Like the artificial world in The Matrix, the metaverse is a virtual environment that offers an experience parallel to the real world and the potential for empowerment. In more accurate depictions, users of the metaverse interact physically in the virtual world where they take on the appearance of virtual avatars, play games, and lead fictitious lives using advanced motion-tracking systems and VR headsets. We can sometimes point to the existence of digital goods that belong to users and have the rarity, value, and history that are customary for the real world as proof that the metaverse is already here.
A Brief Intro to Metaverse
An integrated network of 3D virtual worlds is the metaverse. Through a virtual reality headset, users enter these worlds, navigating the metaverse with their eye movements, feedback controllers, or voice commands. The user is submerged by the headset, stimulating a phenomenon called presence, which is created by simulating the actual physical sensation of being present.
We can look at well-known massively multiplayer virtual reality games like Rec Room or Horizon Worlds to see the metaverse in action, where players use avatars to interact with one another and change their surroundings.
But the additional uses outside of gaming are astounding. Concerts are being held in the metaverse by musicians and entertainment companies. Top teams like Manchester City are building virtual stadiums so that fans can watch games and, presumably, buy virtual goods. The sports industry is following suit.
Possibilities and Monetization
Blockchain has built-in advantages over conventional systems in terms of composability and transparency because it is a public network that is not governed by any one entity. Everything on the blockchain is connected by an underpinning infrastructure that enables value to be transferred seamlessly and quickly builds tested economic models that embody the properties required for the metaverse: true ownership and interoperability. This includes gaming projects, Defi protocols, and art collections in NFTs.
The biggest businesses in the world today use a fee-based business model to deliver digital goods. The songs they listen to, the movies and television shows they watch, and even the accounts that their virtual personas stand in for are not owned by the users. All of this is rented by the user for a monthly fee or other unstated fees, typically in the form of advertising or the gathering of personal information. Verified digital ownership is made possible by blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs, allowing users to buy and sell their digital goods at their leisure. The user-owned meta economy and the metaverse are primarily driven by this.
The metaverse has changed over the past few years from a fictionalized future shown in various works of fiction to a reality that actually exists. The foundation has been set for the next wave of immersive metaverse applications, and the underlying technologies are progressing steadily. It’s impossible to predict whether we’ll see a dystopian future like those in Avalanche and The Matrix or a gamified virtual world filled with throwback references like in Ready Player One. We may not have yet imagined the shape that the metaverse will take. Developers, designers, users, and dreamers will need to create a user-owned digital universe that is defined by decentralization and immersion because the metaverse’s future state is still unknown.