Metaverse: what it is about and what it will be like to live in a parallel digital world | Fictional universe and virtual reality

On October 28, 2021, the internet tycoon mark zuckerberg took the world by surprise when it announced the birth of “Meta”, the company that would bring together all the platforms it owned —Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp— to replace what had previously been Facebook Inc. With this name it also anticipated the creation of a “metaverse”, a virtual world inhabited by avatars where virtual sports and activities, digital currencies and assets, and purely online interactions would converge.

Considered the kickoff of the new era of the internet, the metaverse of the company commanded by Zuckerberg already has thousands of computer engineers working on its development. At the same time, many companies have already launched or will launch virtual products to trade in this alternate universe -as the Zero Sugar Byte of Coca Cola—and the total profits from this project are expected to be around $800 billion by 2024.

Mark Zuckerberg presented the metaverse in 2021 (EFE)

But, what is the metaverse? What is it for? What is the purpose and benefits of inhabiting a virtual universe?

What is the metaverse about?

It’s about a virtual world parallel to the “real”, where users will be represented by “avatars” and will be able to do everything inside the metaverse that they do outside, and even more. In the metaverse it will be possible to meet new people, get and give employment, work, fall in love, travel, buy products, exercise, commit crimesand, who knows, maybe also do things that are still impossible in the “real” world.

Digital experiences will become more analog-like, with innovations like haptic gloves, virtual reality devices to be able to “touch” inside the metaverse which Reality Labs Research, Meta’s augmented and virtual reality team, announced in late 2021.

A Meta team works on the development of virtual reality gloves (Meta)

“We went from desktop to web and mobile; from text to photos and video. But this is not the end. The next platform will be even more immersive: a built-in internet where you are inside the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build,” Mark Zuckerberg said in November 2021.

Experts in new technologies consider the metaverse to be a “it is a persistent virtual world”, that is, it starts, but that does not end when the human or the participant withdraws from said universe to rejoin the “real” world.

The key to the metaverse: persistence

“The current convention is that it is a persistent virtual world. This in simple language means starting a virtual world and not stopping it, or trying not to. When we play an online game, a virtual world is created, but once the game is over, that world is over as well. that’s persistence”, he explained to GO News Nicholas Munozdeveloper and CEO of Azomland Partyverso, a Chilean party and wellness-themed metaverse project.

When the creator of Facebook referred to “being in the experience, not just looking at it.” without a doubt he winked at the well-known and successful platforms so far: “multiplayer” or “multiplayer” games.

The metaverse will break the limits of the world

franchises like the Grand Theft Auto (GTA), Counter Strike, FIFA or League of Legends (LoL) they are successful brands and games that had the peculiarity of being able to play in the same context with other participants around the world. However, everything stopped when one of them left the game.

“A few months ago I read that second life has been solving the problem of multiplayers since 1999,” Muñoz said. “There are many multiplayer experiences and many others that have already solved the problem in instances or virtual worlds that expire, and only one company thinking about the problem of persistence for so long weather”.

“Therefore, all the years of development and technologies will undoubtedly lead us to a persistent space that works on the internet where people can connect interactively and immersively”, he concluded.

How would it benefit people to be part of the metaverse?

One of the main virtues of the metaverse, Muñoz explained, is that it will allow those interested to be part of “an infinite world” of “interconnected virtual communities”. In this way, the activities that are carried out daily in the real world, such as meeting with friends, working or playing, would be transferred to the virtual world. But there will also be the possibility of buy physical or virtual goods and access services.

“A lot of the metaverse experience is going to revolve around being able to teleport from one experience to another,” Zuckerberg said in the video previewing this initiative.

When “an infinite world” is emphasized, it is a literal definition, since it is expected that a single project encompasses all initiatives that are immersive.

For Muñoz, the great challenge of the future is “to be able to unite all metaverses” where “a single cryptocurrency or protocol can be used”. “That’s the goal,” she remarked.

How finance and trade will work in the metaverse

According to Muñoz, the metaverse will be “one of the higher transfers of wealth” Y “will reinvent many industries“. “It’s all about microtransactions and keeping services on” within the metaverse, he added. That is, companies will seek to get users to pay for services “inside” the metaverse, even during the time they spend “outside.”

For example, azomlandMuñoz’s creation, will have as its sole theme “the party and the feeling of well-being at the time we are sharing”, and will seek to monetize with this.

“We currently have a token and will soon open a token market. NFT unique (“parts” with market value, based on technology blockchain) where users can buy land, buildings and experiences, among other things,” he explained.

And like any technological environment, the monetary stars of the metaverse will be cryptocurrencies and digital assets, such as those named NFT.

No one wants to be left out of the metaverse

A report by the Bloomberg agency estimated that this brand new virtual universe will raise around US$800,000 by the end of 2024, due to the investment of big brands, which have already started to patent their goods and digital assets. Purchases of computers and augmented reality headsets will also play a role in improving access to the multiverse.

Zara, Adidas, Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Louis Vuitton are some of the hundreds of brands that have already penetrated this reality with products aimed at avatars and with product lines dedicated exclusively to the virtual world. Disneyeven announced in February that it is advancing in the creation of its own metaversefocused on storytelling.

Now, once inside the metaverse,what will happen to our identity and the amount of data available to the servers and owners of these platforms?

“The advertisements they will continue to be an important part of social media strategy, and they will likely continue to be a significant part of the metaverse as well,” Zuckerberg warned last year.

Given the expectation or illusion of a new promise of technology, it remains to be seen how we human beings will accommodate ourselves to this experience that promises to change the world we know. Questions also arise: Will we all live up to the metaverse? Is it only for the new generations? Will it be healthy and beneficial to be part of this alternate reality?

“It’s time to take everything we’ve learned and help build the next chapter,” invited Mark Zuckerberg. We are ready?

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Metaverse: what it is about and what it will be like to live in a parallel digital world | Fictional universe and virtual reality