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What Is The Metaverse: Origin, Platforms, Future, Warnings?

Want to know more about the metaverse? Read this blog! Find out the meaning of the metaverse, its implications, and the true future of the concept.
April 7, 2022

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Facebook recently announced one of the biggest brand pivots in recent history by rebranding to “Meta”, a name derived from the term “metaverse” popularized by sci-fi novels, games, and movies. 

Since then, almost everyone from across the world wants to know the meaning of the metaverse and more importantly, the implications that it might have on human interactions (looking at you, The Matrix). 

While the concept of the metaverse may seem like fiction, it is in fact a possible reality grounded in existing technology like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Holograms, and more.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes that the metaverse will effectively replace the internet. But what is it all about? Let’s find out with this blog that’ll explain the metaverse in simple words.

What Is The Metaverse?

The metaverse is a virtual world where you can live a synchronous life through your avatar. Think of it as a game but instead of bringing down mob bosses and zombies, you’ll be engaging in real-life activities. 

These activities could include attending meetings, catching up with friends, attending music festivals, going door to door selling digital collectables, or buying and selling land, apartments, assets, and more.

Truth is, the possibilities are endless as, at its core, the metaverse is dubbed as a convenient solution for real-world problems. This also has the potential to bridge the gap between the offline and online world.

All of this is made possible through evolving technology like:

  • VR Headsets: wearable tech that lets you live inside a universe (metaverse) and interact with its elements
  • Augmented Reality: virtual objects and elements placed in the real world (for example, Pokemon Go)
  • Holograms: images that are beamed from a device with persons or objects seeming present and moving in real-time

At this point, the most interesting question to ask would be where and how the term metaverse emerged. Turns out, the origin story of metaverse the word is just as interesting as the concept itself!

What Is The Origin Of Metaverse?

Believe it or not, the term metaverse originated back in 1992 courtesy of writer Neal Stephenson. In his novel “Snow Crash”, Stephenson explains the metaverse as a virtual place where people interact with digital avatars. 

The novel basically combines “meta” and “universe” to arrive at the term “metaverse”. But the evolution of the meaning and scope of the metaverse didn’t stop in 1992.

After that, virtual interactive worlds or early metaverses have been introduced primarily in video games with releases like Second Life, The Sims, and more recently with GTA V, Fortnite, and others. 

Another representation of the metaverse in pop culture is the central plot of the movie, “Ready Player One”. Currently, the metaverse is being turned into a reality by a handful of companies.

Which Companies Are Working On The Metaverse?

There are anywhere between 10 to 100+ companies currently building a version or feature of the metaverse. We’ve listed down some of these companies (in no particular order).

1. Microsoft

Mesh is Microsoft’s gateway into the metaverse. It’s a virtual collaboration space for Teams, which will allow employees to use online avatars to interact and engage with each other during meetings. 

2. Apple

Apple has been known to establish itself as a pioneer and adopter of emerging tech. Carrying on the tradition, reports suggest that Apple is developing AR/VR headsets that will allow them to enter the metaverse. 

3. Meta (Facebook)

Meta (formerly known as Facebook) believes that the future is the metaverse and is working towards developing digital solutions for everything between work and play. 

4. Nvidia

Nvidia’s Omniverse Enterprise is laying the foundational groundwork for crucial metaverse features and concepts, albeit without building a metaverse itself. 

5. Epic Games

The hugely popular video game Fortnite built by Epic Games is known to contain one of the best “starter packs” for creating a tall and wide metaverse of its own.

6. Decentraland

The metaverse has been at the core of Decentraland since its inception in 2017. It is a virtual world where you can own a piece of real estate. Recently, a plot of real estate was sold for $2.4 million in Decentraland. 

7. Roblox

Roblox is perhaps one of the best-placed metaverse companies as it contains a store of user-generated games in a virtual world where people can build, create, and interact.

