The Metaverse — Part 2: Imagining a Modern Metaverse

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Will Young

Part 2: Imagining a Modern Metaverse

If you missed the previous article, The Metaverse Part 1: Defining a Metaverse, we discussed the origin story of the word “metaverse”, examined the various definitions of its prefix “meta”, as well as, the definitions of the word “meta” throughout history. We’re beyond that now, some may say this is the metarticle. No they wouldn’t… Anyways, back to the future. We’re imagining the evolution of the internet which will eventually be called the metaverse.

What does metaverse entail? The metaverse concept is a tech-industry wide vision to create a tangible internet. Imagine a web of interconnected virtual spaces that will, in theory, operate much like spaces in the conventional world. In order to transform the internet as it is now into a more tangible space that we can interact with and experience in the same ways that we do real life, there will have to be some major new developments in nearly every division of the tech industry. To create the metaverse, each of these interactive spaces need to be universally accessible, meaning they will have to run on all code and any computing source, such as computers, virtual reality and augmented reality devices. Universally accessible and developed by leading big tech giants, like the recently rebranded Meta, sounds like imminent internet monopoly? (Which would strictly violate the constitution of the world wide web, by the way…) The leaders in this evolution have already declared that the new internet, or metaverse, will be run by various tech entities in a “decentralized manner.” We shall see what comes of that statement…
The Facebook, excuse me…, the Meta website offers examples of how we will engage with the metaverse. It uses a virtual concert as an example of how we will be able to connect with others. Instead of watching a virtual concert via Zoom on your computer screen you will be able to essentially “teleport” into the metaverse and experience the concert in a virtual space. You will be able to dance and move around through the space. Depending on your position in the space, the sound streaming in through your headset will change dynamically with your movement.
I should clarify that the metaverse is not exclusive to Facebook. It is not a product by any one tech giant. It is the evolved internet and the future of tech in our daily lives. Facebook recently rebranded itself as “Meta” in order to align the public’s perception of the company as a metaverse proponent. In an interview with founder, Mark Zuckerberg, he describes the experience of a work meeting in the metaverse and how the voices of colleagues will come from their perspective directions as they do in the conventional world by dynamic headphones. The metaverse will operate on its own currency, have its own economy, with new job opportunities. This would require it have its own rules, legislature and policing.

This futuristic vision of the optimal metaverse is pretty far out still. Over the next ten years, the biggest tech-industry challenge will be making everything smaller in order to make this new world feasible. Scaling super computers down into a pair of glasses will take some time but major tech companies such as Microsoft have joined Meta in brainstorming their own metaverse spaces. The gaming industry has already tapped in to the future metaverse by the creation of virtual reality headsets and experiences. The metaverse will be much more than clunky helmets and lunging to tackle an opponent only to grasp thin air or imitating DDR in a mall kiosk. The development of technology unravels at an exponential rate, which we’ve seen in the trajectory of machine learning mimicking that of our own, man-made technological advancements. The metaverse will affect every aspect of our lives. It will bring forth incredible advancements and tools for many industries. Imagine having the ability to literally experience the world at your finger tips. We are on the brink of breaking the limitations of our 3D realities. Over the next decade, we will move beyond the dimensions of this world. Say goodbye to life as you know it. This is the beginning of the world wide societal transcendence.

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