headline, shared widely on social media asking: "Does Mark Zuckerberg not understand how bad his Metaverse looks?"

However there were a few supporters of the Horizon World look.

"I'm so sick of people roasting Mark Zuckerberg's meta art," one defender wrote.

"You're all so addicted to the best graphics, the highest HD, the starkest realism, that you can't dare imagine that it might look like that on purpose. That he's approaching his craft with a sense of childlike wonder."