Metaverse — What is the Metaverse?
Metaverse is a concept that most people are familiar with or have heard of at least. If you’re interested in technology, you’ve certainly heard that Facebook (now META) has been talking about the future of life, which they call Metaverse, a living, sharing, and eternal virtual environment. The Metaverse is a virtual universe that connects individuals via social networking, digital gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies. Virtual elements such as visuals, audio, and other sensory input may enhance the user experience in this reality.
What is Metaverse?
It is often used to represent the notion of a future version of the internet after the implementation of Web 3.0, which is made up of permanent, shared, 3D virtual places connected to a virtual world. The phrase “Metaverse” is a combination of the prefix “meta” — which means future — and “universe.” Well, take whatever activity you can think of, such as shopping, messaging, video chatting, traveling, and playing, and imagine that you can do all of these tasks with a single flick of your fingertips. If you want, you can do anything you want, whenever you want, and from anywhere you want. However, the Metaverse does not exist, at least not at this time. As of right now, there isn’t one single valid representation of the Metaverse that everyone agrees upon. Check out Cryptocurrency and Metaverse for more details.
Who created Metaverse?
Before Meta took it upon themselves to construct it, the term “Metaverse” was well-known; it was originally used in Neal Stephenson’s book “Snow Crash “, where he described a 3D virtual environment in which individuals communicate with one another using virtual avatars. Stephenson was the first one to use this term, with which he described an internet replacement based on virtual reality. Stephenson’s concept of the Metaverse inspired 3D game developers to try to achieve this world with current video games. Neal Stephenson, however, was not the first to suggest the idea of a three-dimensional virtual world. In 1993, Bruce Bethke developed the term “Metaverse” to describe the cyberspace in which his novel’s events would take place. It was also featured in William Gibson’s book Neuromancer, published in 1984. It was Mark Zuckerberg who took it upon himself and his company to declare that Facebook would now be known as Meta and that Meta would be tasked with implementing the new revolutionary technology. “We believe the Metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet, we’ll be able to feel present — like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are,” he said. However, we must mention the fact that Meta is not the only Metaverse out there. There are several Metaverses under development, and Meta is just one of them.
Why Was the Metaverse Created?
To put it simply, the Metaverse’s purpose is to provide you with the opportunity to live out your fantasies. You may be engaging in hand-to-hand combat while slaying your opponents in your favorite online game; watching a basketball game in Los Angeles; or fishing in the freezing winds of Antarctica while doing so. All of this is done in extraordinary realistic visuals; yet at the same time, you get to enjoy the feeling of comfort of your own home. You also have the freedom to express yourself in any way you wish. In contrast to a profile picture, you will be provided with an avatar, which is a fully three-dimensional live representation of yourself. Such avatars are likely going to use non-fungible token (NFT) technology. And, just to be clear, your avatar will not, in the long run, resemble a cartoon character in any way. The reality is, however, that Meta is also working on technology that will allow them to construct perfectly realistic avatars. These avatars will allegedly undergo a full render, down to the smallest hair and muscle. This will feel real to the user. And, to be honest, realism mixed with the capacity to select how you appear will give you the impression that you are not restricted by the body with which you were born with. Take as an example someone born with walking disabilities or has lost the ability due to some unfortunate events; in the Metaverse, the users not only will be able to walk, they will be able to fly.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Metaverse.
Metaverse has both good and bad things about it, so let’s look at them.
- For gamers, Metaverse will enable you to experience the game you’re playing by being the character rather than merely controlling it.
- While a trip to the doctor in real life may take a long time, in the Metaverse, you may just chat to your doctor virtually. While this may be an issue on the physical side of health, the mental component of it may be even better than in-person therapy.
- With Metaverse, traveling will be a walk in the park; you can visit the pyramids in Egypt and after that the Statue of Liberty in New York, all from the comfort of your own room.
- Metaverse is expensive in terms of just joining this virtual environment. However, Meta hopes to cut the pricing in the future to enable more people to access Metaverse.
- It is very conceivable that users may abuse it and ultimately grow addicted to it.
- Still under development and will take a long time to reach the perfect Metaverse. It is not simple to create a new digital environment. Other than production, the new digital world needs other components. Furthermore, it requires seamless interaction between avatars, cooperation with other sections, and a variety of other factors.
Metaverse’s Benefits in Learning and Productivity
The Metaverse will benefit us not just in our everyday lives but also in our educational pursuits. While Google is the major source for studying and learning about new subjects, the Metaverse enables us to learn visually. That is, you will have the ability to go to any area and at any time. Examples include the industrial period, Roman Times, ancient Egypt, and even dinosaurs. It will be just as though you were traveling through time. Discover the history by being present and experiencing it. Visual learning is very efficient, which means that you can learn even faster through the Metaverse. And if you can learn faster, you can also do tasks faster. Metaverse is likely to make us even more efficient. Given the current situation with Covid-19, we are already familiar to working from home, and we would continue to do so in the Metaverse. However, this could also mean that users could always be in the most ideal environment. Of course, that could mean with people surrounding you or being completely alone. You can do this even in an office in a spacecraft or sitting on a beach next to the sea. So, the choice is entirely yours.
