Utopia or everyday life? Why it is too early to talk about metaverse

For the first time, the term “metaverse” was mentioned in Neil Stevenson’s fictional novel “Avalanche” in 1992. In the cyberpunk genre, the author described the double life of an ordinary pizza delivery man, who was rarely lucky in the game. daily life. , in cyberspace he was able to become a famous hacker and warrior, responsible for saving the world. The work received a good response from fans of fiction, but developers in the entertainment industry got carried away with the creation of a utopian universe only recently, almost 30 years later.

The metaverse is an online ecosystem concept that combines the online virtual world and offline reality. There are different ways to get in – the most common way that tech giants plan to use are virtual reality headsets to meet up for video calls. However, the concept of “metaverse” is broader than simply working with virtual reality; in fact, in the context of modern information technology, a metaverse can be called an infrastructure in the network, within which a user creates his avatar and exists silently, performing actions: creating content, changing currency, playing games. In fact, this is any world created on the web. But can any network structure be called a metaverse?

The metaverse strives to become useful, fulfilling, like real life. Corporations specializing in IT and technology, realizing that the metaverse is the new black, were quick to declare that their products will certainly be combined in the metaverse. Microsoft has announced an innovative Mesh system that, using VR and AR headsets, will allow people to work as a team while in different parts of the world, as well as create and interact with 3D models. The United States Army It is currently working with Microsoft on the HoloLens 2 augmented reality headsets, in which soldiers will be able to train and fight. Experts believe That mixed reality may be the key to improving teamwork.

On October 28, 2021, Facebook Announced a name change: now the global network is presented as Meta. Despite the fact that virtual reality is not developing as fast as we would like (it may just become mainstream in 5-10 years), corporations are already contributing enormously to the development of cyberspace. Meta has made large investments (to be more precise, 2.3 billion US dollars) in virtual reality: For example, it acquired Oculus, which produces full lines of VR and AR headsets.

However, the problem with all that is that the concept of metaverse does not imply a unique environment in which users of a strictly certain network can penetrate using strictly defined gadgets. The idea of ​​the metaverse is inclusive at the root: in fact, it is an additional reality to the existing one, into which everyone can penetrate. And the key aspect is communication and sociability: the conditional “avatar” within the metaverse must socialize and communicate as in real life. It really is quite difficult and expensive to build such a universe, and it can only be achieved through joint efforts, not within the ecosystem of a certain brand. However, it is possible to build ecosystems according to the principles of the metaverse and, interestingly, the games were the first to take this path.

The metaverse is a product that appeared as a result of studying Gen Z trends that appear in games. In games like Roblox and Minecraft, modern users focus not only on the entertainment process: social aspects play a bigger role for young people. In the online world, they can communicate and learn to work as a team: it turns out to be a kind of interaction training with people, for example, before joining a work team, school or student. This type of gaming activity is especially helpful for introverts: since communication takes place in a space where the player is comfortable, relaxed, and willing to discuss common gaming topics.

Unlike Millennials who prefer to watch TV shows or movies in their spare time, Ganz has the fifth most popular VR vacation. 87% of Gen Z members play video games almost daily. Furthermore, a study by The Center for Generational Kinetics showed that it is zoom users who see virtually no boundaries between the physical and online worlds and are more integrated into cyberspace. For companies that are dedicated to developing metaverses, the younger generation is something of a pioneer. It is your preferences that establish the vector of development.

Computer game developer Epic Games has also taken a step towards metaverse construction in its creation of Fortnite. Celebrity concerts take place in augmented reality – the Ariana Grande and Travis Scott shows are spectacular shows that have garnered millions of views on YouTube. There are also music album debuts. You can even witness Martin Luther King’s famous speech “I have a dream” (from the English – “I have a dream”).

Having studied the most famous games that converge with the concept of metaverse, an open world in which you can move and interact freely with other players, you can understand that they follow several basic principles that can be applied when building an ecosystem:

  • Immersion and virtual reality

In an ecosystem built on the metaverse concept, users create their own “avatars”, with which they communicate with other participants in the system. Despite the fact that in games the avatar is perceived as something virtual and unreal, in each individual ecosystem, the approach of avatars is different. For example, in Likee, it means a “fingerprint” of the creativity and creativity of each user. These avatars are immersed in the ecosystem and interact in it with the help of the available tools. These tools can be both game mechanics and social, for social platforms.

A metaverse-based ecosystem cannot exist without UGC, it doesn’t work without investments from other users. The content here refers to any contribution: from short videos to a simple user path within the ecosystem. In addition, it must be as simple and accessible as possible to enter; only basic devices are needed.

Within such ecosystems, their own currencies operate. In games, for example, there are “coins” that can be spent on new skins or features. These inexpensive systems can be found on many platforms, including social media apps, where special coins are designed for users to exchange for items that are only available in that special community.

A community must be formed in the metaverse ecosystem, and this is not a matter of a day at all. So Minecraft, a game whose operating principles resemble the metaverse as much as possible, was released in 2009 and created a full-fledged community around 2013; It was this year that his popularity peaked. Animal Crossing, also following the metaverse concept, gained recognition during the pandemic, also based primarily on the community of previous games. To exist, the metaverse needs a permanent core of user-avatars who use it regularly. Without it, it does not exist, as, in general, any other reality.

We listen to your silent question: but it turns out that there is no metaverse as such? It is true that until now the metaverse only exists as a concept, and without combining technological giants to work in a system with a low entry threshold, which can be entered by any user who follows the rules of the metaverse, this idea remains a utopia. However, we can create ecosystems based on the principles of the metaverse, which we have described above. These systems help the community to be more cohesive and motivate it to use these systems more and “better”. So Likee, like any social platform, in fact, works according to the principles of the metaverse: we provide users with tools for existence and interaction on the Internet. This allows them to creatively open up, communicate, and create something new without leaving the app. In addition, our “metaverse” allows your digital avatars to try out various interaction options: from personal messages and communication in a group of friends to joining mini-games.

Metauniverse is a much broader term than an ecosystem in virtual reality powered by expensive devices. There is still a long way to go to create a universally accessible metaverse, which we can achieve by overcoming more pressing problems: providing the Internet to an even larger part of the population, making computers more accessible … However, the creation of ecosystems Within social platforms based on the principles of the metaverse, it is the first step for users to feel comfortable in the virtual space, so that they understand how an additional reality can coexist with the main one. Community naturally plays a huge role in this problem: if you build a friendly community, there is a chance that the future of the metaverse will arrive as soon as possible. The only question remains who will be first and on what infrastructure the metaverse future will be built. Would there be just one wizard metaverse for everyone and forever? Or would there be multiple multiple metaverses thriving in a symbiotic relationship, of which one would be the metaverse for a certain group of users like what Likee is doing? The answer is for you, the users, to build.

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