Facebook recently officially changed its name to ‘Meta’ to put itself at the frontline of a new digital domain known as the metaverse. Meta is developing a virtual reality social platform, Roblox is supporting user-generated computer games, and some firms are offering something more than broken game worlds with NFTs attached. According to proponents ranging from minor entrepreneurs to tech behemoths, the lack of coherence is due to the fact that the metaverse is still being developed, and it is too early to explain what it means.
What is the metaverse, exactly?
Is it a virtual realm where we can immerse ourselves in limitless possibilities? Is it the internet’s dismal future based on science fiction? Is it merely a fancy way of classifying extended reality (XR), which includes virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies?
Speaking about the metaverse reminds us of discussing the internet in the 1970s and 1980s. As the foundations for the new mode of communication were being constructed, conjecture arose about what it will look like and how it will be used. Everybody was talking about it, but few people actually understood what it meant or how it would function. In reality, things did not come out quite as some had hoped.
Many analysts consider the metaverse to be a three-dimensional version of the internet. In a nutshell, it’s a place where you live your digital life that exists in parallel to the real world. A location in which you and other individuals each have an avatar and interact with each other through it.
History of Metaverse
While the concept “metaverse” has been talked around for a few years, it was first invented by writer Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash in the year 1992. According to Stephenson’s book, the metaverse is an all-encompassing digital universe that exists in parallel to the actual world. Experts aren’t sure if the metaverse IRL can evolve into something identical in 2022.
Is it similar to a video game?
Whereas the metaverse is significantly more than a video game, it appears that the gaming world has already embraced its most basic form. Second life, a simulation game that allows users to experience virtual reality in which their avatar can shop, eat, shower, and do everything they do in real life, is perhaps the closest extant rendition to the envisioned metaverse.
According to the technologists, the metaverse will take virtual reality to another level, enabling users to float in the virtual world and do everything from buying land and organizing parties to getting married using digital avatars.
How to gain access to the metaverse?
Although there is no single doorway to the metaverse, experts recommend investing in some hardware to fully immerse oneself in the experience. Depending on the budget, this can range from the low-cost $10 Google Cardboard to the mid-range $300 Oculus Quest 2 headgear or even the high-end $999 Valve Index VR.
Though using your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop to access the metaverse will take you away from the immersive experience, it’s a great way to test the tides and see what all the fuss is about.