Why The Metaverse will be Bigger than Facebook and Google Combinedby@mickeymaler
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Why The Metaverse will be Bigger than Facebook and Google Combined

by Mickey MalerOctober 28th, 2021
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Mickey Maler explains the concept of a future iteration of the internet made up of persistent shared 3D spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe. The term metaverse is a collective virtual shared space created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet. In many respects, blockchain can be also considered a meta-technology, since it utilizes, enhances, challenges, and potentially supersedes other pre-existing software technologies.

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The metaverse is quite possibly the future of the internet. To help our readers learn more about it, we've started this metaverse interview series.

These are the questions we've compiled to ask experts in blockchain, DAOs, NFTs, and game development, within the HackerNoon community. The series is intended for tech professionals to contribute their insights about the current state and the future of the metaverse.

If you too would like to start contributing to Hacker Noon, you can do so here.

If you also want to publish your thoughts about the metaverse, answer the template here.

HackerNoon Interviewer: So let’s start! First, tell us a bit about yourself. For example, name, profession, and personal interests.

Hello hello, Mickey Maler here.

I am a technical writer from the Czech Republic and I like blockchain, cryptocurrencies, non-professional bodybuilding, nature, family life, and dogs!

As a technical writer, I have worked at Red Hat for 3 years now, and since April 2021, I have been contributing to Sovryn, the most feature-rich DeFi for Bitcoin. What is interesting about being Sovryn right now is the possibility of being a front-row witness of the Bitcoin-based DeFi adoption in El Salvador and the countries that will follow up in the coming days.

If you want to know more about Bitcoin, DeFi, Sovryn, and the mission in which Bitcoin will bank the unbanked people, read the Hackernoon interview with Edan Yago here.

If you are interested in learning the blockchain basics, check my Blockchain mini-series for newcomers and slight advanced technological enthusiasts.

Please sum up what the metaverse is.

Well, quite possibly, the metaverse is the future of the internet.

Broadly - The definition of the metaverse is a collective virtual shared space created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet. The word metaverse is made up of the prefix "meta," meaning "beyond," and the stem verse a back-formation from the universe. Metaverse is a term typically used to describe the concept of a future iteration of the internet made up of persistent shared 3D spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe.

Blockchain technology is another interesting aspect that enters this new metaverse space and raises the whole thing to a completely new level. In many respects, blockchain can be also considered a meta-technology, since it utilizes, enhances, challenges, and potentially supersedes other pre-existing software technologies.

The internet is the most crucial metaverse essential, but the whole thing obtains a completely new flavor with the blockchain. It was the combination of the blockchain and the use of non-fungible tokens (NFT) that was responsible for creating the metaverse biggest boom during the covid pandemic.

This combo created blockchain-based games which apply the NFT technology to tokenized in-game property and enable gamers to make real-world money while gaming their favorite game. That's also a part of why the term metaverse has to re-enter the crypto zeitgeist. To mention a few of these games, we can start with Axie Infinity, Fortnite, Decentraland, The Sandbox, MoonieNFT, and their Moonieverse. These games benefit from the new phenomenon called "play-to-earn" games, and exactly these games are said to be an early type of metaverse-like experiences where digital scarcity, strategy, and arcade games come together to form a game where people can work and earn crypto rewards, and in some cases even pay their bills doing so.

Then, the element of virtual reality allows players to enter into shared realms and create their own in-game experiences and interact with other players in real-time. Games like The Sandbox are already doing the first step in these matters, and they also start to call these in-game worlds the metaverses. To be honest, this is not exactly correct since, right now, all the in-game coins, the resources, can only be used within that particular gaming world. However, this hang-up could be transcended by creating some sort of a partnership when the one in-game coins can be used in other "mini-game-metaverse," too.

To make such metaverse merge happen, a lot of technology would need to come together; since the NFT would need to be able to digitally manifest in environments developed by completely different teams, graphic engines will need to learn how to interpret code from other apps to visually represent online identities accurately, and their need to be a way in which these environments will connect seamlessly with one another.

Blockchain gaming started a new era of breaking old boundaries and overcoming technological obstacles in the gaming industry. At the heart of this transformation is the idea of putting players in the role of creators, developers, co-artist, stakeholders, and co-owners of the gaming worlds they explore and expand.

To cut it short, metaverse could be summarized like this:

  • The use of the Internet, blockchain, and NFTs
  • Sum of all virtual worlds
  • Augmented reality
  • Possibility not to create just the games, but the whole gaming worlds
  • Technology that can bind this all together

Also, another interesting concept about the games I mention, which creates that current metaverse wave we are experiencing, is that their visual side is not something that should be used as a benchmark for the most recent PC configuration. Instead of kicking ass graphics, these games are more focused on free-of-action, ease playability that causes the addiction combined with funny music, and the ability to create and participate, but also allows grinding and tuning. Most of them are playable on any device from 2019 :)

My first encounter with these games was Axie Infinity while I was reading the investment report in which Delphi Ventures (investment group) has invested in Axie Infinity’s upcoming governance token $159K USD. They basically bought 5 “pokemon-go like” digital battle pets for 475.5 ETH. An opportunity to spend a lot of money on digital battle pets. While this may appear to be a confusing impulse buy at first glance, spurred on by the recent hype around NFTs, it’s actually a purchase we’ve been patiently waiting to make ever since we started Delphi. - September 2020 The results of this investment is something that any of us can find on our own, but I guess it was worth it :)

Collect, battle and breed digital pets calledAxies Then The Sandbox is a blockchain-powered multiplayer multi-game virtual world, in which a user can create games and play games that others created, use teleports to literally jump with their avatar from one game into another, and many others. It is a world that turns players into developers without the need to know a programming language, and also a world that turns these creative players into game owners and ecosystem stakeholders.

