On Thursday, Iceland released a new advertisement for tourism, mocking Facebook's (sorry Meta's) recent promises about how we will all live in the future. Iceland's Mark Zuckerberg isn't trying to convince you to visit the sci-fi dystopia we've been warned about for many decades. Iceland wants you to see its geysers, and other stuff.
The new advertisement explains that the tour guide wants to discuss a "revolutionary approach" to connecting the world without being too weird.
"Some people said it was impossible. Some people said it was impossible. We tell them it's already there. He says it is, seriously, it is right here," he states, looking out the window at the snowy scene in the background.
"And what can we call this new chapter in human connectivity?" The Icelandverse. The guide describes the Icelandverse as "Enhanced, actual Reality, Without silly-looking Headsets."
YouTube has the ad. It parodies Zuckerberg's recent concept video for metaverse. He believes so strongly that he changed Facebook’s corporate name from Meta. The Icelandic host seems to have a pale white face that is a tribute Zuck's extreme sunscreen habits.
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Zuck's vision for the future is clearly deplorable. His latest concept video was pure fantasy. And he hasn't yet made VR hardware that's any less stupid than the headsets from the 1980s and 1990s. Oculus may be changing its name but it is still a huge mess.
Iceland wants tourists to return to the country. Tourism accounts for nearly 9% of Iceland's GDP prior the pandemic, and approximately 30,000 Icelanders work in tourism. Covid-19 has hampered tourists from visiting Iceland's scenic vistas, but Iceland is trying to lure them back with clever advertisements.
The public health situation in Iceland was exceptional during the global crisis. There were only 15,140 cases and 34 deaths from the disease. Iceland has 89% of all adults fully vaccinated and many people have already received their booster shots. This is one of the best countries for vaccination.
If you plan to travel to Iceland, you should get vaccinated against the covid-19. Only those who have been vaccinated and can show proof of covid-19 infection in the past are allowed to travel to Iceland. A negative covid-19 test must be completed within 72 hours after you board your flight.
The Icelandverse is a place with endless possibilities that will be here forever, explains the narrator in the new ad.
"So, join us today or tomorrow. Or anytime. We're really easy-going."