Since June 2021, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his company’s new development and future to his employees, there have been speculations, fear, and confusion. However, these speculations compounded when Meta had their rebranding around October 2021, calling for consideration into the metaverse technology.
While the metaverse plans to go beyond the conventional dispensation of connecting social apps and hardware, Mark promises to bring virtual reality towards this vision.
To some, the whole idea of metaverse becoming the future of the internet seems confusing. Questions keep popping up like the buzz it started with:
- Would we have to carry “big machines” – Oculus headsets, around on our heads just to be involved in the metaverse?
- What happens to us while we’re in the virtual space? Is it another planet?
- What about the painful experience of putting the headsets for too long?
- And would such people, if they remove it in meetings, be able to connect?
- Can we be static in the real sense, doing nothing, and the virtual world sees us as otherwise?
- Why would technology have so many limitations that affect the usual scheme of things?
These and many more uncertainties are flying around the concept, and it’s understandable.
For the new developing phase, linking metaverse, gaming, and the virtual world becomes a considerable base. And this is only possible if the universal exploration of virtual realities, which companies like Meta and Epic Games attempt, becomes a thing soon.
As technology effortlessly takes new turns, its connection with the most important aspects of the ecosystem cannot be left behind: virtual, financial, and physical worlds. This sounds more like a win-win interaction between the different worlds involved.
What do I mean?
Imagine a functional gaming center with gameplayers choosing from various games – now the virtual ecosystem – what happens?
So simple. The owner of the game gets money in return (financial world) for the number of games played (in the virtual world) from the gameplayers (physical world component) – everyone wins.
What’s the definition of a metaverse?
As Mark Zuckerberg puts it in an interview at Vergecast, “You can think about it as the successor to the mobile internet.”
When you hear metaverse, it’s best to take it as a synonym to a 3D (3 dimensional) virtual space where users are connected to various platforms / sophisticated environments. You can access it easily, and you get to control an avatar or the characters around you as you so wish. This is what augmented reality is all about.
So, for everything we have today, metaverse says there’d be a new development. And for so many, they imagine metaverse is just another version of video platforms like Zoom or even a worse version.
No one is sure how it’d be, but you can expect a scenario like this: Instead of the Zoom meetings we have now, you can meet with many people using the Oculus VR headset all in a virtual office. And as I said, you’re able to control every element yourself. Also, you can also decide to “chill” in a game integrated with blockchain and oversee your crypto portfolio.
How is metaverse linked to gaming?
Over time, gaming and virtual reality (VR) have been directly linked together. And that’s why you’d find games like Second Life and Minecraft having the metaverse’s much-buzzing elements: 3D avatars and world-building gameplay features.
You might ask what VR (Virtual Reality) gaming is. It’s simply when you see yourself in a 3D space where while you’re on your computer with your mouse, you’re able to feel every component as though they were right before you.
It can’t be argued that the VR landscape hasn’t gained so much momentum over the years, especially the emergence of like-enterprises in the market. While this is true, the VR gaming market is projected to have a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 32.75% between 2021-2026. Also, Bloomberg says apart from in-game revenue amounting to 70% of the market size, gaming, AR, VR may create a $413 billion primary market in 2024 while 2020 metrics amounted to $275 billion.
Take a look at games like Second Life and Fortnite with elements of the immersive virtual worlds.
As the name implies, Second Life allows you to have a “second life” in the virtual space. It also allows you to create avatars yourself. Isn’t that incredible?
Also, Fortnite, which has three mode versions with the same gameplay, allows you to fight zombies and protect yourself in the process with fortifications and blocks/traps. Of course, you get to build the traps yourself.
These images give an idea of what the interaction of these platforms would look like when the virtual worlds that metaverse stands for finally surface.
However, a demonstration video in Facebook’s recent annual developer event showed how this emerging technology mirrors a new lifestyle. There, Zuckerberg told viewers of his demonstration video that, “The metaverse — which is based on the concept of using Facebook’s Oculus headset to engage in day-to-day activities, eliminating the need to leave home in the future — would be about “connecting with people.”
Impact of metaverse and markets:
Even though the metaverse and its social connection tendencies haven’t begun fully, many markets have continued receiving their financial share in bits. This validates the possibility of metaverse to some extent, even though there’s still some expected resistance. But a cursory look into these two markets would explain more:
- Cardano (ADA) is a smart contract network crypto asset, similar to Ethereum. In the last 12 months, it has risen in value by 336.4%. This, of course, has a fraction of the effect from the metaverse announcement,
Also, according to defillama.com, there is a total value of about $3 million in Cardano-based defi protocols. This is a good development as Cardano-based NFTs now integrate into the NFT world with projects like Yummi and Cardano Kidz.
- Walmart: While positioning in the business world is good, it’s always important to position rightly. This is why Walmart, in a recent report by CNBC, reveals that it is making a move to have its own cryptocurrency and Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collection.
This aligns with what Walmart foresees to be evident in a few years to come, given the rising demands of technology concerning metaverse. And as a business with a going concern, it is rather proactive to have a test-running atmosphere for your business before metaverse goes round, catching people and businesses unawares.
As Walmart best puts it, it is “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences.”
No wonder Walmart recently signed seven patent applications. Some of these applications are to create and sell “virtual goods,” which include toys, home appliances, etc.
These and many more markets have gotten a share from just the buzz of the metaverse even when its full orientation hasn’t hit most of this market.
Viewing metaverse as a concept on the surface would only reveal the 3D customizations that come with some beauty in the interactive space. Meanwhile, a critical analysis of the metaverse concept validates that there would be more job opportunities when it finally sits with us, this includes:
- ecosystem developers
- hardware builders
- metaverse safety managers
- metaverse storytellers, and so on.
However, there might be a total shift from people’s way of life; of course, that’s expected for anything new. Then, when it finally happens, it wouldn’t be a question of what we as a people accept anymore but how we as individuals and businesses can survive without it.
Agreed, every business that integrates metaverse and implements its sophistication would get a pro-rata share on live entertainment businesses – cinema, sport, live music.
Agreed, the Four Asian Tigers might adopt it because of the economies of scale advantage.
- But what happens to people with visual impairment who wouldn’t have access to NFTs if everything finally revolves around metaverse?
- What’s the universal acceptability of NFTs won in in-games, and which law governs or would govern the right to own one?
- Wouldn’t it become redundant in my wallet if I’m unable to sell to certain countries because there is no governing law regarding in-game NFTs there?
Well, while everything about metaverse keeps buzzing around, it calls for a sheer preparedness from individuals and businesses to gradually take advantage of it.
Spoiler alert: Metaverse and its virtual propositions might not come to reality in the next 20 years.
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