What is Metaverse and who needs it?

Humanity has long sought to create a better parallel world with greater possibilities.  How many fairy tales and fantasy novels have been written, how many movies have been made, where the main characters get into worlds where they can live another life.

Writers have repeatedly shown the prospects for creating something like this.  In addition, the authors raise an ethical problem, reminding us that man is not only an intelligent creature but is guided by his darkest instincts, which can not always be realized in the virtual world.  Imagine, in Metaverse, you can use casino bonuses India and even touch them!

The term “Metaverse.”

The world which combines a “real” and virtual reality is now commonly referred to as a meta-universe.  The term is believed to first appear in Neal Stephenson’s iconic book Avalanche, published in 1992.

The sci-fi novel deals with two worlds – a real one, steeped in chaos and divided into corporate spheres of influence, and a virtual one.  Both planets can interact with each other, influencing and changing each other.  The book’s protagonist is Hero, a hacker who spends much time in this computer-generated world.  Inside the virtual reality, contractors can lay out their streets, build jobs, and lay out parks.  They can even create things that cannot be imagined in the everyday world—for example, areas where there are fights without rules.  Or arrange performances based on computer effects that are unavailable in reality.  In principle, the modern understanding of the term “Metaverse” is similar to what Stevenson described.  An interplay of real, augmented, and virtual worlds.

Forerunners of the Metaverse

A real forerunner of the meta-universe (not just in books and movies) can be called Second Life, a three-dimensional virtual world combined with a social network.  It is not a computer game but a virtual space where you can create your own stories: make friends, fight, organize your territories, and equip them as you wish.

During the lockdown, it was especially relevant to be able to meet with other people, not on a “physical” level, which was not available for obvious reasons.  Negotiations and meetings in Zoom or Skype did not suit everyone: there is a well-known story when a company of British illustrators used the game Red Dead Redemption 2 for meetings during the lockdown.  The prairies of the wild west and sitting around a campfire are much better than a typical Zoom picture.

The Metaverse must exist not in parallel with the real one but within it to fully integrate into everyday life.  They should become a single, complementary and compatible digital space.

With the help of augmented and virtual reality devices, it is already possible to understand what the Metaverse is all about.  But the natural process of forming shared cyberspace can begin when the corporations working on this idea now make their products compatible with each other.  In a shared space, people will communicate and use digital objects (e.g., sell or buy them) regardless of where they were created.  The Metaverse should penetrate our lives as an additional dimension, a “digital layer.

Modern smartphones are, in principle, capable of “depicting” something like this but only as a picture. 3D graphics, which can fully simulate the real world, require different processing power and data transmission capabilities.  It is one thing when image creation occurs on specific devices, such as helmets or virtual reality glasses.  It is quite another when the computational data must be transmitted from the cloud to many users simultaneously.  A channel of particular speed and width will be necessary.  Colossal computing power is also needed to create digital doubles of objects.

Characteristics of a meta-universe

Venture capitalist Matthew Ball suggested seven necessary characteristics of a meta-universe.  For a virtual space to acquire Metaverse status, it must meet all of these characteristics.

The Metaverse must be:

  • Eternal and infinite.
  • Reflecting real life, independent of external factors.
  • It should have no limit to the number of participants that inhabit it.  Anyone can join it.
  • It should have a functioning economy.  The user should be able to create, sell and buy content.
  • Users themselves should be able to create content for the meta-universe.

Why do we need a meta-universe?

When considering the meta-universe phenomenon, the main question is, what is it for?  And who needs it?  Let’s outline the main goals of this technology.

For games.

The first thing that can be assumed is games where the gamer feels his entire presence in the game space.  For example, quests, which users play in virtual reality.  They create a parallel alternate universe, and the quest’s plot can develop in different eras and locations.  Such virtual quests began during the lockdown in 2020 when conducting “live” meetings were impossible.  The search takes place in a 3D avatar, which the user remotely controls.

Metaverse forms just the perfect environment for computer games: the effect of complete immersion and presence.  Having created your avatar, the user can communicate with other players.  Especially relevant now are the games where you can get virtual income, which is easy to exchange for things in the meta-universe.  Games like The Sandbox or Decentraland allow you to create and monetize your own creative projects.  The Sandbox might be of particular interest to people in the arts because they get NFT tokens for contributing to the virtual world as copyrights for their works.

Based on the Ethereum blockchain, Decentraland’s decentralized virtual reality platform provides users with a vast palette of possibilities.  You can create artwork, buy and resell digital real estate, and play games here.

For other entertainment.

Another use case for Metaverse was also demonstrated during the Spring 2020 lockdown.  Based on the game Fortnite, American rapper Travis Scott held a “live” concert as part of his world tour, which was postponed due to the pandemic.  A record-breaking 12 million people attended the show.

Not sure if we should define this action as entertainment, but recently, a wedding was performed for the first time in the meta-universe.  American couple Dave and Tracy Gagnon held an online wedding ceremony in the form of avatars.  The event occurred at the Vibrela Platofroma, a company specializing in creating virtual environments.  During the lockdown, some couples used Zoom for the ceremonies – though they haven’t officially acknowledged it yet.

To work.

The meta-universe offers extensive opportunities not only for entertainment but also for work.  For cryptocurrency in the virtual world, you can buy a piece of land, for example, on the Decentraland platform.  Essentially, the user in such a transaction will receive a non-exchangeable token (NFT) of a digital plot of land.  Such investments in the future can likely bring good returns because the volume of the global NTF market is growing.  However, the legal framework for their regulation has not been worked out yet.

The meta-universe can also help in solving a lot of technical problems.  For example, the inspection and diagnostics of the digitized objects of the production process in the virtual world superimposed on the real one could be much easier, more comfortable, and safer.  Metaverse capabilities are also applicable in railroads, airports, and sea transport.

For learning.

The Metaverse can be an excellent base for training future professionals in various fields.  In addition to simulating almost any practical situation, it allows students and teachers to meet for live communication, hold lectures and seminars, and exchange information.