Facebook announces they’re now Meta, the world goes crazy talking about the potential of Metaverses, I sit here also thinking about Metaverses, but the only thing on my mind is a Star Wars Metaverse.
Imagine having 3D lightsaber battles on the Death Star and instead of mashing buttons, we use VR gear to really immerse us in combat to virtual death. The best part is instead of just playing through a story mode, we actually get to live in a galaxy far, far away alongside other real people.
That’s the potential of a Metaverse — a whole new verse.
I don’t know about you but I’m excited.
What is a Metaverse?
First the Metaverse isn’t a thing.
There can and will be millions of them — Facebook is developing one, Microsoft is developing one, there are already multiple blockchain-based Metaverses, Apple will probably announce an iOS only Metaverse soon, point is there’s a buttload already, and a shit ton on the way.
In the end, Metaverses will be like websites, almost everyone will have one but we’ll all use some (like Facebook and Google).
Now that that’s out of the way, back to what Metaverses are.
A Metaverse is a virtual, 3D world containing intelligent life.
A Metaverse is a beefed up game.
The idea behind games is to create an alter ego for players. Whether it’s being a Cowboy in RDR or a Gangster in GTA, or becoming the alter ego to Bruce Wayne’s alter ego in the Dark Knight games, all games aim to create second lives for players (there’s a game named Second Life).
Unfortunately, current games create a fixed path and you’re just taken along for the ride.
Metaverses take this idea and turn it up to 100.
If you’re already thinking of The SIMS, we friends now.
The Metaverse is The SIMS on crack.
For the people that don’t know The SIMS, it’s a virtual 2D world where you design a character and live out a Second Life (pun intended) surrounded by NPCs.
In Metaverses, instead of being confined to a story like in games, or having NPCs swoon over you like in the SIMS, you can now get rejected by real girls in a virtual world.
And instead of being limited to buttons and a 2D screen, you put on VR headsets and maybe even motion capture gear to really immerse you in the world (and yes, VR headsets are still 2D but they’re closer to 3D than screens).
That should have demystified Metaverses, now;
Where did the Metaverse come from and where is it headed?
The idea is actually pretty old.
The word Metaverse is first used in Snow Crash, a 1992 Novel by Neal Stephenson.
In the novel, the Metaverse is described as a world;
where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a three-dimensional virtual space that uses the metaphor of the real world.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaverse
In Neal Stephenson’s novel, the Metaverse is a perfect sphere, where you can buy land and build.
The Metaverses we’re expecting are just fancier versions of the OG.
In modern Metaverses, instead of being limited to buying land, we’ll be able to do almost everything we do in the real world.
Shopping, concerts, games, movies etc, all in a virtual world.
I’m sure you’ve seen Facebook’s trailer, that’s the idea.
Now, for the highlight of the day;
How The Metaverse is Related to Crypto
A lot of you don’t want to hear this but it’s not. Before you rip me to shreds, I told you the idea of the Metaverse went public in 1992. 17 years before Bitcoin.
The Metaverse isn’t some special application of blockchain, it’s not even related to crypto.
I believe you have a firm handle on what a Metaverse is now, so ask yourself — in what part of all that is crypto irreplaceable.
That’s what I thought.
Blockchain technology isn’t central to Metaverses. With or without crypto, Metaverses will work.
What Crypto Could Do For Metaverses
Now, calm down.
I’m not taking back what I said.
I’m just making a case for where crypto and blockchain technology could be useful.
The main point for crypto is privacy, a lot of people say NFTs but we can also have centralized NFTs, decentralization’s major strength is privacy.
If you don’t already know, Google has you tapped all the way to your ass. (Even incognito isn’t safe.)
Yes, Google knows what type of porn you like. And when you have an entire Second Life on their platform, it’ll get worse.
Crypto enthusiasts are saying Blockchain Metaverses are more private and they aren’t wrong. Blockchain technology doesn’t allow anyone to control the data.
Thing is, it’s not a deal breaker for me. I used to be a digital marketer, so I know Facebook doesn’t give us a lot to work with. We enter basic information and the algorithm does the rest.
Facebook doesn’t exactly ‘sell’ your data and I think using it is better than recommending foot reduction surgery to everyone.
So, in conclusion, crypto isn’t totally useless to the Metaverse, it’s just not pertinent either, so please, don’t be this guy.
If you know him, send him a link to this article.
I’m pretty sure you get the idea by now but if you’re still unsure, here’s a summary;
The Metaverse isn’t a thing, there will be many of them.
A Metaverse is a virtual 3D world, it can be centralised or decentralized.
The OG Metaverse just has land and buildings.
In coming Metaverses, we’ll be able to do a lot more;
Instead of dying at an ASTROWORLD concert, we’ll enjoy it from the safety of our homes.
Instead of having over the board Chess competitions, we’ll have Firouzja and Magnus playing from the comfort of their homes.
Instead of getting personal training on Zoom, you’ll be in a virtual gym with your coach lifting real weights.
Instead of having to get dressed for conferences, we’ll be able to attended virtually, while in underwear.
Instead of having guests bail on events ‘because of COVID’, they can attend virtually. Like this kid Robby, who hosted his birthday on Roblox.
Now, when no one shows up, you can know for sure that nobody loves you.
Long Summary? Yeah. I’ll end it here.
Bonus – My Thoughts on How Metaverses Will Work
Consider yourselves fortunate, you get to hear my opinion:
I don’t think the most popular Metaverses will be related to the blockchain. Some definitely will but, the most used ones will probably be centralized.
I have 2 reasons:
- Facebook and Microsoft are multi-billion dollar companies, that money is being used to hire engineers to work on the Metaverse, no blockchain dev company can even hope to match what Meta has to offer. It’s just not going to happen.
- Fees: Solana is probably the fastest network at the moment, accompanied by insanely low fees, but for something that will be a huge part of our everyday lives, those fees are still a lot of money.
These are just my opinions, and if crypto has taught me anything, it’s that people are monke, monkeys are stupid, but monke together, monke strong.
P.S: Sword Art Online (the anime) is a great way to experience the full potential of a Metaverse, it’ll be a while before we get there, but that’s the goal.