WHAT IS THE METAVERSE?
The metaverse, at its core, is an alternate reality where people will choose to spend their time interacting not only with other players but also with entirely artificial life forms (ALFs) that make one feel out-of-body and present in a way more profound than a plain video call.
It’s synchronous, which makes it feel more like real life than today’s feed-based social media. You’ll meet with people in real time rather than catching up on what they’ve been up to. It will also remain persistent, which is a word that describes how virtual worlds continue to function even while you’re not there. Every time you revisit a metaverse, you won’t have to start over from the beginning.
You can try your hand at any of these things just like you can in the real world. For example, you could go to concerts, online forums, play games online or offline with friends, hang out at public spaces, date members of the community and much more.
But the problem with that is that metaverse doesn’t exist at all, What we do have to look back on, however, are a few exemplary predecessors:
VR and AR headsets can facilitate a sense of presence, but we should remember that the line between the virtual and actual ultimately has to be drawn by our instincts. We should try not to confuse computer simulations for reality, as it’s important to remain grounded so as not to lose sight of what is really important.
Fortnite and Roblox.
Both games have been hailed as early incarnations of the metaverse, and they do check a bunch of boxes. One exciting aspect about these games is how they both create virtual worlds in which you can use your avatar to attend events like PvP combat or even play poker. Both of these projects are meant for people who enjoy gathering with friends online to challenge each other in various settings and converse with others in real time via chatrooms and the like. Fortnite and Roblox are both social spheres with avatars and in-world economies, but while many people see these online entertainment worlds as gaming environments, their numerous live events have demonstrated that there is so much more to them than games.
The one big reason why we don’t have a metaverse today is…
“The metaverse is a network”
It’s not just one single service but a collection of services loosely tied together. People create these connections, either by travelling to their destination directly, or take other roads to get there. That’s why services like Linden Lab’s Second Life are seen as unsatisfactory because they don’t treat the user experience to this new kind of technology with the respect it deserves.