NFTs usage provides a user with true ownership over the earned assets. To create a game in The Sandbox ecosystem, the user needs to own a special “construction lot”, where it is possible to create the game in a manner not unlike Minecraft. These creation areas are called LANDs and are represented by ERC-20721 NFT.

If you want to know more about The Sandbox, I recommend reading the article I did some time ago.

Blockchain Gaming: The Most Definitive Guide To The Hype Behind It

Play games, then create one, and then come back to play the games of other players.

Where the Axie is more about using your combat pet to challenge others, Sandbox reminds you of the old days of Minecraft, but with many more features.

Then the last example I want to share in this article is MoonieNFT, which reminds me of the good old days spent with GameBoy. Moonies are the most recent player in the game and I was lucky enough to get in touch with their core developers, so I will be happy to use MoonieNFT as an example of a metaverse-like game and compare it to the original term of the word metaverse.

Ethie, Normie, Dogie, Bitty, and Normie

Are you currently, directly or indirectly, working on building a metaverse?

I am not involved in any metaverse development at the moment but I will share the info I have obtained directly with the MoonieNFT metaverse developers I know.

So, let's start with what those Moonies are up to.

The Moonie NFT project is a collection of 100% usable NFTs that give you access to an interactive play-to-earn platform known as the Moonieverse. In the Moonieverse, you can play games, win prizes, earn yield, and participate in price races between your favorite cryptocurrencies. With features such as The Research Lab, Price races, and Arcade Games, the Moonieverse is a jam-packed world with interactive and fun activities where you're able to play with your Moonie NFT using a smart device, and earn big rewards!

MoonieNFT is revolutionizing the NFT play-to-earn experience by building a platform that sets the new standard for gamified yield generation and play-to-earn gaming by offering 100% usable NFTs in a gamified De-Fi ecosystem. MoonieNFT aims to make the intimidating world of cryptocurrency far more palatable and accessible to the world by providing an educational portal into the crypto-sphere through our fun and interactive NFTs.

That's for the general introduction :).

In your opinion, is the metaverse inevitable, or is it just another passing trending tech topic that'll lose hype?

I think that the current situation we are in 2021 gives us a taste of what it could look like. The metaverse games we have right now can be something like a demo to what is inevitable.

People are spending more and more time interacting with digitized content. Newsfeeds, social media, shopping, banking, interviews… they are all digital. The use of metaverses and virtual reality allows people, even though it is not really "real," to do things they can't even imagine or participate in events they cannot afford in the real world.

That's where the play-to-earn blockchain gaming, NFTs, metaverses, and virtual reality will create a combination that will lure even more people to join this metaverse flow and switch their regular daily jobs for participating in the multi-game virtual world, the earnings of which they can then spend however they like. Even outside of the metaverse in which they earn them.

Why is the metaverse such a revolutionary concept?

Let me answer the following questions with a) and b) answers in which I will try to describe the meaning for the metaverse as such, and then use the MoonieNFT as a current and fresh example. For the sake of authenticity, I will share the MoonieNFT’s answers on these questions from their point of view, since I am honored they spent some time with me and provided this article with the real-metaverse development value.

a) Metaverse The metaverse fundamentally redefines how we interact with digital worlds by integrating our physical realms with digital realms, allowing things traditionally considered strictly of the physical realm such as money, social interaction, and ownership of goods to merge with persistent digital landscapes.

b) Moonieverse

Where the metaverse is the digital realization of our physical world, the Moonieverse represents the bridge between the on-chain world and the off-chain world and the gateway to the metaverse. The team will establish that through a comprehensive play-to-earn experience that enables Moonie NFT holders to educate themselves and earn tokens in the newly coined "Learn-To-Earn" concept.

MoonieNFT's Learn To Earn offers games, interactions, social engagements, and the recently announced "Moonieversity Incubation Program," where projects are incubated through the curation of a highly interactable education-based infrastructure within the Moonieverse. The ultimate aim of MoonieNFT is to create a seamless transition into the blockchain sector and respective metaverse.

What can people build in the metaverse that we can't build on the Internet, or in virtual reality today? What limitations of our current technology does the metaverse free us from?

a) Metaverse

The metaverse was built to break boundaries that we see in our world. The internet brought us connection and access; VR brought us a new immersion that engages our senses and makes us forget our physical surroundings. The metaverse offers a combination of both in what we might call a complete liberation of the human experience.

