What is the Metaverse and how does it work?

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 some key aspects. The term “Metaverse” comes from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, but has since taken on a much broader meaning.

There have been similar games before, but the release of Second Life has really hit 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 door into the Metaverse. Also, the second step on his way of playing Second Life is important in explaining 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 film present a future where the idea of ​​the Metaverse has become so prevalent that people care more about their life 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 all that will host anything. Outside of the reality we live in today, let’s cross our fingers and pray that no other singular universe like this one will dominate our digital world in the future. The implications would be nightmare.

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

In Minecraft, creativity comes from a careful balance between limitations and functionality. You control the blocks and 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 created as a platform and has been a gaming platform for creators from the very beginning. Roblox was created as a place where content would be generated by users with very few restrictions.

Despite what the very extravagant trailer above shows, the Roblox platform isn’t immediately as aesthetically pleasing as Minecraft. Due to the relative lack of control by 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 engaging and both allow you to create and modify the environment in which you exist.

The Metaverse is not new

The foundations of the Metaverse have existed since the early days of the Internet. Ever since we started exchanging 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 have come to a point where a fully digital environment can host 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 are entering now. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a way to see digital assets as “real” as physical assets. An experience like Pokemon GO shows us how connecting 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 of consumer spending from now on. Companies that manage to carve out a place in this creative digital landscape will find monstrous room for growth.

There is not a single Metaverse

As an individual, it is important to 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 malicious 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 single “Metaverse”, even if a company has designated its ecosystem as such.

As has always been the case with the Internet, so is the Metaverse: there is no single authority, only entity. There are many points of entry into the transitional 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!

Leave a Comment