Almost two years of working primarily from home and being online have affected not only food delivery companies but also the IT field. The term Metaverse is mentioned more and more often. As a result, Facebook and Microsoft announced the development of their virtual universes in 2021.
Simply put, the Metaverse is a world where the virtual and the real merge as much as possible. Metaverse was first described back in the 1990s by science fiction writer Neil Stephenson in his novel Avalanche. You've probably seen The Matrix, Ready Player One, Avatar, or Free Guy with Ryan Reynolds. The digital worlds shown in these films provide a basic understanding of the Metaverse.
There are the real you and your 3D avatars connected to a virtual world (VR glasses are suitable for this), where you can do whatever you want. In this way, one falls out of reality, completely immersed in the virtual. But in addition to the entertainment function, the Metaverse can solve real problems.
Suppose you have planned a meeting with your classmates but can't attend it. Instead of you, an avatar will go to it and communicate with the avatars of your old acquaintances. In September 2020, Facebook introduced Infinite Office, a virtual office project for working from home via the Oculus Quest 2 headset. It's beautiful and efficient.
Mark Zuckerberg generally has global plans for the Metaverse. He has already renamed Facebook to Meta and sees this vector as the future for his company. To achieve this goal in 2021 alone, the company allocated $10 billion - they went to research and development in virtual reality, where Facebook (Meta) already owns several startups, including the manufacturer of VR helmets - Oculus.
If you have kids or are an avid gamer, you've probably heard of the battle royale game Fortnite. Here, players land on the same map, mine resources, complete quests, and kill and save others - in the end, a single survivor wins.
You can also communicate through audio and video, swap currencies, create costumes, create your worlds, and travel to other worlds. But most importantly, Fortnite forms a meta world where the real and the digital meet.
You don't have to go far to find an example. In April 2020, famous rapper Travis Scott held a concert in Fortnite. 12 million users visited it. It brought the artist $20 million, and the revenue of Epic Games (the creator of the game) for 2020 was $5.5 billion. At the same time, Fortnite remains free.
In early 2020, venture capitalist Matthew Ball published, and a year later expanded, a list of key features of the Metaverse:
If you want to try what Metaverse is, I recommend registering at The Sandbox.
The hype around Metaverse has rocked the cryptocurrency market, especially since there are already several projects on the market that remotely resembles Metaverses.
Among them is the blockchain game Axie Infinity, where players grow animals and sell them in exchange for AXS NFT tokens.
NFT as a phenomenon as a whole fits perfectly with the Metaverse concept as a place where users will create, buy, sell and exchange content and items. And that means you have to prove ownership of your goods somehow. And this is where NFT enters the arena.
After Mark Zuckerberg's announcement about metaverses, the token price of the Decentraland (MANA) and The SandBox (SAND) projects jumped. They create virtual worlds where the user can build and buy land (Decentraland) and monetize their gaming experience by creating games (The SandBox). Cryptocurrency exchanges also invest in metaverse projects.
Right now, the world is objectively not ready for Metaverses. It requires years of development of different IT sectors, which the virtual universe unites in itself, and compromises in the questions of content regulation and Metaverse moderation.
And there is no doubt that this development will take place. Facebook, Microsoft, and Epic Games (Fortnite) are already doing this. Venture funds Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and others are investing millions in Metaverse-related projects - the process has long been running and gaining momentum.
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