As the Pandemic Rages, Lifecycle Events Must Go On… in the Metaverse by@ggoldenberg

As the Pandemic Rages, Lifecycle Events Must Go On… in the Metaverse

The global Metaverse market size already stood at $47.7 billion in 2020, and that is expected to skyrocket to upwards of $828.9 billion by 2028. Facebook's rebranding as __[Meta] in 2021 served as a symbol of Big Tech’s recognition of the growing influence of the Metaverse, both in the present and the future. Virtual land sales topped $497.6 million in 2021, with that figure expected to double in 2022. In November 2021, Republic Realm, a digital real estate investment fund, purchased a parcel of land in Sandbox for a record.
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Guy Goldenberg HackerNoon profile picture

Guy Goldenberg

CEO of MultiNFT


The COVID-19 zeitgeist seems to be moving away from masks and restrictions, as many U.S. states lift mask mandates and ease restrictions. However, in many parts of Asia and Europe, event venues are still operating under pandemic-induced restrictions. What are people in countries that haven’t yet pulled back from the COVID fight to do regarding weddings and other lifecycle events?


A couple in India found a creative way to hold their wedding amid COVID-induced restrictions: Asia’s first Metaverse wedding. The legal ceremony took place in a village 170 miles from Chennai, India, and was attended by a few close friends and family. Simultaneously, another 6,000 guests attended a customized Harry Potter-themed Metaverse built and hosted by TardiVerse. Guests chose their avatars and explored the magical grounds of the famous Hogwarts castle.


The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, highlighting a need to find solutions to help maintain social bonds. Lifecycle events, such as weddings, family reunions, and graduations, are forced to move to Zoom, where the festive and celebratory atmosphere is lost. The pandemic has fast-tracked the digitalization of our lives–we have become accustomed to working and interacting socially online. Now, because of this trend, lifecycle events can occur entirely on the Metaverse, in accordance with restrictions and with respect for those worried about infection, enabling these important events to take place in a unique and fun format.


The Metaverse age has arrived


The global Metaverse market size already stood at $47.7 billion in 2020, and that is expected to skyrocket to upwards of $828.9 billion by 2028, with some even expecting trillions. The Metaverse’s drastic and recent rise has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, whether by chance or not. Facebook's rebranding as Meta in 2021 served as a symbol of Big Tech’s recognition of the growing influence of the Metaverse, both in the present and the future.


In addition to Facebook’s rebranding, other indicators confirm the industry’s ascension. Properties in the Metaverse are booming as investors rush to purchase prime real estate in the sought-after districts of Sandbox, Decentraland, Somnium Space, and other Metaverse platforms. Virtual land sales topped $497.6 million in 2021, and that figure is expected to double in 2022. In November 2021, Republic Realm, a digital real estate investment fund, purchased a parcel of land in Sandbox for a record $4.3 million.


There is plenty of uncertainty and speculation regarding the direction that the Metaverse industry will take. However, it's clear that, with or without the global pandemic, the Metaverse will play a huge part in the Web3.0 landscape. In the meantime, the global pandemic is highlighting some of the Metaverse’s added value.


A COVID-free space for lifecycle events


We are now entering year three of the pandemic, with some more optimistic than others about a possible end in sight. Mask mandates in almost all the US states have been lifted, but restrictions and fears around large gatherings still remain.


The efforts to slow the virus’s spreading have fundamentally altered our lives and daily routines. Employers have adjusted to employees working from home and hosting important client meetings through Zoom or other video-conferencing platforms. Large international industry conferences, events, and trade shows moved online once COVID struck, and many still prefer virtual events over in-person. The pandemic has impacted nearly every industry in one way or another.


Besides its impact on our work life, the pandemic has greatly affected our social lives as well, including mental health. For the elderly and high-risk populations, these last two years have been especially challenging. In addition to the high-risk demographic, there has been an unprecedented rise in mental health problems as a result of lockdowns. The disruption to daily life has led to increased drug and alcohol use along with drastic rises in depression and anxiety, which experts predict could last a generation.


By leveraging the Metaverse’s interactive nature, people can conduct important milestone events in a fun, creative, and unique way, all while social distancing. This provides a big morale boost for the elderly and high-risk populations, and a much-needed relief for those suffering from mental health issues brought on by extensive lockdowns. At a time when so many people are struggling and there is so much uncertainty, the Metaverse provides a solution to counter these issues by facilitating a real sense of community.


Obviously, this won’t be simple, and there will be challenges in terms of widespread adoption. Older generations will certainly encounter barriers and discomfort in navigating something as new and different as the Metaverse. However, out of a desire to stay connected, elderly populations have become more dependent on the Internet and digital technology — especially in areas such as banking. This will soften the transition to Metaverse onboarding.


The Metaverse is, and will certainly remain much more than just a platform to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and its interruption of our social lives. But, by taking advantage of these challenging times, the Metaverse can demonstrate just how practical it can be in the future. It can open people’s eyes to the wonders of the future and inspire new innovations. This will undoubtedly lead to a faster and stronger mainstream adoption. In the meantime, the Metaverse presents the ideal alternative to celebrating life with loved ones in a safe and interactive way. Nothing replaces being able to hug a friend or family member at their wedding or graduation, but in such uncertain times, the Metaverse can offer the next best thing.


About the Author:

Guy Goldenberg, CEO of MultiNFT, an NFT platform connecting musicians and artists with their fans through a curated and interactive Metaverse experience. With a decade worth of experience in the crypto industry, he has launched multiple successful public equities on PrimeXBT’s covesting module that went on to be ranked second on the platform during the market cycle of 2020-21. Before crypto, Goldenberg had a professional career as a touring musician, traveling across the world and performing with internationally renowned brands. He’s leveraged his connections in the music industry to help MultiNFT bring some of the biggest names in metal and techno into the Metaverse.

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