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What is the Metaverse?

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the term “metaverse.” But you still might ask, what is the metaverse? The metaverse is a digital world that exists parallel to our own. It is a place where people interact and engage with each other in ways that they cannot in the real world. In the metaverse, you can be anyone or anything you want to be. You can create your own reality and explore new possibilities. 

It has been possible to augment your reality in some way before using filters for your face.  Now, bitmojis on mobile phones and avatars are used as online personal representation have become commonplace. Our socialization has become global, transcending geographical borders and physical constraints. The metaverse exists to further blur the lines between what is possible in real life (IRL) and what we can do in a “Matrix”-like existence.  

The metaverse is not just a place for entertainment; it has the potential to change the way we live, work, and interact with each other. For example, in the metaverse, you can attend virtual concerts, visit virtual museums, or even go to school. You can even own a plot of virtual land in the metaverse.   

The metaverse is made up of web-based virtual realities (VR), which are accessible through browsers or apps. These VRs are created by developers using code that determines the rules and physics of the world. Some popular examples of web-based VRs include Decentraland, SandBox, Bloktopia, Roblox, and Second Life. 

While still in their early stages, these virtual experiences have already begun to impact our lives. As more people become aware of the metaverse and its potential, we will see even more applications for it beyond playing games in our living rooms. Facebook has recently rebranded as Meta and pledges to focus on the features of the metaverse. The company is building a robust VR social platform that promises to go beyond Oculus gear. Fortnite and World and Warcraft already have marketplaces and concerts for fans. These games have allowed their fans to carve out a niche in the metaverse for themselves and have been ahead of their competitors in those regards. 

Many companies have made strides to incorporate the metaverse as part of their business plan. These companies envision a new digital economy, where users can create, buy, and sell goods and services. New technologies like NFTs can enable portable digital assets that can be virtually transported from one platform or application to the next.  

Despite the “crypto-winter” there are so many new developments, including efforts to make the metaverse more inclusive. However, to increase prominence of VR worlds, there needs to be a bridge from the analog world. VR headsets and video games seem to be the tethers for now. People enjoy departing from the real world into the land of fantasy and that desire is key to building a metaverse that will stand the test of time.