What Exactly Is the Metaverse?
Updated: Mar 14, 2022
The metaverse, according to tech CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg and Satya Nadella, is the internet's future. It might also be a video game. Maybe it's a more obnoxious, unsettling version of Zoom? It's difficult to say.
To some extent, debating the meaning of "the metaverse" is similar to debating the meaning of "the internet" in the 1970s. The foundations of a new mode of communication were being put in place, but no one knew what the final product would look like. While it was true at the time that "the internet" was on the way, not every vision of what it would include was accurate.
However, there is also a great deal.
What Does 'Metaverse' Actually Mean?
A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds designed to promote social interaction. It is sometimes defined as a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal virtual environment that is assisted by the usage of virtual and augmented reality headsets in futurism and science fiction.
The term "metaverse" was coined as a combination of "meta" and "universe" in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. Various metaverses, such as virtual world platforms like Second Life, have been created for public use. Integration of virtual and physical locations, as well as virtual economies, is a feature of some metaverse iterations. Because of the demand for greater immersion, metaverse growth is frequently related to the advancement of virtual reality technologies.
The term has been used as a buzzword to exaggerate the velocity of development of certain technologies.
Brief History of the Emergence of the Metaverse
When Cathy Hackl's son wanted to have a party for his 9th birthday, he didn't ask for themed decorations or favours for his pals. Instead, he asked if the party could be held on Roblox. Hackl's kid and his friends would attend the party as their virtual avatars on the digital platform, which allows users to play and create a variety of games.
"They hung out and played together, and they went to different games," she explains. "Just because something occurs in a virtual environment does not make it any less real." My son sees it as very real."
Hackl's son pushed for a digital event not simply because creating an outdoor pandemic-friendly celebration in January was futile. Many people over the age of 25, for example, are unfamiliar with Roblox, yet the 13-year-old platform is thriving. It is simultaneously a venue for free games, a production engine that allows users to produce new activities of their own, and a marketplace to sell such experiences, as well as side items like clothing for a personalised avatar, and is available on most desktop and mobile platforms.
Not only because planning an outside pandemic-friendly party in January was futile, but also because Hackl's son pushed for a digital event. Roblox, for example, is unfamiliar to many people over the age of 25, despite the fact that the 13-year-old platform is prospering. It is available on most desktop and mobile platforms and serves as a platform for free games, a production engine that allows users to create new activities of their own, and a marketplace to sell such experiences, as well as side products like clothing for a customised avatar.
Where Is Metaverse Implemented?
A number of metaverse technologies have already been implemented in modern internet-connected video games. Second Life, a virtual world platform that debuted in 2003 and combined many components of social networking into a persistent three-dimensional world with the user represented by an avatar, is generally referred to as the first metaverse. In many massively multiplayer online games, social aspects are frequently present. Minecraft's dynamic, social-based gameplay, according to technology journalist Clive Thompson, is an advanced approximation of a metaverse. Similar claims were made in the case of the video game Roblox, which has since used the word extensively in its marketing. The games Active Worlds, The Palace, and Fortnite have also claimed to be constructing a metaverse.
Facebook Horizon, a social VR realm, was introduced in 2019 by the social media firm Facebook. In 2021, Facebook was rebranded "Meta Platforms," and Mark Zuckerberg, the company's chairman, expressed a dedication to the development of a metaverse. Many of the virtual reality technologies promoted by Meta Platforms are still in the early stages of development. Frances Haugen, a Facebook whistleblower, slammed the move, saying that Meta Platforms' continuous focus on growth-oriented projects is mostly done at the expense of guaranteeing platform safety. Due to the incidence of sexual harassment on the network, Meta Platforms has received user safety criticism over Horizon Worlds.
What is Activision Blizzard's metaverse strategy?
Activision Blizzard is recognized for creating online games with a metaverse component, in which users spend hundreds of hours creating communities within the games. World of Warcraft, a role-playing game introduced in 2004, required players to work together online to complete tasks in order to strengthen their digital avatars by gathering goods such as weapons and armors.
However, the firm hasn't ventured with virtual reality. It has largely created games for PCs and consoles, but has yet to make a virtual reality title.
What is Microsoft's metaverse strategy?
Microsoft's metaverse development has so far been in its infancy.
For several years, Microsoft has been working on the HoloLens, a $3,500 headset that displays digital holograms, with a focus on commercial and government applications. The device is linked to augmented reality, which some engineers believe will become a part of the metaverse in the future.
Microsoft also created the Xbox, which is the second most popular video gaming system after the Sony PlayStation. The Xbox, on the other hand, has been glaringly absent from the virtual reality gaming arena, unlike the PlayStation.
The Metaverse's Ascension and What It Means for the Future:
If the previous century was marked by mass manufacturing and the advent of the internet, the twenty-first century may be remembered for the creation and expansion of the virtual world, or Metaverse. It has the potential to be significantly more immersive, interactive, and collaborative than the internet has been.
Despite the grandiose expectations and promises made by many entrepreneurs dabbling in this field, it is evident that blockchain technology will underpin the metaverse and assist in the creation of a sustainable environment for all participants. While it is not unreasonable to believe that the metaverse will have an impact on traditional vocations or activities that are pretty much regular fare today, its impact on society and how humans interact with one another will be far more significant.
When the COVID-19 epidemic swept the globe, crippling economies, the internet and the resulting Work from Home (WFH) technology aids were instrumental in keeping businesses afloat, and in some cases, rapidly expanding. Various industries, such as education, have seen significant transformations as a result of the epidemic and have grown more technologically demanding.