How did the definition of Metaverses come about?
The term “metaverse” was coined by the science fiction writer Neal Stephenson. In the cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, it was the name of a three-dimensional virtual reality that could be entered with the help of googly-glasses. That’s what the protagonist used to crush humanity’s enemies with his katana – first in the metaverse and then in the “real” world.
According to Stevenson, the metaverse is the next stage in the development of the Internet. It combines physical, augmented and virtual reality.
The ubiquitous advertising from corporations which took over the world, the whole junkyards with used drug tubes, gangs of scumbags who strung piano wire along the roads to kill passing motorcyclists, etc. – this is what the physical world of the near future looks like according to the writer’s version. The protagonist named Hiro, in the “real” world, works as a pizza delivery guy and lives in the Megadepartment, an extremely cramped and dirty place, which somewhat resembles these apartments in modern-day Hong Kong.
Of course, from such an unattractive life one wants to hide somewhere. And the virtual reality invented by the hacker under the nickname Da5id – the MetaVerse – becomes a place for escapism. Here people can travel, communicate, fight swords, race motorcycles and much more.
In Stevenson’s Metaverse, you can be anything you want and get nothing for it. In the event of “death” you only lose your avatar.
By the way, the concept of “avatar” was invented by Stevenson, too. Also, Snow Crash has a thing very reminiscent of modern QR codes: according to the novel, Snow Crash is a computer code that affects the hacker’s brain. The hacker only needs to look at the code once to be infected.
Modern QR codes certainly do not infect the human brain. But the concepts themselves are frighteningly similar.
The protagonist regularly disappears into the Metaverse, though, not just for fun. Hiro is also a cool hacker, capable not only of influencing the game process, but also of penetrating into such depths of the Metaverse that mere mortals, who have come here for fun, could never dream of.
The hype around Metaverses happened in 2021. But in the game industry and cinematography elements of the metaverses Among the games we can mention Second Life. And this is more than a game: Second Life is a three-dimensional virtual space with elements of social networks. Over 1 million active users decide for themselves what they want to look like and do inside this Metaverse.
Signs of Metaverses can be found in Warhammer, Minecraft, Cyberpunk 2077, Fallout, Fornite, Final Fantasy, and many other modern games.
What Is the Metaverse?
Like Web3, the concept of “metaverse” does not yet have a clear definition. Wikipedia defines the word “metaverse” (derived from the Greek μετά-“between, after, through” and the word universe) as “A permanent virtual space in which people can interact with each other and digital objects through their avatars using virtual reality technologies.
Venture capitalist Matthew Ball, author of an impressive essay on metaverses, defines it as “a vast network of permanent, real-time renderable three-dimensional worlds and simulations that maintain continuity of identity, objects, history, payments and rights and can be experienced synchronously by a virtually unlimited number of users, each with an individual sense of presence.”
Complicated. On Meta’s website, the definition sounds simpler: “A set of virtual spaces that you can create and explore with other people who are not in the same physical space as you.”
Tim Sweeney, head of Epic Games, says that a metaverse is “a kind of online playground where you can be having fun with your friends one moment playing Fortnite, and the next watching Netflix together.”
But Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, now Meta, puts it most succinctly and simply. He says: “A metaverse is a ‘volumetric Internet’.
These are the definitions given to metaverse universes by experts and celebrities. And how would you characterize metaverses? What do you think is their main advantage and why can metaverses expect a breakthrough in the nearest decades?
The 7 Principles of the Metaverse by Matthew Ball
To form this vision, let’s understand what the principles of the metaverse are based on. According to Matthew Ball, there are 7 basic principles of the metaverse:
- Continuity. No pauses or restarts: it’s an immanent, infinite world;
- Synchronicity. Existence simultaneously for all and in real time;
- Unboundedness. The number of users tends to infinity;
- Functioning economy. Internal economy of the game works at full capacity. You can not only spend money, but also earn it: open your own business, invest, sell, resell, etc;
- Augmentation. Virtual and real lives are linked together. The metaverse is not so much separate from the real world as it is an addition to it;
- Compatibility. Meta provides users with “unprecedented data compatibility.” For example, if you buy clothes for your avatar in Fortnite, you should be able to use them in any other game or app;
- Openness. Metaverses are available to any author or content-maker, who can create their own “expiriences” in them.
