Metaverse is one of the trending topics these days. But are companies creating this virtual reality for everyone?
One of the conceits behind the metaverse is that everyone will be able to have their own identity within the digital world. But how will people find themselves or craft their identities? Benjamin Charbit of Darewise spoke at the GamesBeat Summit and Facebook Gaming event, Into the Metaverse 2, on this topic.
Charbit said the identities that users are used to creating in games are based on principles that won’t exist in the metaverse. “In a way, it was always limited by this promise that you are a hero in this society. So, when you start dreaming of the opportunity to build a virtual society, you realize that there can’t be any society if there is only one archetype of citizen.”
What is Metaverse?
Popularised by Snow Crash, a 1992 sci-fi novel by Neal Stephenson, the metaverse refers to a collection of shared online worlds in which physical, augmented, and virtual reality converge. People can hang out with friends, work, visit places, buy goods and services, and attend events. While many virtual worlds exist online, users currently can’t move between them while retaining their identities and assets. The eventual metaverse could solve this problem, turning disparate online worlds into a single, seamless entity. It has even been dubbed the next evolution of the internet.
Many such virtual worlds are powered by the same blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies and NFTs, and thus, allows users to trade these virtual assets. An NFT is a type of crypto asset in which, unlike cryptocurrencies, every token is unique. NFTs can be used to represent an intangible digital item such as an image, video, or in-game token and can be traded in place of the digital assets they represent. Another use case for NFTs is as tickets for virtual events.
If the technology is so cool why not everyone is ready for it?
There have been a lot of things said in favor or against the metaverse technology but one question that hasn’t really been answered is what gap will the metaverse fill or what issue will it solve? That is why many tech leaders are still not convinced with the idea of this technology.
If you say that the metaverse will give people a collective social experience digitally, then the argument against it is that video conferencing platforms, social media platforms and online gaming platforms are already providing users with that experience. If you argue that it will be “an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it,” as Zuckerberg put it, then the question is that why increase the sensory bulk load and exhaust users more than they already are?
When it comes to the adoption of something new people always hesitate whether it be metaverse or social media platforms (when introduced 2 decades ago). While many organizations are excited about it and hailing it as the next big tech trend, will it be received with the same enthusiasm by the end-users, remains a thing to be seen. Sure, one can argue that the tech-savvy Gen-X will be quick to try it out, after all, they are already using a lot of these seemingly complex platforms, but that generation is just a part of the total user base.
In conclusion, it is crucial for companies and many people to understand that metaverse is not for commoners and it won’t change much for them whether they live in actual or virtual reality.