What is the Metaverse? Here’s Why It Matters


VR Chat is another game that provides a window on what it might feel like to navigate the Metaverse in the future. It’s a game where users are represented by custom virtual avatars, can explore various virtual worlds, and interact with each other through VR headsets or via a less immersive PC experience. Just as significant a factor in the metaverse trend is the coronavirus pandemic, which has radically altered lifestyles across the planet.

In July 2021, Mark Zuckerberg talked with journalist Casey Newton about the metaverse and the changes he envisioned for Facebook. It’s just going to continue the blend, he said, until we’re all wearing goggles, or living in tanks of goo, after a gradual and disorienting transition from the internet of today, which is, perhaps, more metaversal than it gets credit for. Dave Baszucki, Roblox’s co-founder and chief executive, whose shares in the company were suddenly worth $5.5 billion when the market closed that day, expressed his appreciation on Twitter.

Big tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google, gaming companies like Epic Games, and even big brands like Nike and retailers like Walmart are all vying to control the development of the Metaverse or tap into valuable virtual markets. Facebook even famously renamed itself Meta specifically to signal its focus on the development of the coming Metaverse. In September 2021, the company announced a $50 million investment in global research and program partners to ensure that metaverse technology would be developed responsibly. Numerous sci-fi books, television series, and movies are set in metaverses—digital worlds indistinguishable from the real world. Some of Zuckerberg’s contemporaries are concerned that the real-life metaverse—the “next-gen Internet”—could become a dystopian nightmare.

What Is The Metaverse

When it comes to owning virtual land, these two platforms are currently the popularly known ones. They have well-known established companies and celebrities being part of their virtual worlds. Purchase land, it can be done directly on the platform, and any sales are recorded via transfer of NFTs. You will require a wallet that is capable of storing this, such as Metamask or Binance. Purchase virtual real estate through a metaverse platform like The Sandbox or Decentraland. Purchases are made through cryptocurrencies and ownership is logged in a blockchain as a transfer of NFTs.

What Are the Benefits of the Metaverse?

Augmented reality overlays visual elements, sound, and other sensory input onto real-world settings to enhance the user experience. In contrast, virtual reality is entirely virtual and enhances fictional realities. Graphics, AI and high-performance computing is a mix that’s tailor-made for the metaverse, and Nvidia is staking its claim in this space with Nvidia Omniverse.

The paradox of defining the metaverse is that in order for it to be the future, you have to define away the present. We already have MMOs that are essentially entire virtual worlds, digital concerts, video calls with people from all over the world, online https://xcritical.com/ avatars, and commerce platforms. So in order to sell these things as a new vision of the world, there has to be some element of it that’s new. That summit created the Metaverse Roadmap, a project that mapped the path to completing the metaverse.

The company unveiled its next high-end VR headset, Meta Quest Pro, at the Meta Connect 2022 conference on October 11, as well as announcing updates to Horizon Worlds and Horizon Workrooms, plus a series of new partnerships. There is a lot of excitement around metaverse, driven by technology companies preemptively claiming to be metaverse companies or creating a metaverse to enhance or augment the digital and physical realities of people. Technically, a metaverse is a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality. For simplicity’s sake, think of a metaverse as the next iteration of the internet, which started as individual bulletin boards and independent online destinations. Eventually these destinations became sites on a virtual shared space — similar to how a metaverse will develop. “There are things you can do in virtual reality and augmented reality that you just can’t do in real life across distance.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the answer to “What is the metaverse? ” along with the underlying technologies—start with our NFT explainer and Web3 explainer. While its biggest use at present is gaming, the metaverse will increasingly be used for shopping, education, job training, doctor’s appointments and socializing. Studies have found that neck physical discomfort may present another barrier, which may remain an issue as long as VR requires the use of large headsets.

What Is The Metaverse

One of the most-cited examples of metaverse is Second Life, an alt-reality computer game where you play through an avatar and could do just about anything — like build a house or get married — was created in 2003. It was such a real world it had a thriving kink scene – it doesn’t get more real than that. By 2006, there were enough serious metaverse enthusiasts to gather them for a summit.


Given its high-value projection, the metaverse is touted as a major player in growing the digital economy. While the term has been floating around for the last few years, the word “metaverse” was actually coined by author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash. In his book, Stephenson referred to the metaverse as an all-encompassing digital world that exists parallel to the real world. But in 2022, experts still aren’t sure whether the metaverse IRL could evolve into something similar. Current hardware development is focused on overcoming limitations of VR headsets, sensors, and increasing immersion with haptic technology.

What Is The Metaverse

Roblox provides a platform, Roblox Studio, for creating online games (or ‘experiences’, as the company prefers), of which there are over 30 million, the company says. Roblox users, who mostly fall into younger age groups, can make in-game purchases using the Robux currency, while developers can make money via the Developer Exchange. According to Roblox, 2.7 million people earned Robux in June 2022, and over $580 million was paid to developers in the 12 months ending June 30, 2022.

What Is the Metaverse? What Are the Benefits of the Metaverse?