But for all these principles to be realized, first we need to create Web 3.0. In the creation of the third version of the Internet we cannot do without blockchain.
How do you get to the metaverse?
It’s simple. To get into the metaverse, most often it is enough:
- Go to the website of a particular metaverse;
- Bind your wallet to the game.
- Start the game.
For example, on play.decentraland.org you can play without linking your wallet – as a guest. True, in this case your playing experience will be limited. It’s like if you were playing a demo version of some game: you can watch but not touch.
To fully enter Decentraland, you can use Fortmatic, Metamask or Wallet Connect. You don’t need to make an initial payment in the game.
In Alien Worlds, on the other hand, you’ll need to top up your wallet with some WAXP before you can start the game.
You will also need to download the game viewer – for example, in Second Life. Each meta universe works differently, but all the metaverse is easy to install and doesn’t require dozens of gigabytes of free disk space. What you do need is a good video card. Otherwise, instead of having fun immersing yourself in the meta universe, you risk a nervous breakdown.
Cryptocurrencies in metaverses. What are there? How to buy?
Digital coins can and most likely will become the backbone of the virtual reality economy. By creating new tokens, big companies are attracting money to metaclasses.
Why do you need tokens in the metaverse? The fact is that in the metaverses you go from being an ordinary player to being an investor. With digital coins you can pay for services, buy accessories, and even buy virtual land. Which is especially profitable to do in the early stages of launching the game, because in the future, when the game attracts millions of new users, you’ll be able to sell that plot for tens of times more.
It’s very similar to buying a property at the foundation stage in the real world. And the risks are the same. Only the profit can be even more solid than for the resale of “regular” real estate.
What crypto coins are associated with metaverse?
Here’s a short list of tokens to watch out for in 2022:
- WAXP (Bock). The advantage of this blockchain is its eco-friendly nature. WAXP cryptocurrency is used in the Alien Worlds metaverse;
- AXS (Axie Infinity). A cartoon metaverse with fantasy animals, which hides a new and quite promising social network;
- CUBE (Somnium Space). The great thing about the platform is that it can be accessed through VR glasses. CUBE cryptocurrency is designed to support the operation of this ecosystem;
- BLOK (Bloktopia). Polygon blockchain platform. Relatively fresh project, so we recommend doing some additional resurcharge before jumping in;
- HERO (Meta Hero). The trick of the platform is the presence of scanning and modeling. Game developers leave positive feedback about the platform;
- ATLAS (Star Atlas). The project will please you pretty nice graphics. Fans of space themes and all this here will be delighted;
- HIGH (High Street). One of the metaverses, built on the principle of P2E – “play and earn. You’ll earn HIGH tokens for completing quests;
- EPIK (Epik Prime). A project with a rather interesting business model that combines brands and video games. The project also produces digital goods sold around the world.
- VRA (Verasity). In this metaverse, you can get tokens for watching videos. However, there is a daily income limit of no more than 5 coins;
- MANA (Decentraland). In-game token of one of the most popular metaverses. With MANA you can trade virtual land, create digital art and do a lot more.
Where to buy these coins? Not all of the listed coins can be bought on Binance. To find out which exchanges list a particular cryptocurrency, go to Market on Coinmarketcap.
How do I make money in the metaverse?
Earning money in the metaverse is no different from making money in the real world. After all, any community here consists of the same people as in real life. It’s just that there are more opportunities in the metaverse, and everything looks brighter.
In the metaverses you can buy things from world brands. Gucci and Balenciaga already fully develop virtual spaces and sell digital analogues of clothes more expensive than in physical stores. For neophytes of meta-villages this business can be very perspective: go to marketplaces, snatch up new items in newly minted collections and resell with a good mark-up.
Same as with clothing, only you’ll be selling pictures, photos and videos (NFTs). With a certain knack, this can raise several thousand dollars a month. You can also sell game characters: complete monsters from Axie Infinity are worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Business for the lazy. In Alien Worlds, you can mine and earn TLM tokens. The main thing is to remember to click your mouse every 10-15 minutes, and to upgrade your mining tools in time.
High-risk way to make money, and so far is considered the prerogative of big investors – or just the offspring of the majors from some Los Angeles. One of the most expensive deals in Sandbox at the time of writing – the site of 4 300 000 dollars. Although there are examples and simpler: vegetable gardens on the outskirts of Decentraland can cost 5-10 thousand dollars.
