The Half Digital Half Physical World: Metaverse

Once upon a time, we had our lovely earth. Then virtual reality was invented which took over the world and we lived happily ever after.

Jokes aside, since Thursday, a new term has come to life and has already taken over the internet, people’s minds, and our lives- Metaverse. We’re pretty sure you heard about this new digital world too, how can you not when every single person is talking about it? But just in case you haven’t, busy ruling the world, we got your back.

Metaverse, a concept that immediately became a buzzword in many areas especially the technological and business sectors, has a blue infinity symbol as a logo. However, what exactly is it? Where did it come from? Who invented it?

Let’s get into it!

How Metaverse Started.

Although the term Metaverse sounds like something from the future, however the original term dates back to 1992. Hard to believe right?

Neal Stephenson coined the term in his novel Snow Crash book, which was referred to a 3D virtual world inhabited by avatars of real people.

On October 28th, one Thursday evening, the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, formalized the focus for the future of the social media giant on metaverse reveling his vision for the company.

Mr. Zuckerberg also announced that the company is changing its name and rebranding as “Meta” with a new aim; to create a new version of the internet, a virtual reality vision. The new holding company will also include its biggest subsidiary, Facebook in addition to Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus.

As he sketched his plans for building a digital world with virtual reality headsets, he explained “We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet, we’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are”

What is Metaverse?

The term Metaverse can be explained in many different ways. To start with, there is no universally accepted definition for the term. Because of that, we can give you a few:

  • In simple words, it is a digital world made more lifelike by the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).
  • Metaverse can also be explained as a virtual world combined with the physical. It is a place where people can not only access it through the internet but can also share the experience together! Now how cool is that?
  • Gamers also use this world to describe their gaming world, a place where their characters can move, walk around, and interact with other characters as one does in their normal day to day lives.

Sure, people can already interact this way with their friends, strangers and whoever they want through websites, applications, and social media platforms however metaverse creates an online space with multi-dimensional interactions.

The reason why metaverse was quickly able to catch the attention and interest of the people is because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been almost 3 years where people accepted their faith of online working, remotely going to school, using online applications for their needs. What they now demand is to make these online interactions more lifelike, which is what metaverse is here to do.

Relation to Facebook.

For the short answer, Facebook Inc is meta. It changed its name due to few reasons. Let us talk about that for a minute. Due to Reuters some of the reasons why include:

  • Battles from criticisms from lawmakers and regulators
  • Criticism for their algorithmic decisions
  • Judgment for their policies of abuses on the services.
  • Antitrust lawsuit alleging anticompetitive practices by The U.S. Federal Trade Commission
  • Leaked documents which show company choosing profit over user safety

Although the company’s reputation has taken multiple hits over the last few years, Mark Zuckerberg stated that the rebranding of Facebook is due to the company becoming much broader than just a social media platform (which will still be called Facebook).

However how are people perceiving this change?

Some people are excited for this new step, but others… not so much.

An opinion Columnist, Mr. Charles M. Blow described Metaverse on New York times as “absolutely ridiculous. And terrible.”

Another opinion which was expressed in a blog post on Pcgamer was that “The metaverse is bulls**t” and “it really does just sound like a worse version of the internet.”

Don’t worry, not all of them are bad. Mr. John David N. Dionisio thinks that the metaverse could really help people and “has real potential to change how we think about pain management, grieving, and systemic prejudice.”

What it does.

Many tech industries and businesses are excited about this new step that will change our lives even more so. Believe it or not, Metaverse has already opened millions of opportunities for businesses not only to increase their revenues but also to increase user engagement. Here are some who already took advantage of the new world.

  • “Beeple”: an artist who has already started taking advantage of the digital world by selling digital art pieces online. When you buy an art, you will be granted an ownership blockchain token also known as “NFT” which stands for non-fungible token.
  • “Epic games”: Which decided it would be a great idea to include concerts inside video games. – For example, in September, you had the chance to watch singer Ariana Grande virtually perform a concert in Fortnite. According to epic games, virtual concerts can attract huge audiences and increase engagement. Apart from that, by using the virtual world, brands and celebrities can engage with their fans in real time!
  • Facebook’s Horizon workrooms: which has the aim to leave the today’s simple video conferencing in the past. Instead, what Zuckerberg wants to do is to create a space, with the use of VR headsets, a way for people to engage in a more immersive manner. Although Horizon workroom is still in beta testing, Facebook is in the process of testing the application. Here comes yet a new style of interaction.

In conclusion,

Metaverse is the next big thing.

Just imagine, you’re at work in the morning, looking at the clock occasionally. You talk to your colleagues about the day you are going to spend. After work, you visit the mall and window shop for a bit, look at some of the new trends. After that, you decide to stop by your family and chitchat with them until its time for the party. And when it’s time for the party you dance and laugh and sing.

And guess what? You did this all without leaving your bedroom.

This. Is. Metaverse.

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