What does the development of the metaverse mean for you?
The metaverse is known by many names — a mirror world, the AR cloud, the magicverse, the spatial internet, and many more. But no matter what you call it, it’s important to understand how the basics of a metaverse break down.
What Is the Metaverse?
Let us begin with examples that might give you an idea of what a metaverse would look like. Games such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and Animal Crossing have been in existence and beloved by their many players for years now. They have already set out their own stake in the virtual world. Around the world, they have a vast user base who have been part of the VR or the metaverse even before our current understanding of the metaverse came about.
Did Facebook Revolutionize the Metaverse?
Facebook stepping into the new technology took it to another level of popularity, as it’s beginning to turn its social media platform into a virtual reality landscape. Other big names taking interest and trying to be a part of the metaverse conversation are Niantic, Magic Leap and Microsoft, to name a few.
COVID and the Metaverse
Beyond work, from birthday celebrations to Christmas and New Year and even to weddings and graduations, everything took place within a virtual world through Zoom and video calls.
But now, what’s new in the metaverse that isn’t already happening due to the pandemic? Can you consider a work Zoom call your participation in the metaverse?
Many people think that Zoom meetings aren’t quite metaverse yet — they are missing the elements of gamification and ownership that blockchain-based and decentralized virtual spaces offer.
Online platforms for meet-ups like gather.town, however, are better examples of how COVID helped spur the development of more metaverse-like ways to recreate real world interactions. Work meetings, conferences and online gaming set-ups can all take place in gather.town’s worlds and custom maps, letting your avatar build and explore while interacting with other people.
The Future of the Metaverse
Right now, the metaverse is often being used to visualize the future of work, leading up to the point where real-life, physical workplaces will not be needed anymore. Can you imagine a time when only AR glasses would be what you need to start your work day?
However, play-to-earn games and even non-blockchain based games are another way that the metaverse is seeing huge opportunities for growth. With so many gamers in the world, the natural next step is to bring that part of the population together in an online reality that can give them more interactive and financially rewarding games than before.
Privacy in the Metaverse
Privacy is a tricky issue in the metaverse. In real life, you can lock your front door — but will it be possible to virtually lock a metaverse-based front door?
As metaverse worlds continue to grow and develop, both for the workforce, for gaming and for socializing, implementing privacy features will be key to keeping everyone comfortable and safe in the new virtual worlds.
Major Concerns for the Metaverse
Is the metaverse a better alternative to our real world?
This question has surely entered your head, just as it has entered ours. Experiencing a world shift from reality to virtual reality and digitalization has been a massive change over the past three years.
The current development of the metaverse trend is without a doubt the biggest step taken by the world leaders of technology. However, there are naysayers. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is not a fan of the advancement of the metaverse — he believes that it could lead to the ruin of relationships if people begin to forego real life for virtual life, becoming too attracted to their virtual versions of themselves.
Other scenarios (that would have sounded impossible a decade ago) are also food for thought. What if a person is offered a better opportunity in the virtual world for the same work that he has been doing in the real world? Can people lose their real identity if they spend too much time on a platform where they get to be the best version of themselves? How will we prevent children from being affected by spending time online in metaverses?
It will be up to us (and future generations!) to grapple with these issues as the metaverse continues to evolve — because if it’s one thing that we know for sure, it’s not going away anytime soon.