What does the term metaverse mean?
Since Facebook changed its name in Meta, it prompted widespread interest in the term.
Meta experts are already ensuring the term is easily found in their profiles on social media platforms in anticipation and preparation for the next potential Internet boom.
The word metaverse has also been used to describe gaming worlds as a shared experience, where users have a character that can move around and interact with other players in the same space.
Metaverse has become the new buzz word in tech circles, but what is metaverse and how does it work?
What is Metaverse?
It has been described as the next phase in the evolution of the Internet and a general definition can be "A virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-genereted 3D environment and other users".
Effectively, it will allow people to interact with each other in a 3D shared virtual environment, accessible through the Internet and made more lifelike by the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets.
The metaverse is a concept of a persistent, online, 3D universe that combines multiple different virtual spaces. You can think of it as a future iteration of the internet. The metaverse will allow users to work, meet, game, and socialize together in these 3D spaces.
The metaverse will be driven by augmented reality, with each user controlling a character or avatar. For example, you might take a mixed reality meeting with an Oculus VR headset in your virtual office, finish work and relax in a game, and then manage your crypto portfolio and finances all inside the metaverse.
Besides supporting gaming or social media, the metaverse will combine economies, digital identity, decentralized governance, and other applications. Even today, user creation and ownership of valuable items and currencies help develop a single, united metaverse. All these features provide blockchain the potential to power this future technology.
Are 3d video games a metaverse?
Many 3D video games, currently, offer a close metaverse experience.
Video games now offer services and features that cross over into other aspects of our lives. The video game Roblox even hosts virtual events like concerts and meetups. Players don't just play the game anymore; they also use it for other activities and parts of their lives in "cyberspace". For example, in the multiplayer game Fortnite, about 13 million players took part in Travis Scott's virtual in-game music tour.
What metaverse might look like?
While a single, united metaverse is likely a long way off, we can already experience metaverse-like projects and continue to integrate blockchain more into our daily lives.
Even if we don't yet have a single, linked metaverse, we have plenty of platforms and projects similar to the metaverse.
Although the Metaverse is set to be an entirely new phenomenon, you’ll have likely seen games, worlds and social channels that have similarities to this new sensation.
Looking at these examples will give you an idea of the state of things in 2023:
- Vircadia (opensource metaverse)
- Somnium Space (opensource metaverse)
- Nvidia Omniverse
- Ready Player 1
- Pokemon Go
- Altspace VR
- Axie Infinity
- Star Atlas
What is the future of the metaverse?
Facebook is one of the loudest voices for the creation of a unified metaverse.
Mark Zuckerberg has explicitly mentioned his plans to use a metaverse project to support remote work and improve financial opportunities for people in developing countries. Facebook’s ownership of social media, communication, and crypto platforms give it a good start combining all these worlds into one. Other large tech companies are also targeting the creation of a metaverse, including Microsoft, Apple, and Google.
Cover photo credits: Steve Johnson (https://artbystevej.com/)