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A Beginner’s Guide to the Metaverse

Since Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of Facebook to Meta, many people were caught off guard and are now left in the dark as to what Meta is and what the future of the metaverse means. 

Additionally, big-name brands that we love such as Addidas have taken the plunge into the metaverse. Offering their NFTs holders the ability to unlock exclusive access to virtual land experiences and free collaborative merchandise. So, what is the metaverse exactly?

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is a combination of numerous technologies including virtual reality, augmented reality, and eye-tracking. All of these elements are used to create the ultimate virtual experience within a virtual universe. Examples of a metaverse include Fortnite, Roblox, and The Sandbox.

The term metaverse was first mentioned in Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel, Snow Crash, published in 1992. Although the term isn’t new, the thought of living in a virtual world might feel a bit futuristic, but in reality, we are already living in a very digitized world.

Ready Player One

“Even though it was initially marketed as a new kind of massively multiplayer online game, the OASIS quickly evolved into a new way of life.”

If you have ever watched the movie Ready Player One, which is set in the year 2045 where much of humanity uses virtual reality to escape the real world, then you understand the concept of operating in the metaverse.

Currently, some metaverses like Somnium Space support several popular VR goggles including Oculus, Vive, and Stream. However, all you really need to enter most metaverses is just a desktop computer and a solid internet connection, meaning the barrier to entry is minimum.

If you’re curious to know how you can enter the metaverse, make sure to check out our article Explaining the Top 4 Metaverses, where you will learn what each popular metaverse offers, as well as how to enter each space.

What’s in the metaverse?

The metaverse and its contents remain a mystery to many. After exploring the metaverse myself, I noticed several elements you will find within the virtual space.

The metaverse contains a number of different elements such as 3D avatars, digital assets, games, businesses, and various events that support an entire virtual economy. As a user, you can monetize your creations, meet with friends, participate in virtual events, and even host business meetings.

While exploring the metaverse you may quickly realize that it offers many of the same features that you might find in the real world. 

The one major difference with the metaverse is that you can travel the world all from the comfort of your own home, using just your computer and VR goggles if you have a pair. As well, you can literally teleport to different locations. Whether you want to teleport to the next city or even the next room, you can do it all in the metaverse.

Why is the metaverse important?

Understandably, many people might fail to gauge the importance that the metaverse has in our society. So, why is the metaverse so important?

The metaverse is important because it offers humans an in-person way to connect and communicate from anywhere in the world virtually. Furthermore, the metaverse supports a whole virtual economy where users can enjoy numerous activities like building a business, networking with others, and even hosting family gatherings.

Just imagine for a second that you and your family aren’t able to get together for the holidays, so instead, you put on your VR headset and join each other in the same room virtually. You can still enjoy each other’s company, play games together, and even explore other metaverse worlds all from your own home.

The same can be said for business meetings and even training sessions. You and your colleagues can all sit around the same table, view the same presentation, and then discuss matters further in a completely immersive environment. Then once the meeting is over, you can simply take off your headset and be back at home with your family.

More so, the metaverse allows you to actually create a real business within the confinements of any virtual land you own.

For example, you can build and monetize a recreational arena where others can come to play games and host events, open a VR clothing store, and even monetize your skills as a builder in the metaverse where you can charge users a fee in exchange for an architectural structure or other digital creation.

This will, in turn, create more job opportunities, as there will be a demand for developers, virtual architectures, and much more. Really, your imagination is your limit, and this is especially true in the metaverse.

Ultimately, the metaverse allows you to be anywhere, anytime, and with anyone in a realistic setting. This convenience may further improve your relationships and your ability to receive hands-on training and guidance from home.

What currency is used in the metaverse?

Of course with new economies comes new types of currencies, and not all metaverses use the same currency.

In the metaverse, the only type of currency accepted is cryptocurrency. There are different types of cryptocurrency used depending on which metaverse you’re in. An example is Decentraland, where their native currency is MANA.

Other metaverses like Cryptoxles make it easy for users and allow you to transact with more common crypto such as ETH.

Examples of the metaverse

As of today, there are several metaverses that are currently available for anyone to explore, and some even support a thriving community with thousands of users.

Popular examples of the metaverse include Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, Roblox, Somnium Space, and The Sandbox. Metaverses like CryptoVoxels, Decentraland, and Somnium space are advertised more so as VR platforms, whereas Roblox and The Sandbox are better known as online gaming platforms.

If you aren’t familiar with any of these platforms, no worries. Other games like Fortnite and Minecraft are considered to be modern-day metaverse as well. In fact, Fortnite CEO Tim Sweeney has described Fortnite’s user experience as a metaverse because it is a virtual 3D space that combines gaming with non-gaming elements.

Overall, the metaverse is still in its infancy, but that’s not to say that the potential for innovation isn’t huge. The number of brands building within the metaverse is increasing at a rapid pace. Atari, Addidas, Google, Microsoft, Nike, and Sony are just a few of the companies that are currently building their brand in the metaverse.

The future of the metaverse

As for the future of the metaverse, I don’t see the development slowing down anytime soon.

I’m confident that the metaverse will continue to develop into something extraordinary, and will revolutionize the way humans interact while at the same time increasing efficiency across many industries. 

Google Trends
Google Trends

A quick search on Google Trends shows a huge spike in the search volume of the metaverse right around October 2021. Meanwhile, VR has seen a healthy fluctuation in search volume dating all the way back to December 2015.

I think this is a clear sign that the potential of the metaverse is about to be unleashed in the coming years, along with an abundance of opportunity, especially for those who are curious enough to explore the space early.

So, are you ready to explore the world from home? If so, jump into the metaverse and check it out, an entire world full of opportunity awaits.

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