Until Facebook announced its foray into the metaverse on October 28, 2021, the term was known to few people outside of science fiction buffs. A few months after Facebook become Meta, the metaverse has gone mainstream. It’s hard to turn on the TV or scroll through social media without coming across a reference to this new world.
Although the metaverse seems new, author Neal Stephenson coined the term in his novel Snow Crash. Stephenson’s novel predicted a dystopian virtual world controlled by corporations, more like a massively multiplayer online game than the virtual replica of the real-world many futurists envision. Keep reading to learn about what the metaverse holds for our future.
What Is the Metaverse?
Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a different definition of what the metaverse is. When many people think of the metaverse, they think of one massive virtual world. While the metaverse is a virtual world, it will comprise an infinite number of interconnected virtual spaces created by different people and companies. Corporations are already pouring millions of dollars into the metaverse, and metaverse shares are performing well.
Instead of one world, the metaverse will be several different virtual worlds. People often point to Second Life as the origin of the metaverse. Second Life’s virtual world went online in 2003. People chose avatars to represent themselves within this virtual world, socialized with other users, and traded goods and services. Although Second Life gave us a glimpse of the metaverse, it existed in an isolated ecosystem.
There was no way to cross from Second Life to another virtual world. The future metaverse will change this. You’ll be able to carry your times across the metaverse instead of them being restricted to a single virtual world. Interconnected virtual worlds will define the metaverse.
The Metaverse Is More Than Games
Roblox, Minecraft, and online casinos often dominate conversations about the metaverse. It’s not surprising since we can use our phones to explore these worlds whenever we want. Most people don’t have time to fly to Las Vegas multiple times a year. However, today’s technology allows us to visit sites like Betway Casino, where we can choose from over 400 games to play on one of the best casino interfaces online. Plus, we can download our favorite games to our smartphone or tablet and take them with us on the go.
However, the metaverse doesn’t begin and end in these mini-worlds. The metaverse promises to be an expansive world where we use avatars to interact with friends and coworkers, just as we would in real life. As the metaverse evolves, it won’t just change how we play games; it’ll change how we work, socialize, and interact with the world around us.
Does the Metaverse Already Exist?
Some say yes, others say no. The metaverse is in its infancy, and while several games replicate virtual worlds, the interconnected metaverse of the future is still several years away. Facebook’s acquisition of Within and Microsoft’s acquisition of Blizzard are examples of how companies are trying to get a head start on defining the metaverse of the future.
Huge virtual worlds connected to other virtual worlds define the metaverse of the future, which has not yet arrived. We can get glimpses of the metaverse on today’s internet. Initiatives such as Aie Infinity, Sandbox, Decentraland, Facebook Horizon, and Cryptovoxels represent the beginnings of the metaverse, but they’re still a long way from encompassing everything the metaverse will be.
However, the internet, as we know it, has a flat, two-dimensional landscape. The metaverse will change this into an immersive three-dimensional world. In the metaverse of the future, you won’t log onto the internet. Instead, you’ll go into it.
While in the metaverse, you can participate in its virtual economy, relax, play games, attend a basketball game or live concert, basically everything you do in the real world today. The metaverse will be the biggest technological revolution since the World Wide Web.