The Metaverse: What Is It?

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They are also giving free access to developers for their Easy Anti-Cheat and Voice services, both used in the smooth multiplayer experience of Fortnite (and many other titles you’ve probably heard of). By having this shared communication infrastructure built into many games, including one of the largest of all time, they are establishing a stronger case that those platforms define the standard when moving forward. If you’re like me, the concept of digital property may sound preposterous, but in doing research about the Metaverse I found examples going back almost two decades that offered a small bit of legitimacy. Entropia Universe, an MMO that launched in 2003, has had virtual land and buildings sold for hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars in at least one case.

what is the metaverse reddit

For those who can afford it, users would be able, through their avatars, to flit between virtual worlds created by different companies. Facebook has launched meeting software for companies, called Horizon umarkets review Workrooms, to use with its Oculus VR headsets, though early reviews have not been great. The headsets cost $300 or more, putting the metaverse’s most cutting-edge experiences out of reach for many.

At one point during Meta’s original presentation on the metaverse, the company showed a scenario in which a young woman is sitting on her couch scrolling through Instagram when she sees a video a friend has posted of a concert that’s happening fxtm review halfway across the world. Brands can also dig more deeply into the cash cow that is fandom to drive new kinds of engagement. They might host virtual activities or events to help users meet other fans who share their passions.


While that’s all good and dandy, choosing to use this term feels like a terrible, looming omen when you look at the source material. Snow Crash presents a dystopian, fractured state in a year very near to our own. In this shattered vision of America, what are essentially corporate oligarchs have all of the power in the presented society, and aim to employ literal memetic viruses that reprogram the human mind.

  1. Facebook has launched meeting software for companies, called Horizon Workrooms, to use with its Oculus VR headsets, though early reviews have not been great.
  2. Tech giants like Microsoft and Meta are working on building tech related to interacting with virtual worlds, but they’re not the only ones.
  3. “A narrative has developed that we’re somehow moving away from focusing on the metaverse,” he told investors in April.
  4. As we explore the idea of the Metaverse here today, I plead with you to consider that the technology that will soon be at our disposal does not have the innate quality of being a supreme good, nor an ultimate, undoing evil.

While the technologies are quite complicated, their usages are quite simple to understand. If virtual consumption is your thing, check out Fortune’s guide to shopping in the metaverse. Oh, and if you work at a tech-forward company, as Fortune reported this week, your company may already be rolling out return-to-work plan—in the metaverse, of course. Type “metaverse” into Google Trends and you’ll see search traffic for the word has collapsed by about 80 per cent over the past year or so. These days, if you want to raise a load of cash, you’d be better off name-dropping “generative AI” — artificial intelligence that can “generate” text, images or other data.

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It also will incorporate other aspects of online life such as shopping and social media, according to Victoria Petrock, an analyst who follows emerging technologies. It’s important to keep all this context in mind because while it’s tempting to compare the proto-metaverse ideas we have today to the early internet and assume everything will get better and progress in a linear fashion, that’s not a given. There’s no guarantee people will even want to hang out sans legs in a virtual office or play poker with Dreamworks Mark Zuckerberg, much less that VR and AR tech will ever become seamless enough to be as common as smartphones and computers are today. Mentally replace the phrase “the metaverse” in a sentence with “cyberspace.” Ninety percent of the time, the meaning won’t substantially change. Augmented reality glasses face a similar problem, on top of the not-insignificant issue of figuring out how people can wear them around in public without looking like huge dorks.

In the time since Facebook’s rebrand, the concept of “the metaverse” has served as a powerful vehicle for repackaging old tech, overselling the benefits of new tech, and capturing the imagination of speculative investors. Meta itself lost $13.7 billion in 2022, and then spent the first half of 2023 laying off over 10,000 employees. This kind of glossing over reality occurs frequently in video demos of how the metaverse could work. Another of Meta’s demos showed characters floating in space—is this person strapped to an immersive aerial rig or are they just sitting at a desk?

what is the metaverse reddit

VR headsets are still very clunky, and most people experience motion sickness or physical pain if they wear them for too long. Just as significant a factor in the metaverse trend is the coronavirus pandemic, which has radically altered lifestyles across the planet. The novel’s main character, Hiro, accesses the metaverse via a personal terminal that projects 3D virtual reality images to his goggles. Hiro’s avatar interacts with other people’s avatars in the metaverse, and in fact, “Snow Crash” is the name of a data file Hiro’s avatar received in the metaverse. The first is that nobody seems to be able to agree on what it is — even the people setting themselves up as the leaders of our new fantastical future can’t seem to come up with a common definition. The likes of Zuckerberg appear to think it’s basically a VR world, offering the thrill of having video meetings as avatars in virtual boardrooms.

Can you buy real estate in the metaverse?

Regardless, the uniqueness and supposed portability of NFTs has metaverse proponents excited. With IRL socialization and travel subject to evolving Covid-related restrictions, consumers began turning to virtual reality (VR) and emerging virtual ecosystems to immerse themselves in new experiences. In fact, there’s been a 92% year-over-year lift in sales of VR headsets. ig broker review Lovers are eager to engage in the metaverse in order to meet new people, per exclusive data from Reddit. And after two-plus years of the pandemic, they’re more ready than ever to get their flirt on — in these burgeoning virtual spaces. In fact, in the last six months, Reddit has seen a 249% increase in mentions of “dating” within VR interest groups.


Though it never went mainstream, it still has some devoted followers. But the forces at work two decades later—not to mention the huge technological leaps in the intervening years—promise to make the metaverse much more than a niche offering. “Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games Inc., which makes Fortnite, said in November that the metaverse has the potential to become a multitrillion-dollar part of the world economy,” according to Bloomberg. Even though I’ve only spoken of corporate endeavors in this section, in a place that’s designed to be an endless world of experiences, the user generated will vastly outnumber the proprietary in volume. Everyone, if they so desire, will be able to leave their own mark on this new world.

Microsoft seems to think it could involve virtual meeting rooms to train new hires or chat with your remote coworkers. The metaverse is expected to be an equivalent watershed, and lots of businesses want to get ahead of that. It’s spring and romance is blooming in the metaverse, according to new user data from Reddit. And there are major opportunities for brands of all kinds — from interior design labels to food subscription services — to get in on the action.

Many companies that have hopped on board the metaverse bandwagon also envision some sort of new digital economy, where users can create, buy, and sell goods. In the more idealistic visions of the metaverse, it’s interoperable, allowing you to take virtual items like clothes or cars from one platform to another, though this is harder than it sounds. While some advocates claim new technologies like NFTs can enable portable digital assets, this simply isn’t true, and bringing items from one video game or virtual world to another is an enormously complex task that no one company can solve.

Despite the maturity of the idea and the current obsession with it in boardrooms, the technology still needs a lot of work — especially if it really is to become “the next internet” envisioned by Ball and Zuckerberg. And despite the pandemic that has confined so many of us to our houses, a strong consumer desire for a metaverse experience that isn’t just a video game has yet to be proven. Beyond marketing puff-pieces and proof-of-concept demos, metaverse-like virtual worlds have actually existed for almost as long as their fictional counterparts. Hype pieces about people getting married in the metaverse will elicit a sigh of recognition from anyone who has followed online gaming for the past few decades.

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