Metaverse and the Environment
With what is happening with our environment, our planet is becoming more unstable as a result of rapid climate change. Our emissions do not seem to be falling fast enough to prevent uncontrolled warming, and we may be approaching tipping points that may result in the collapse of ecosystems and society. While scientists, campaigners, and a large portion of the younger population call for action, the Metaverse may, strangely, assist in this. You see, manufacturing a physical product in the real world has a huge negative impact on the environment; for example, a vehicle may easily emit 20 tons of carbon dioxide, but a digitally generated product would emit 100 times less. While we’re at it, a need for transportation in the Metaverse is mostly unneccessary, so why drive when you can just teleport to where you want to go? What the Metaverse is attempting to accomplish is that the more people who join the Metaverse, the more users will move toward acquiring digital products and therefore utilize fewer planes, trains, vehicles, and ships, reducing our effect on the earth.
Is it Possible for the Metaverse to Create a New Economy?
If we spend all of our time in this virtual environment, the way we show ourselves visually will become more essential, and this will open up new avenues for earning money. And, in case you’re curious, how is it possible for you to buy a product without other users duplicating it? This is where blockchain technology enters the picture. A blockchain works similarly to a database in that it saves data in a digital format. Blockchains are well-known for their critical role in maintaining a secure and decentralized record of dealings and transactions. Such transactions will use the same technology that NFTs use. The currencies in these Metaverses are likely going to be cryptocurrencies with which you can execute all kinds of transactions. That implies that Metaverse will promote decentralization, meaning that only the seller and the buyer will be accountable for the deal.
The World’s Largest Metaverses
There are several cryptocurrency projects that classify as Metaverses. Moreover, most of them have native tokens you can trade in major exchanges. Some of the biggest ones are:
Axie Infinity (AXS)
Axie Infinity is a pokemon-themed virtual environment where anybody may earn tokens by playing games and contributing to the ecosystem. Players may use their pets to fight, acquire, grow, and develop a land-based empire. Third parties may easily access all art assets and Axie genetic data. This enables community developers to create their own tools and experiences in the Axie Infinity realm.
Decentraland is a 3D virtual world platform that can be accessed using a web browser. Users may purchase virtual plots of land on the platform in the form of NFTs using the MANA cryptocurrency, which is based on the Ethereum blockchain and is available for purchase.
CryptoTanks is a Play-to-Earn Metaverse game in which users collect NFT tanks in order to play the classic 8-bit 90s gaming hit CryptoTanks. In the DeFi ecosystem, you can sell or swap every NFT of CryptoTanks.
My Neighbor Alice (ALICE)
Alice, also known as My Neighbor Alice, is a multiplayer game that is developed on the Ethereum network. During their time in the virtual world, players stay on massive island where they may purchase and sell portions of land.
The Sandbox (SAND)
You might have heard of Metahero; a project that attempts to employ 3D scanning technology to turn actual items, including people, into ultra-high-definition avatars. Some months ago, they announced Everdome, their new, realistic Metaverse.
The Negative Aspects of Metaverse
I would like to touch more upon the negative side of Metaverse. While it’s still under development, Metaverse has shown quite the flaws; and we cannot go on without mentioning what the internet thinks about the concept of Metaverse.
- Data Security — It is reasonable to conclude that when we enter the Metaverse, we are not fully protected. This comes considering the times Facebook has been in problems for selling personal data to marketing organizations for profit. It is very simple today when the only data we provide is basic photos and information. However, when we begin to live in this virtual world, it will be difficult to not display many other things.
- Reality vs. Fiction — The biggest problem with Metaverse now is the thought of moving our lives in a digital way. As mentioned before, living in this virtual world, your appearance, the way you act, and the relationships you make there will gradually become more important than your real life. The question is, if Metaverse comes into life, what will happen to life, the reality that we are leaving behind?
- Moderation — A difficult and unfavorable element of moderation is that it is difficult to maintain. While Metaverse aspires to follow in the footsteps of a decentralized system, it is reasonable to state that without rules and individuals to keep an eye out for hate speech, bullying, and even hacking, utilizing Metaverse may become very difficult.
It is too soon to predict if Metaverse will be the future or whether it will be the end of the idealistic thinking of virtual reality. All we can do is wait and see what the Metaverse has in store for us.
- Metaverse is used to describe the concept of Web 3 which is made up of permanent, shared, 3D virtual locations. These locations will allegedly be linked into a perceived virtual world, as opposed to the current internet.
- In the term “Metaverse,” the prefix “meta” refers to the future, whereas the word “universe” refers to the present.
- According to scientific evidence, visual learning is more efficient than auditory learning; thus, with Metaverse, you learn even more quickly, and if you can learn faster, you can accomplish tasks even faster.
- Stephenson first coined this term to depict a virtual reality-based internet replacement that will replace the internet.
- Stephenson’s notion of the Metaverse led 3D game developers to strive to create a world similar to the one in contemporary video games.
- Neal Stephenson, on the other hand, was not the first person to propose the concept of a three-dimensional virtual reality.