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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Matambo

Metaverse 101: An Introduction to the "Next Big Thing" and Why You Should Care

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

You've probably heard a lot of talks recently about the "metaverse" and how it's "going to change the internet as we know it". It is quite possibly the biggest buzzword of 2021. The issue is, not a lot of people know what it means or have taken the time to explain it.

So, what does it actually mean? What does it do? And most importantly, why should you care? Take this article as a crash course that will give you a fundamental understanding of the metaverse and the potential opportunities it would present to people and brands alike.

What is the Metaverse?

The idea was initially coined in Snow Crash, Neil Stephenson's science fiction novel from 1992. In the novel, the metaverse refers to the convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space.

The meta-verse consists of futuristic social hubs with connected apps where virtual avatars can meet. A virtual reality and augmented reality-ready ecosystem that brings people into a connected virtual universe. Some futuristics define the metaverse as Web 3.0.

Web 1.0 connected people with information, Web 2.0 connected people with people, and Web 3.0 will aim to connect people with information, people, places, and things, all at the same time.

There are a few important components associated with the metaverse:

  • Immersive User-Related Avatars: Put simply, these are digital representations of people, created using 3D graphics, to help people experience digital spaces. There have been some significant advancements in VR and AR technologies that will accelerate the adoption of avatars and allow people to experience virtual worlds.

  • Persistent Virtual Worlds: Naturally, the metaverse will require a place for the avatars to interact. However, unlike transient virtual worlds that come and go as the user is engaged, the metaverse will always have to be "on". This feature has already been achieved in some videogames such as Fortnite and SecondLife.

  • Capacity to Own and Create Virtual Property: Property ownership is one the most crucial elements of the metaverse. Just as some games like World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto allow players to buy and sell various properties, this feature will be replicated in the metaverse. But like the real world, the ability to own and create virtual properties will demand oversight and require copyright considerations.

  • Virtual Exchange Ecosystems: A metaverse can provide a marketplace for the exchange of virtual property and commodities. This is a big reason that the metaverse will be in virtual worlds. Such marketplaces will have thousands of transactions happening simultaneously and will likely use digital currencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Why Should You Care?

The metaverse is not as far off as you'd think, as its foundation is being built today. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, believes it will become mainstream in the next 5-10 years.

The metaverse will likely change the way we interact with the internet and each other, soon to become the next frontier for online interaction.

The pandemic has already shifted culture online. With family reunions on Zoom, graduations in Minecraft, concerts in Fortnite, and virtually trying on clothes already becoming common practice. Brands will inevitably play a big role in the metaverse.

This new iteration of the internet being worked on will have massive implications for society and business. The new era will also unleash amazing creativity and open up new opportunities for creators and businesses. The question is, how are you getting ready?


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