Newsflash: We are already living in the metavers. But not everyone can understand how, not even know what it means.
And no, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t think so. The term “metavers” is nothing new. The concept has existed since 1992, when author Neal Stephenson (who was credited with coining the term) used it in his science fiction novel “Snow Crash”.
In the dystopian and cyberpunk novel, he imagined realistic avatars that would come together in realistic 3D buildings and other virtual reality environments.
Please explain more.
“Metavers” can be divided into “meta” and “verse”. The word meta has many meanings, but in this case, its meaning is probably tied to the definitions of the ancient Greeks: “beyond,” “after,” or “behind.”
Meanwhile, “verse” comes from the word “universe” and is often used as a suffix to describe a specific sphere or area. Take for example the word “Twitterverse” or “Twittersphere”, used to describe the spaces in which users interact on the social networking platform.
Taken together, the two words give the meaning of “beyond the universe,” which is generally understood as a virtual world beyond, or superimposed, of our physical world.
At its core, the metavers is an imagined virtual space where you can live multiple lives, be who you want to be, make friends from all over the world, do whatever you want, and more. It’s an extension of what you can achieve in real life.
Basically, if you’ve played a role-playing game or a life simulation game, you’re probably already part of the metavers.
Whether it’s The Sims, Second Life or Genshin Impact, the acts of playing these games and living your virtual life while fostering social connections (in the last two) are included in what you would do in a metavers.
At Vulcan Post, we even did used Gather, a virtual space for friends and families, but more popularly, for classmates to “get together”, chat and “work” as before in person, from home, which is exactly what we did and still do on our Friday . “office” lunches.
When we did our Gather avatars, some of us opted for the more realistic route by designing them close to our real self, while some of us chose to be pirates, for example. (Yes, it was me. No, I don’t want to be a pirate in real life, but in the metavers, I can be anyone I want to be.)
Okay, but RA and virtual reality are not part of the metavers?
If they are. But they don’t necessarily have to be to make the metavers, a metavers. They are more a modern incorporation into the basic concept of the metaverse as we know it, taking the virtual universe to the next level.
The big tech companies are taking advantage of this, with Meta (formerly Facebook) announcing their own version of the metavers, using their Oculus Quest VR headphones so users can go shopping, socialize, go to work and more, at through the virtual world. .
Imagine not having to leave home, but being able to be as “present” as you can be in all these different environments. But if you still want a real-world taste, well, Meta has something for you too: AR glasses.
This is still in the process, but the company’s goal is for users to have a hybrid reality. You can still invite your friends to your house, but they really don’t have to be there. Just put on your AR glasses and enjoy the night with your friends ’avatars.
Of course, this ambitious version of the metavers has not yet fully materialized, and there are still no notable examples to talk about.
Why should I worry about all this?
Like it or not, this will definitely be our future. Almost everything about how we interact online today is a component of metavers.
The pandemic also accelerated our adoption of the metavers. For me, it was through Genshin Impact and Gather, that I relied heavily on the beginning of the pandemic to maintain an appearance of normalcy.
I’m not sure if I’m ready to live a fully virtual life, but I won’t say no to trying it. Since we don’t have anything concrete yet, it’s easy to see this future with pink glasses.
Everything may seem very interesting and exciting on the surface, but not enough research has yet been done to understand the impact of metavers on the human psyche. This is where we need to be careful, call problems and pay attention to criticism of these technologies.
On the brighter side, the metavers could also contain many future jobs, as talent will be needed to concretize these virtual worlds, the environments in them, the avatars that people can use, and more.
There is money to be made in the industry, with Morgan Stanley, a US multinational investment bank and a financial services company, claiming that the metavers is a Addressable market of 8 trillion US dollars.
This includes the potential of metavers when it comes to advertising and e-commerce opportunities as well.
Since non-expendable tokens (NFTs) are also now found in the gamified world, we are likely to see expert brands in NFTs selling us digital assets in the metaverse.
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NFTs are still slowly finding their place in Malaysia and for now we mainly see artists taking advantage of this trend.
There have been some companies that have tried to launch their own NFTs, but it seems that it has not yet stuck among SMEs here.
But steps are being taken to catch up. Recently, iCandy acquired Lemon Sky Studios with the intention of developing casual and AAA games as part of its pro-metavers and blockchain initiatives.
These are still the first days, but the development of the metavers and the possible advantages and disadvantages that we will learn from it is certainly something worth watching.
- Read what we wrote about NFTs and how they grow in Malaysia here.
Featured Image Credit: Meta