Facebook recently announced that it has changed its name to Meta, which is a reference to its plan to create a substantial presence in the metaverse and help build it for the tech industry as a whole.
This has led to many people wondering what the metaverse actually is. This is an excellent question to answer in general considering the metaverse will have a significant impact on the future of our world.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is an alternate virtual reality universe full of shared 3D spaces where people can attend virtual events and interact with one another. In the metaverse, you can build great architectural structures, host events, and earn a full-time income.
The metaverse is the future place for social gatherings, business building, and allows the freedom to create anything you desire.
The best analogy for the metaverse is a virtual club that you have to enter. The club exists on the web3 (decentralized) platform, just like a real club exists within the real world, but that club operates independently of the outside world.
It really is just a separate reality where people go to interact with others who have entered. The key is that the metaverse is a shared environment. It exists and operates with people whether you attend or not. It’s important to distinguish the metaverse from a general online social space. The metaverse is a dedicated virtual space meant to hold interaction.
It’s an alternate reality that uses web3 as a platform. It’s different from the generic social spaces we’re more familiar with, such as social media and chat rooms, but they do share similarities. The concept can be confusing, so we’re going to explore the metaverse further below.
Where is the metaverse?
The metaverse is located on the internet, more specifically web3, in which the blockchain is the backbone. You can access the metaverse simply with an internet connection and a compatible device such as your phone and computer.
In today’s age, the metaverse is mainly supported through the use of augmented and virtual reality along with other pieces of technology such as 3D tools and monetization opportunities.
This is all in an effort to make it feel like you’re physically there in the virtual world, which is the whole idea behind the metaverse. It’s not just a website with communication; it’s intended to be an autonomous virtual community.
Now that you have a better idea of what the metaverse is, let’s take a look at how the metaverse can be used and what the future of this virtual universe holds for people like you and me.
How can the metaverse be utilized?
The metaverse may be used for a variety of different reasons, including:
- Social gatherings (concerts, interviews, parties, rally’s, and other events)
- Monetizing virtual products, assets, and skills
- Play-to-earn gaming
- Build a business
- Produce income
- Foster a community
- Enjoy various recreational activities
What makes the metaverse special is the feeling of an actual presence despite the fact that it’s virtual.
The metaverse adds to this feeling by allowing users to create their own custom avatars which represent them when interacting with other people in the metaverse. Another big factor to add to that feeling is synchronous communication.
You need to actually be in the metaverse in order to interact with others, while for the other comparisons we listed, you can send a message and wait for a reply at a later time, otherwise known as asynchronous communication.
The requirement to be present in order to interact makes it more intimate. To help further your understanding of what the metaverse is, we’ll look at some present-day examples.
Examples of the metaverse
Various platforms within the metaverse are on the upswing in terms of usage and popularity globally, but many people are not aware of the specific ones unless they’re in the niche already.
To help you better understand what the metaverse is and what it can be used for, we’re going to look at some specific examples of the metaverse space.
1. Virtual Reality (VR) Chat
VR Chat is unique in a couple of ways. For starters, this metaverse is probably the most recognizable among the general public. But more significantly, it’s the metaverse that can also classify as a video game. In fact, more people will probably recognize it as a video game rather than the metaverse, and it raises an interesting discussion over the definition of the metaverse.
VR Chat is the epitome of the metaverse because it’s basically a 3D virtual chat room where you roleplay as an avatar while interacting and talking to other avatars. It’s considered a video game, but it meets all the specifications of the metaverse.
Cryptovoxels is a user-owned virtual reality environment based on the Etherum blockchain which includes a city known as Origin City. Origin City’s roadways are held by the company, while individual lots of land are owned by people like you and me in the form of an NFT.
In addition to exploring Origin City, users have the ability to create, purchase, and sell their own virtual assets using the in-game voxel builder. After creating an asset, you can then trade them on an NFT marketplace like OpenSea.
To interact in the VR world of Cryptovoxels, you don’t need to install an Ethereum wallet or even possess a parcel. However, if you want to take full advantage of everything offered in the Cryptovoxels metaverse, you should make sure you have an Ethereum-compatible wallet such as MetaMask.
The main purpose behind Decentraland is to buy virtual real estate intuitively named LAND. It’s based on the Ethereum blockchain and the assets are in the form of NFTs. This is a great metaverse that has its own virtual marketplace filled with digital assets and events.
Even if you’re not interested in it and not willing to spend money, you can still create an avatar and explore the virtual world while talking and communicating with others. However, you won’t be able to receive any awards or attend the special virtual events that happen in the metaverse. Still, you have the capability to interact with others.
4. Somnium Space
Somnium Space has constructed a virtual reality universe with its own economy and money that is all linked together. The platform is accessible in 2D mode from any device, or you may use VR technology to immerse yourself in the metaverse from both your desktop and mobile device.
Something extremely unique about Somnium Space is the potential to examine gaze tracking (measuring where people look), user engagement, and conversion rates. Somnium Space prioritizes its community through regular gatherings, an events calendar, and continuous communication across all social media channels.
5. The Sandbox
The Sandbox is similar to VR Chat in the sense that The Sandbox was initially developed to be a mobile video game. However, it was bought out by another company and turned into a voxel-based blockchain game. This metaverse aims to let users create their own assets which they can make money off of.
There are many different types of assets that users can create, and they’re minted on the blockchain in the form of an NFT, and also have different modes.
You can even play games that other users create in order to earn money. This specific metaverse is inviting to many people due to it being a perfect place for both creators and consumers alike. This is another great example that exemplifies the concept and potential behind the metaverse.
The metaverse may be a foreign concept to many for now, but not for long. It will become extremely popular within society as various industry sectors are starting to see the value behind these virtual worlds and assets.
Big-name brands such as Sony, Atari, and Microsoft are already building in the Metaverse and taking advantage of the opportunity that is yet to come.
It’s a simple idea with limitless possibilities — an alternate virtual world where people are encouraged to join and interact with others to become part of something greater.