You can point to something to explain, use hand gestures , draw on a piece of paper, go places together. Think about the incredible possibilities, such as a collaboration between surgeons, or creating a clay model for a new-car design. These and all sorts of other collaborative activities are all easy in the right metaverse world, which eliminates the impediment of distance. Second Life, the popular computer game that simulates real life, is a natural fit for the metaverse and is quickly gaining popularity. Other games, including those mainly popular with the younger generation, like Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox, are also big in the virtual sphere; by some estimates, nearly 100 million people log on to these games daily. First-person shooter and quest games become even more realistic and immersive in the metaverse.

  • Ready Player One is a dystopian science fiction franchise created by Ernest Cline which depicts a shared VR landscape called “The OASIS”.
  • Microsoft seems to think it could involve virtual meeting rooms to train new hires or chat with your remote coworkers.
  • Some, like Decentraland and Roblox, simply require a computer or a smartphone.
  • One of the most-cited examples of metaverse is Second Life, an alt-reality computer game where you play through an avatar and could do just about anything — like build a house or get married — was created in 2003.
  • The canonical metaverse company is the one that renamed itself after the concept – Meta, the Big Tech company formerly known as Facebook.
  • However, it’s still up to users to keep the environment secure and safe for everyone.

So far, their primary solution seems to be to simply fabricate technology from whole cloth. I hate to shatter the illusion, but it’s simply not possible with even very advanced versions of existing technology. With the metaverse, there are some new building blocks in place, like the ability to host hundreds of people in a single instance of a server , or motion-tracking tools that can distinguish where a person is looking or where their hands are. It’s about experiencing real services in a virtual space or purchasing real goods through a virtual store. Virtual reality technology allows you to “enter” an immersive digital space by way of an audio/visual headset.


The OASIS functions both as a massively multiplayer online role-playing game and as a virtual society. Non-fungible tokens figure to play a big role in the usefulness and popularity of the metaverse. NFTs are a secure type of digital asset based on the same blockchain technology used by cryptocurrency. Instead of currency, an NFT can represent a piece of art, a song or digital real estate. An NFT gives the owner a kind of digital deed or proof of ownership that can be bought or sold in the metaverse.

What Is The Metaverse

Currently the most popular use of virtual reality, games use the metaverse to create an immersive gaming experience. Computer and console-based games like World of Warcraft and Roblox are creating metaverse games, part of the future of immersive technology. Information privacy is an area of concern for the metaverse because related companies will likely collect users’ personal information through interactions and biometric data from wearable virtual and augmented reality devices.

Personal tools

The ability to create value through the Metaverse needs to be one of many tools available to your organization to meet its strategic goals. Charlotte Hilton Andersen, BS, MS, has been covering health, fitness, parenting, and culture for many major outlets, both in print and online, for 15 years. She’s the author of two books, co-host of the Self Help Obsession podcast, and also does freelance editing and ghostwriting. Experts predict interactions in the metaverse will become commonplace in the next five to ten years. On one hand, global sales of VR headsets have been growing, with 2021 being a banner year for headset manufacturers, who had their best sales since 2016’s flurry of big-brand VR device releases.

Done right, the experts Lawton interviewed said, metaverse technologies could increase teleworker camaraderie, improve collaboration, speed up training, reduce the need for office space and make work a happier place in general. The metaverse will also eliminate jobs, requiring companies to reskill workers, said Frank Diana, managing partner and futurist at Tata Consultancy Services. In a 2022 survey performed in conjunction with Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center, Pew Research Center asked 624 technology innovators, business leaders and activists about the impact of the metaverse by 2040. According to the report, 54% of these experts said they expect the metaverse will be a fully immersive, well-functioning aspect of daily life for at least a half-billion people globally, and 46% said it will not be.

Who Owns the Metaverse?

The technology we build in the Metaverse can help create positive changes and opportunities to protect the planet. However, we need to ensure any investments made into this What Is The Metaverse technology consider the environment’s needs. For instance, companies may need to consider how they will power the data centres responsible for metaverse environments.

Who Will Benefit From the Metaverse?

Guests in Decentraland are limited to exploring the land and customizing their avatar. If you play using your wallet, you can actively participate in playing, buying land, and creating assets. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but what’s clear is that there are multiple companies jostling for position in various segments, which suggests that we’re likely to see significant M&A activity as the market matures. A majority (53%) of respondents believe NFTs will become the biggest metaverse currency in the near term, and 57% think the metaverse will become the most popular place to buy, store and trade cryptocurrency. Data privacy and security were the biggest hurdles the metaverse has to overcome (33% of respondents).

Retail 3D Experience

You need to own three of these “Axies” before you can even play the game, and currently the lowest priced creatures on the marketplace are over $100. The futility of throwing an outdoor pandemic-friendly event in January wasn’t the only reason Hackl’s son lobbied for a digital event. Roblox might be unknown to many over the age of, say, 25, but the 13-year-old platform is booming. Hen Cathy Hackl’s son wanted to throw a party for his 9th birthday, he didn’t ask for favors for his friends or themed decorations. On the digital platform, which allows users to play and create a multitude of games, Hackl’s son and his friends would attend the party as their virtual avatars. The first step is to get hold of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or SAND and MANA .

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