Through the metaverse, we can see, hear, and do things that contribute to a shared world that has a long-lasting impact. We can now express ourselves in ways we never could before, and those who may feel limited by their physical bodies, the confines of a keyboard and mouse, or others' creative boundaries now have access to a world the way they want to experience it. The truth is, we don't know all of the true potentials the metaverse has in store for humanity yet.

b) Moonieverse

The Moonieverse is a decentralized metaverse that allows users to learn about the world they want to live in, whether it be a greener world, a faster world, or a more exciting world. The real limitation when it comes to true freedom of choice is understanding, and that's what the Moonieverse offers.

The best step forward is a confident one, and as Moonieverse development progresses, users will be able to take their Moonies throughout the Moonieverse and experience gaming and education synergized in a way that they've never experienced before. Users will be able to travel throughout the Moonieverse and get paid to learn and play games about DeFi projects and blockchain ecosystems that are tantamount to the progression of the space as it becomes more widely adopted. The ultimate goal is to create a Metaverse that allows users to sustain their livelihood as highly educated citizens of the Moonieverse.

Moonies in the research lab

How are the metaverse and blockchain-related? Can we build a metaverse without blockchain technology?

a) Metaverse

Blockchain technology integration allows users to possess genuine digital persistent goods with proof of ownership across worlds in the metaverse. This could be as simple as a piece of digital designer clothing for your virtual avatar within one of these worlds, data stored on the blockchain can prove that this item is genuine and that you do, in fact, own it.

The blockchain also allows the use of digital currencies in the metaverse by providing a tamper-proof ledger for storing transaction data.

b) Moonieverse

In our opinion, immutability and decentralization are the only paths to truly guarantee the fundamental ideals of the metaverse. It should be an environment where you can buy lands knowing nobody can take them from you unjustly, and the decisions you make ripple in the meta universe's reality.

Our mission is to deliver a decentralized metaverse that will have fair governance by token or NFT holders and is completely inclusive when it comes to bringing in new Moonieverse citizens and giving them a voice and equal opportunity to dive headfirst into our rich, rewarding ecosystem. Blockchain is immutable and transparent, and we want to ensure transparency when it comes to the development of the Moonieverse. We are still working on adding cohesiveness between the blockchain side and the activities we develop.

The next step for us is to onboard more developer power as we work on our R&D. The play-to-earn and metaverse industries are still young and in need of refinement. We are a long way away from creating the perfect metaverse and may never achieve it, but we are committed to doing so.

How quickly do you think the metaverse will be developed? How much can we expect metaverse tech to grow in the next 5 to 10 years?

a) Metaverse

Metaverse has come a long way in a very short time. I believe that the metaverse and our physical world will eventually become so intertwined that it becomes a natural part of our everyday lives.

b) Moonieverse

As mentioned before, our mission is to make the Moonieverse an environment where you can learn, work, be social, play games, and live an enriching life. We want to be the place to go for all young people looking to learn about blockchain, educate themselves in an alternative way, and combine those things with the ability to play games and earn digital currency in the process.

We do see a world where our Moonieverse citizens will be able to support their lives monetarily through their contributions to the progression of our metaverse and engaging in every part of it. I believe they can achieve these goals within the next ten years.

They are still learning, but need to say they have come a long way since they started their journey 6 months ago. It is really thrilling to even imagine what they can accomplish with this tempo and hard working ethics in 5-10 years.

Moonie astronaut

What is your hope for the metaverse? Do you have any worries or does the concept pose any threats?

Metaverse is a collection of various virtual worlds, game worlds if you want, capable of possible cooperation. This means that these worlds and the games they are represented in them will be connected at some point in the future. But it doesn't stop with the games. In the metaverse, you can virtually check an NFT gallery of famous real-world artists, play a game on your mobile while your friends play the same game from XBOX or PS5, you can then check a new musical artist in his recent virtual streamed performance, and finally to perform almost every programmable simulation of a situation from our lives, such as learning to drive a car, plane, a rocketship, and so one.

Similar to that famous scene from Matrix, in which Neo learns to use Guns and Jiu-Jitsu, a user will learn to use the metaverse's virtual reality as a training room and playground. Metaverse is something that could impact anyone who uses the internet.

To make this happen, The Metaverse will require countless new technologies, protocols, registries, companies, innovations, and discoveries to work. It will slowly emerge over time as different products, services, and capabilities integrate and lead together. It will be a stage that comes after the phase in which a majority of people use the Mobile Internet on a daily basis. That’s the definitively good and interesting part about it.

And yes, there is one warning to this, and it can be applied when metaverse will blow off mainstream. Here is the reason why. Metaverse is a space where we live a larger percentage of our lives in the digital world than we do in the physical world. The move "Get ready, Player One" makes a nice demo of where this whole metaverse can lead.

Thanks for your time! Any final words?

Thank you so much for having me! And hope that all players will find their favorite metaverses in which they can spend from 15 minutes a day to “all the time they need, while they are having fun“.

Thank you so much to the MoonieNFT team for the cooperation and The Sandbox platform for making this happen.


This article is part of The Gaming Metaverse Writing Contest hosted by HackerNoon in partnership with The Sandbox.

Submit your #gaming-metaverse story today for your chance to win up to $2000.