While not too many people may be familiar with the concept of the metaverse, many experts are touting it as the next big thing in tech. This is a funny concept to entertain considering that the term metaverse was originally coined way back in 1992 in the Neal Stephenson novel Snow Crash. In the book, the metaverse is designed as this digital world wherein people can interact with the use of avatars and digital tools and environments. At the time, the concept of the metaverse was deemed as pure science fiction. The technology of the early 90s wasn’t sophisticated enough to bring an actual metaverse to life. However, as it turns out, the science in Stephenson’s novel isn’t as fictional as it seems. In fact, it’s starting to look like Stephenson’s idea of the metaverse is slowly becoming a reality in many parts of the world.
Virtual reality as a technological concept is not a new one. In fact, it’s been around for quite some time now. And it’s a vital piece of technology that powers the metaverse as we know it today. Even though many leaders in the industry have been pushing for the development of the metaverse for some time, it was only after Facebook changed its name to Meta wherein more of the mass public started paying closer attention to what the metaverse actually is and more importantly, what it could be. Considering that one of the world’s most valuable companies changed its name to accommodate for a potential shift in focus towards the metaverse, is it really farfetched to say that the metaverse is the future of tech? Will it really change the world?
What is the Metaverse Exactly and How is It Used?
Well, to put it simply, the metaverse is a digital world wherein people can interact with one another and with digital objects through virtual reality technology or a video game console, much like in Stephenson’s original novel. However, unlike Stephenson’s novel, there is currently a myriad of different metaverses that exist today. One very simple way to illustrate the power of the metaverse is to look towards large open-world games that have an online component like Grand Theft Auto. In the online version of the game, players are allowed to create their own avatars and interact within the fictionalized digital version of California. Within the game, players can drive cars, rob banks, fly airplanes, play tennis, and complete various missions. They can also engage in transactions like buying clothes or gambling at the casino with virtual currency.
Speaking of casinos, there are already various platforms on the internet that create casino dynamics within a metaverse. This is especially popular nowadays as more people are using cryptocurrency in order to transact with online casinos. Specifically speaking, the gaming titan Atari announced that it would be developing a cryptocurrency-based online casino to its Decentraland metaverse. This means that people would be able to play their favorite casino games through their avatars within the Decentraland metaverse platform.
Nike is another example of a company that has invested heavily in its own metaverse called Nikeland through the Roblox platform. Roblox is essentially a popular digital platform wherein people can create their own avatars, worlds, and sets of rules for interaction. In principle, the whole point of the metaverse is to create a digital world that greatly mimics the nuances of everyday interaction.
What Does the Future of the Metaverse Look Like?
Given how advanced technology is becoming every day, it wouldn’t be farfetched to say that the metaverse is potentially going to change the way that people behave and interact with one another on the internet. In this article, it’s already been illustrated how the metaverse has shaped various industries such as gaming and retail. But the possibilities are endless. Currently, there are various developments at play that are designed for metaverse applications in the fields of athletics, education, engineering, finance, and more.
As its stands, the metaverse is still in its infantile stages with just a few early adopters who are forging the path forward. However, the more the mass public buys into the concept of the metaverse and as technology grows to become more sophisticated, society should expect more metaverse applications in everyday tasks and experiences.