Since Facebook changed its name to Meta, there have been several discussions and disputes over what the Metaverse is.
Recently, Metaverse Group, an NFT-based metaverse real estate corporation, paid $2.43 million for a plot of land on the Decentraland virtual real estate market.
In doing so, they were able to set a record for the highest amount of money ever paid for digital real estate.
Although the notion of the metaverse has been present for almost three decades, it has just recently become a prominent subject.
However, providing an answer to what the metaverse is, is not so easy as there is no metaverse at the moment, and no one knows what it will be in the future.
• Facebook recently changed its name to Meta to incorporate metaverse technology into its plans.
• Metaverse as of today is still mostly in the formulation stage as we still have a long way to go before it becomes a reality.
• Sims and Second Life are two games that have been able to incorporate some elements of metaverse into their design.
• Elements of metaverse have been used in recent films with Marvel’s Iron Man and Ready Player One being typical examples although we still have a long way to go before such applications become a reality.
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What is Metaverse Token?
Metaverse tokens are virtual currencies used to make digital transactions within the Metaverse. Holders or metaverse can run multiple applications and services inside the virtual space.
Matthew Ball describes the metaverse as a “quasi-successor state to the mobile internet,” writing that “the Metaverse will not fundamentally replace the internet, but rather build upon and iteratively modify it.”
We all know that the metaverse is always evolving, so there is a good chance that it will be much bigger and more immersive by the time it becomes a reality than it is now.
How the Metaverse Started
The term “metaverse” is a portmanteau of two words, “meta” and “verse.” “Meta” on one hand is of Greek origin and it means “beyond” while “verse” on the other hand is gotten from the word “universe.”
Neal Stephenson used the word for the first time in literature in his 1992 dystopian novel Snow Crash.
The metaverse is depicted in the book as the ultimate progression of the internet, a type of virtual reality in which every virtual interaction can have a direct influence on the actual world as well.
It is a physically permanent virtual realm containing virtual avatars, digital social interactions, and games, among other things that we identify with the metaverse today.
Snow Crash also emphasizes how the metaverse in the tale impacts happenings in the protagonist’s actual world, such as a plot that drives people whose minds are linked to the virtual world mad.
Several other novels, films, and television series have played with the concept to various degrees since the book’s release, notably Steven Spielberg’s well-received film Ready Player One (2018), which was based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name.
The unifying thread in all of this is that the metaverse is a virtual world in which people will be able to accomplish anything they do in real life, depending on the technology of the age.
What Facebook thinks of Metaverse
Two months ago, Facebook informed the world that it had changed its corporate name to Meta Platforms, Inc., as part of a major rebrand. Many believe this is a bet on the metaverse’s future and the possibilities for what it can offer humanity soon.
Mark Zuckerberg during the unveiling of the name went on to say that the main purpose for the existence of social tech was to establish real-time connections among people which will also be a major attribute of the metaverse as this is why they have taken interest in progressing it even further.
In Facebook’s concept of the metaverse, virtual avatars of individuals playing games, holding meetings, attending seminars, exercising, learning, and socializing are included, in addition to all types of activities that may be done in real life.
This concept may be expanded into a much wider and greater metaverse. It is worth noting, though, that Zuckerberg estimates the metaverse will take roughly ten years to become a full-scale reality.
A Taste of Metaverse
Most people may not have encountered what the metaverse has to offer, but ardent players have surely. When The Sims, one of the world’s most renowned games of all time, was released in 2000, it allowed players to experience a simulation of life through their virtual avatars. Its subsequent iterations have only gone further to prove that we can live in a virtual world.
Apart from Sims, an online virtual reality game was introduced in 2003, called Second Life. This game embodied the ideas of metaverse that virtual reality experts had no choice but to label the game as the foundation of the metaverse.
Second Life allows its users to live a second life, as the name implies. On the platform, actual individuals may build 3D virtual avatars and accomplish practically anything they can in the real world.
Second Life is a virtual environment in which people can communicate with one another and develop connections through their virtual identities.
They can organize, attend, and express themselves through music and art, as well as utilize virtual objects in the environment and even participate in the creation of things like virtual buildings in Second Life.
Users in Second Life can purchase and sell virtual objects using the platform’s own closed-loop digital currency, the Linden Dollar, which is not to be confused with cryptocurrency.
Several games in the coming years since the release of Second Life have gone on to adapt similar features.
How Augmented and Virtual Reality Have Shaped Metaverse
The introduction of VR headsets such as the Oculus has given the metaverse concept a significant boost. Games with options for virtual reality headsets are already laughing all the way to the bank.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the worldwide virtual reality gaming industry will rise from USD 7.92 billion in 2021 to USD 53.44 billion in 2028. Augmented reality improves the reality the user senses through the use of technology.
This can be likened to providing more details about a given real-life object to make it as extremely realistic as possible with augmented reality using a gadget or headset.
Take, for instance, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films starring Iron Man, which made use of this technology to devastating effects.
Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man), played by Robert Downey Jr., frequently used this technology, which still baffles mankind today.
There are various moments in which he is wearing the Iron Man suit and receiving information and multiple visualizations of what he is seeing in real-time on his heads-up display (HUD) which is, to a large extent, augmented reality.
However, these are just movies made of fiction, as the iron man suit used in the movie is very advanced technology and will not become a reality any time soon.
Nonetheless, the world is making improvements in terms of making augmented and virtual reality alongside metaverse a reality.
Apple Inc. has long been involved in augmented reality and claims to have the world’s largest augmented reality platform.
Several augmented reality applications available on the App Store can be used to achieve anything, from making Snapchat videos more entertaining to carrying out 3D projects in augmented reality.
What Does Metaverse Hold for the Future?
If anything, one can say that the metaverse will become a reality and will dominate the world even more than the internet. When this will happen, though, is what we still do not yet know.
When CNN interviewed Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney about the metaverse’s future, he stated, “I think it will take a decade or more to get to the endpoint, but I think that is occurring.”
At the same time, he said that the metaverse would take a collective effort to become a reality and will not be run by just a single organization.
In other words, the metaverse is still being built brick by brick, and everyone will be a part of it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Metaverse?
Today, the metaverse is defined as a hybrid of virtual and/or augmented reality and video in which individuals may live in a digitally programmed and produced a world that differs from reality but is inspired by the real world around us.
How much is the Metaverse going to be worth?
According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the metaverse industry will be worth an estimated US$800 billion by 2024, and things that can only be accessible in virtual reality are already changing hands for exorbitant prices.
The metaverse is an amazing use of technology, and to see its application in some areas of our world today is fascinating.
We may have just barely scratched the surface when it comes to making a full-scale reality, but hopefully, in the future, the metaverse will have a lot of useful applications that would benefit mankind immensely.
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