What is the Metaverse (MV)?
Good question. “Metaverse” (MV) is currently a major buzzword in the world. From tech, business, and finance all are looking in the new opportunity. Therefore like all buzzwords its definition is fuzzy, contested, and shaped by the ambitions of the people using it.
Here’s one thing we can say for sure: The term was coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. It describes a virtual world in wide use in his imagined future, a 21st-century dystopia.
In Snow Crash, the Metaverse (MV) is a virtual-reality world depicted as a planet-encircling market. Where virtual real estate can be bought and sold. VR goggle-wearing users inhabit 3D avatars whose form they have freedom to choose and to inverset (investing in the Metaverse (MV)).
What was done with the Metaverse Idea?
These three elements — a VR interface, digital ownership, avatars — still feature prominently in current conceptions of the metaverse (MV). But none of them is actually essential to the idea.
In the broadest terms, the metaverse (MV) is understood as a graphically rich virtual space, with some degree of verisimilitude. Where people can work, invest, play, shop, socialize. In short, do the things humans like to do together in real life. Or, perhaps more to the point, on the internet.
Metaverse (MV) investments proponents often focus on the concept of “presence” as a defining factor: Feeling like you’re really there, and feeling like other people are really there with you, too.
How Mark Zuckerberg wants to influence the Metaverse
Mark Zuckerberg, who last year gave his company Facebook the name Meta. Said the metaverse (MV) would be its focus, has used an almost identical phrase. Clearly, Ball’s essays are hugely influential on Silicon Valley thinking. Remember when smartphones revolutionized tech. The economy, and society itself? The metaverse (MV) is expected to be an equivalent watershed, and lots of businesses want to get ahead of that.
There are many challenging things in Ball’s vision. The biggest is his proposition that the metaverse (MV) will be a single network as open, interconnected, and interoperable as the internet is now. That’s a very big task. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
WHY IS EVERYONE SUDDENLY TALKING ABOUT THE METAVERSE (MV)?
There are a few factors that have catapulted it to the forefront of the tech industry’s thinking in the past few years. One is that a couple of technologies closely associated with visions of the metaverse (MV) have matured. Virtual reality, which was taking its first faltering steps in the ’90s as Stephenson wrote Snow Crash, is now, a reality.
Commercially available headsets of decent quality exist, including standalone wireless devices like the Quest. Facebook’s purchase of Oculus in 2014 was an early indication of where Zuckerberg thought his business might be headed.
Late in 2021, Facebook’s rebranding and its investment in a metaverse-focused (MV) mission sealed the deal. Since then, the term has cropped up with increasing ubiquity — in the business world, at least. The world of government and politics may take a while to catch up as it focuses on how to contain the power of Big Tech in the here and now. As well as how to mitigate the deleterious effects of social media on actual society.
How the Metaverse could be used in every day life
Just as significant a factor in the metaverse (MV) trend is the coronavirus pandemic. Which has radically altered lifestyles across the planet. With people spending so long in Zoom meetings for work, and with soaring use of video games as people seek to enter more colorful and exciting environments without leaving the comfort and safety of their homes.