You may be living in this world, but others will soon be inhabiting it (no, we’re not talking about Mars, sorry Elon). Sometime this year, between the third and whatever pandemic wave we’re in right now, the word crept into our lives — and it’s not going to let go. This latest tech craze has the usual suspects (read Facebook/Meta, Microsoft, and a bunch of people all over Silicon Valley) swarming the block for a piece of the action, but smaller players are also taking action. But what exactly is all this metaverse hype for? How does it relate to blockchains, NFTs or living in the internet 24/7?
So, what is the metaverse?
Defining the orib metaverse is a big problem for beginners. We can all agree there is a lot of yada yada, but at the end of the day, can you explain to your grandfather what the metaverse is at a Sunday roast? Since we’re talking about something that doesn’t exist yet, it can be confusing. So let’s keep it simple; a virtual world is a shared virtual space that is hyper-realistic, immersive and interactive thanks to the use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. There may be multiple virtual worlds in the metaverse where people can engage in various activities that are the result of a mix of physical and digital. Instead of staring at a screen as you do now, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in all your online experiences, such as shopping, meeting friends and family, attending concerts, and even completing official paperwork, in a virtual world.
The idea has been around for a while, or at least since Neil Stephenson coined the term metaverse in his 1992 dystopian novel Avalanche (to be fair, he’s been far from any metaverse plans). Many of us will come across some meta-references in pop culture, like in Matrix, Ready Player One, or Tron, so the basics of the concept aren’t that unfamiliar after all.
As a 3D virtual space, the Metaverse removes physical or any other type of obstacle. It’s an endlesss space, how many people can use it at the same interval of time, what type of activities can be performed, what type of industry can be entered in, and so on. It expands accessibility more widely than current internet platforms.
Unable to unplug, reboot or reset the metaverse. Users are free to join the metaverse from anywhere in the world, anytime, anywhere, and in doing so, there is always continuity to their experience. The Metaverse will evolve over time based on the shared contributions of its users, such as the content and experiences they design.
The metaverse is not owned by a company or a single platform, but by all its users, who also have control over their private data. Blockchain technology is an important part of this (more on this later), as it ensures that all transactions in the virtual world are public, easy to track, and always secure.
Whether you are using VR headphones, AR glasses or just your smartphone, you will be able to enter a new level of immersion and interaction, where all people’s minds are fully occupied and users feel more in their experience. As a highly secure site, the Metaverse will also have the ability to accommodate users who can directly affect its environment, objects, colors, lights, and more.
Metaverse participants are able to participate in a decentralized virtual economy powered by cryptocurrencies (such as Sensorium Galaxy’s own SENSO. This includes items such as users can buy, sell and exchange digital assets such as avatars, virtual clothing, NFTs and event tickets) market.
The beating heart of the virtual world comes down to its users. Every participant in the virtual world participates in a co-experience and helps co-create the future of the metaverse through user-generated content ranging from virtual creations to personal stories and interactions with AI-powered avatars. In fact, a Metaverse-like experience existed before Facebook’s recent Meta rebranding. Early iterations can be found in games like Second Life and The Sims, where users can control the lives of their online avatars. Even around 2009, Facebook started to dabble in some pre-universe experiments like Farmville, a game that had participants run their virtual farms and sell their produce in exchange for Farm Coins. While these platforms have some elements of the metaverse, they still contain events that don’t have much impact outside of their original platforms. A true metaverse is an ongoing experience that integrates elements from different platforms and audiences into one. Now that we’ve nailed this part, what else can make virtual worlds tick?
Crypto makes the metaverse move around
Anything can happen in the metaverse. What do we mean, partly because no one really knows what the future holds. Currently, gaming and entertainment are at the forefront of the competition as they have the most developed infrastructure to be adopted and developed within the virtual world. An important factor for this has to do with their virtual economy. Take Roblox, Axie Infinity or Fornite for example. These metaver-Esque platforms have been hugely successful, not just because of their entertainment offerings, but also because of their thriving marketplace where users can buy, sell or exchange items for native tokens like V-Bucks or AXS. All of these digitally-native spaces rely on a thriving virtual economy to create new assets (such as NFTs), experiences, and activities, which help lay the blueprint for the economy of the virtual world.