The word metaverse is a portmanteau of the prefix meta and universe and is often used to describe the concept of a future iteration of the Internet, consisting of persistent and shared 3D virtual spaces, linked together in a perceived virtual universe. Since many massively multiplayer online games share features with the metaverse, but provide access only to non-persistent instances, which are shared by up to several dozen players, the concept of multiverse virtual games has been used to distinguish them from the metaverse. Udoji has said that increasing access to 5G will support the continued development of the metaverse by providing the speed and power that make it possible for digital worlds to function. Many blockchain-based metaverse platforms are still developing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology that will allow users to fully interact in the space.
There is no guarantee that people will act in the metaverse as they do in the physical world, and while the metaverse could give rise to an entirely new economy, it will require an entirely new set of metrics, data and rules to find and connect with potential customers. Emerging technology executive at RLab, Adaora Udoji, an AR and VR research, education and entrepreneurship centre in the US, said the metaverse will be a digital infrastructure much like the internet, requiring different types of software, enterprising developers and a huge pool of users to test it out. Stephenson's metaverse is presented to its users as an urban environment, developed along a single 100-metre-wide road, the street, which runs the entire 65536 km (216 km) circumference of a black, featureless, perfectly spherical planet. The metaverse has no single creator (or definition), so it is not something that Facebook owns or is solely responsible for its development.