8. Minecraft

Microsoft’s Minecraft is another custom virtual world-building game that’s positioned to be a strong front runner for either building or contributing essential concepts of the metaverse. 

9. Niantic

Pokemon Go was a revolutionary AR game that was launched in 2016 by Niantic. It has displayed the ability to bridge the gap between the virtual and real world, a concept pivotal to the success of the metaverse.

10. Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill expanded the horizon of traditional marketing with a free Halloween “boorito” giveaway in its virtual store in the world of Roblox to customers who visited with their digital avatars.

Are The Metaverse And Web 3 The Same Thing?

It’d be easy to confuse the metaverse with Web3 because of the fully digital nature of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and others. But that’s not the best way to look at the metaverse because of two reasons:

  • It’s still at the ideation stage - we don’t know what the metaverse would look or feel like
  • It doesn’t necessarily solve the deficiencies of Web 2 like decentralized blockchain technology does

That said, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and NFT gaming may have an important part to play within the metaverse given their ability to ensure privacy, trust, and above all, decentralization in a virtual environment. 

What Are The Concerns Surrounding The Metaverse?

The fact that the metaverse is a very, very nascent concept with extremely wide possibilities poses philosophical concerns. For example, human interaction will be reduced to avatars in a virtual world. 

Continuous digitization has been known to reduce empathy among humans. This virtual metaverse world, seen to be devoid of social cues and regular human emotions, may open the door to even less empathy. 

Apart from subjective philosophical concerns, there are concrete issues emerging from existing, real-world problems. The top three of these are listed below.

1. Data Privacy & Security

Multiple proponents of the metaverse like Meta have been less than stellar gatekeepers of user data. The robust user data access that these metaverse companies may have could pose a genuine concern. 

2. Monopoly & Centralization

One of the main deficiencies of Web 2 is centralization and monopoly, a core problem that Web 3 is trying to solve. It remains to be seen whether these monopoly concerns float over to the metaverse.

3. Tracking (Physical & Virtual)

If it’s measurable, it can be tracked. This problem is a genuine by-product of what certain metaverse technologies like wearable gear are knowingly or unknowingly looking to build.

What Is The Future Of The Metaverse?

The metaverse can be explained as a bridge between the virtual and the real world. It is one of the most exciting concepts that could become a reality in the 21st century, but it is currently forward-looking. 

The idea is currently being shaped by various companies in conjunction with Web 3 technologies like cryptocurrencies and NFTs that can encourage a creator economy on the metaverse. 

All in all, the metaverse has given rise to endless possibilities for work and play. But the coming decade will tell whether it’s truly revolutionary or a Web 2 monopoly transferred into virtual reality. 

FAQs About The Metaverse

Q. How Do You Explain The Metaverse?

The metaverse is a digital world where humans can interact with each other. The interactions will happen with the help of digital avatars, the internet, and Web 3.0 technology like cryptocurrencies.

Q. Is The Metaverse Possible?

Many web 3.0 platforms like Axie Infinity have already laid the groundwork for the metaverse. In fact, Facebook Inc rebranded to Meta just to make the metaverse possible. While the concept of the metaverse is exciting, there's still a long way to go before it can materialize into a thriving and life-like world.

Q. Where Did The Term Metaverse Originate?

The metaverse seems like an idea straight out of a dystopian novel. Well, it is. The origins of the metaverse can be tracked back to 1992 with Neal Stephenson's dystopian novel “Snow Crash”.

Note: Facts & figures are true as of 23-12-2021. None of the information shared here is to be construed as investment advice. Exercise caution when investing in unregulated assets like cryptocurrency.


Shriram Shekhar
Shriram is a Content Marketer at Cube Wealth, the Financial Freedom App with a smart Perfect Portfolio Planner. He has developed cutting edge IT products for over 2 years before turning to his passion for the written word. Shriram’s love for philosophy, product development, and empowering people through quality content is what got him to Cube Wealth.

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