Metaverse Archives

Wondering what the Metaverse is? Chances are you’ve been there before. There is no perfect description of the concept, but in general it is about digital interaction and human decision-making in a few key aspects. The term “Metaverse” comes from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, but it has since taken on a much broader meaning.

There have been similar games before it, but the release of Second Life really struck a chord in pop culture, in a way that still holds true. As Dwight said in The Office, “Second Life is not a game. It is a multi-user virtual environment. There are no points, scores, winners or losers“.

Dwight does a decent job of explaining Second Life, which is a very rudimentary gateway into the Metaverse. Besides, the second passage on his way of playing Second Life is important to explain the difference between classic games and the Metaverse. Dwight says he created a version of himself in Second Life that was exactly the same as in real life, except he could fly.

The Metaverse can be that simple, it doesn’t have to be as wild and crazy as what we see in Ready Player One.

The Metaverse and its current environment

The Ready Player One story and movie features a future in which the idea of ​​the Metaverse has become so prevalent that people care more about their lives in the machine than in real life. In what the book and film call the Oasis, we see a Metaverse housed with an idyllic (and potentially impossible) sense of freedom and openness.

At the same time, this representation of the Metaverse suggests that there will be only one universal software available to everyone that will host everything and anything. Outside of the reality we live in today, fingers crossed and pray that no other singular universe like this will dominate our digital world in the future. The implications would be nightmarish.

The first time you play Minecraft, you realize you’ve entered a new realm of “gameplay”. You are represented by an avatar who has the ability to dig holes, harvest materials, build things, and live a life however you see fit. You can also play games and go fishing.

In Minecraft, creativity comes from a careful balance between limitations and functionality. You control the blocks, and you have a sense of accomplishment by achieving goals in an environment that has a clear set of rules. Minecraft was created as a game, and became a platform once its potential was revealed.

Roblox was built as a platform, and is a gaming platform for creators from the start. Roblox was created as a place where content would be generated by users with very few restrictions.

Despite what the very whimsical trailer above shows, the Roblox platform isn’t as immediately aesthetically pleasing as Minecraft. Due to the relative lack of scrutiny from Roblox maintainers, it’s not hard to find bugs and games that don’t work.

The important elements of Roblox and Minecraft lie in their creative potential. Both titles are immersive, and both allow you to create and alter the environment in which you exist.

The Metaverse is not new

The basics of the Metaverse have been around since the early days of the Internet. From the time we started giving each other custom usernames, using fun icons, and creating our own web pages, we’ve been in the Metaverse for a while.

It is only now that we are reaching a point where the description of these creative environments has become necessary. We’ve come to a point where an all-digital environment can accommodate more than just a game: it can be where we work, where we meet, and where we actually live a second life.

When Niantic describes the real-world Metaverse, we see the phase we’re entering now. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) represent a way of viewing digital assets as “real” as physical assets. An experience like Pokemon GO shows us how attaching digital assets to our real world can make a platform more than a game.

The potential of the Metaverse is enormous. Metaverse apps will drive billions in consumer spending from now on. Companies that manage to carve out a place for themselves in this creative digital landscape will find monstrous room for growth.

There is not a single Metaverse

As an individual, it is important that you remain aware of the dangers of this new reality. As with any phase shift in our human experience, there is room for profit and power, but there is also room for malevolent actors and all kinds of ill-intentioned people.

There will be many liars. Liars who will lie that their vision of the Metaverse is the ultimate platform for this Metaverse. There is no such thing as a single “Metaverse”, even if a company has designated its ecosystem as such.

As has always been the case with the Internet, so it is with the Metaverse: there is no single authority, only entities. There are many entry points into the transient environment that is the Metaverse, and not all elements of this future are compatible. Whatever path you choose, and whoever you choose to interact with, be careful — and have fun!

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