Why are metaverses becoming popular now?
Neal Stephenson published his prophetic novel in 1992. But despite the awesomeness of these worlds, it took mankind almost 30 years to realize them. Why did it take us so long and what led us to force the creation of virtual worlds?
- Democratization of the economy. Such a demand in society has existed for a long time. And metaverse is able to satisfy it: it does not matter what country you are from, what education you have and whether you belong to the elite stratum of society. All avatars are equal, everyone has equal access to virtual benefits. Those who used to be at the bottom of the social ladder now have a chance for a social elevator;
- A natural upgrade. The development of existing Web 2.0 networks into something grander looks quite logical. New technologies – blockchain, superfast Internet, VR-glasses (analogue of Goggles from “Snow Crash”), allowed a leap in the development of interaction between users. Therefore, meta is a renewed social network, only in the plane of Web3;
- Pandemic. This is the main reason for the popularization of metaverses. Covid-19 has driven people into their own apartments, moved the lion’s share of the population to remote work, caused social distancing and isolation of the individual from society. Meta’s fit in perfectly, allowing you to visit any space from the comfort of your own home, interact with other people, and lead a more or less fulfilling life.
Well, Mark Zuckerberg and his “love” for metaverses and the world’s leading brands that have started to dive into NFT are a natural consequence of the emergence of metaverse and also catalysts for their development. Capital moves where there is demand, where there are users and, as a consequence, profits.
Scaling the metaverses: what is missing at the current stage
What do we need in order to make metaverses a truly mass phenomenon, not only in the news headlines but also in reality? Or rather, in virtual and augmented reality?
To do this, we need the following:
- Devices. The catalyst for the development of social networks was precisely smartphones. So it is in the case of metaverses: it is necessary to establish mass production of devices for interaction with them – VR headsets, tactile gloves, projection systems, sensors, etc.;
- Networking. We keep in mind that metaverses have to work constantly, in real time, and provide access to millions of users at the same time. This requires high bandwidth and decentralized data transfer;
- Computing. In addition to speed, hardware power is also important – for processing object physics, rendering, matching and synchronizing data by artificial intelligence, projections, motion capture etc;
- Platforms. Today’s platforms are at an early stage of development. The ultimate goal is for users to be able to interact with meta platforms as comfortably as possible. The path will be long and thorny, but possibly very fast. Much depends on the amount of investment being poured in;
- New standards. The development of metaviews and user-to-user interaction, like the Web 2.0 Internet, will need new formats, services, engines, and other mechanisms. They have to support copyrights, data export/import, rendering technologies, AI and physics;
- Payments. Metaverses are not just a new generation of social networks. It’s a whole new economy. It needs decentralized payment services and other financial instruments, which can cover the needs of this virtual world and its users;
- New content. For metaverses to become a mass phenomenon, they need to be filled with new types of content. Such content can not only be created in a special way, but also sold, bought, stored, and so on. We also need a new system for managing digital assets within metavillages;
- User behavior. Well and most importantly% humanity must massively learn how to interact within metaverses. This will require an unprecedented scheme of interaction between people, companies and brands. It is hard to say how long it will take. Maybe we are already living in a new reality, but we don’t know about it yet.
What is the Metaverse in simple terms?
The Metaverse is a virtual space that is an extension of the physical world. According to Mark Zuckerberg, a Metaverse is a “three-dimensional Internet.
What kinds of Metaverses exist?
Some of the major metaworlds include: Decentraland; Second Life; Somnium Place; Alien Worlds; Cryptovoxels; Starlink; Sandbox; Radio Caca; Cryptospells; MyCryptoHeroes. They are the ones with the largest market capitalization and the largest number of players.
What is included in the Metaverse?
It includes a virtual space that is limited only by the computing power of its developers. After all, in essence in meta players create the space around themselves, which means that theoretically they should have no boundaries. Metaverse also includes a decentralized economy. This opens up a sea of opportunities for both brands and ordinary users to make money.
Why do we need a metaverse?
Some experts believe that Metaverse will replace social networks in the future. Facebook and Instagram profiles will be replaced by avatars. Meta will open up new opportunities for brands. For ordinary users, virtual reality will allow them to be who they want to be and do what they want with virtually no restrictions.