AT&T in 1993 made an ad that represented their vision of what the future would be like. Some things went well, other things, not so much. The information that exists about the metaverse, what it is and what it will be, is often presented in a similar way.
As it stands, much of the talk about the metaverse (like Facebook suggesting we’ll be able to attend real concerts in holographic form) is still a long way off, if that’s even possible.
That being said, the metaverse is much more than just a concept. And while some fanciful notions float about what futuristic form it will take, the metaverse has already taken shape, and there are some real-life applications we can already see in action today.
With NFTs revitalizing the digital marketplace, the doors have been opened for artists and creators to sell their wares with peace of mind. This same technology is now being used to buy and sell virtual properties, and the blockchain is even creating a whole new gaming genre called play to win. Interested? Let’s find out more.
In its most basic form, the metaverse is a persistent virtual world that exists even when you’re not interacting with it. These virtual worlds often facilitate their own digital economy that allows users to buy, sell, and trade virtual goods, upon which they will become full owners of those items.
Virtual goods come in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are unique digital items. No two NFTs are the same. Through the shared understanding that virtual land, art, collectibles, and other in-game items are truly unique, people are willing to spend millions on them, as these items have intrinsic value due to their demonstrable scarcity.
One of the most interesting aspects of the metaverse and the collection of virtual worlds is that they are theoretically interoperable. This means that the goods you obtain or buy in the metaverse can be used in other participating games and scenarios.
Right now, most platforms have avatars and inventories tied only to their game, like Fortnite or World of Warcraft. But in a metaverse, you could create a virtual avatar or character that you can equip with virtually obtained items and play with them throughout the ecosystem, sort of like the “Ready Player One”.
In many ways, the future of the metaverse is being sold as a real alternative to the real world. Where different experiences, be it game modes, movies, or shopping malls, are seamlessly connected just like in real life, except that in real life, you can’t transform into a little purple dragon or storm the beaches of Normandy.
The rise of the virtual world
For a long time, people have envisioned a future where technology solves their problems and allows them to break out of the proverbial hamster wheel and spend more time appreciating the finer things in life. The metaverse is, in a way, a cliché representation of that future.
With Facebook’s Metaverse rebranding and Microsoft joining the fray, public interest in the metaverse is growing. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recognizes the deep human desire to escape into a world of fantasy. It’s in the books, movies, and TV shows, and if you could read the mind of a daydreaming child looking out the window, there’s a good chance that whatever they’re dreaming about can be accomplished in the metaverse.
Aside from pure escapism and blockchain-based gaming, numerous industries seem poised to take advantage of the metaverse, as long as they are willing to put in the effort to capitalize on this exciting new technology. One sector that has benefited greatly has been the art world, largely thanks to NFTs giving them a real avenue to sell their work without worrying about plagiarism and copyright infringement.
Apparently the metaverse is one of the busiest places buy and sell NFT art, with a wide variety of digital showrooms open to potential buyers across the metaverse. With pieces selling for tens of millions of dollars, it’s easy to see why the metaverse and NFT trend is simply impossible to ignore.
Second Statesman As of October 2021, the total market capitalization of the metaverse, Facebook, and gaming globally is $14.8 trillion.