Why is the metaverse important?

Although many virtual worlds exist online, users cannot move between them while retaining their identities and assets. The metaverse could solve this problem, turning disparate online worlds into a single, seamless entity. It has even been called the next evolution of the internet. Heyning, 45, has teamed up with some volunteers to form the Open Metaverse Interoperability Group, which aims to establish technological standards for "linking virtual worlds, in the hope that metaverse players will adopt them".

In addition, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) would allow metaverse users to own unique and bespoke objects, just as in the real world, and cryptocurrencies provide a roadmap for how a metaverse economy could take shape. Roblox, a platform where independent developers create games popular with children, may be the closest and broadest vision of the metaverse. 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. Where technology is sufficient, broad cultural changes are needed to drive the development of a true metaverse.

At no point will the metaverse be turned on by a single stroke of the rudder, but rather the metaverse will emerge gradually, as cultural changes and technological upgrades give Internet users the ability to move more and more freely and to more easily create and share bespoke content on the web. The metaverse may one day resemble the striking fictional Oasis of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, but until then one can turn to games like Fortnite and Roblox, virtual reality social networking platforms like VRChat and AltspaceVR, and virtual work environments like Immersed to sample the immersive and connected experience of the metaverse. Without the oversight of a metaverse government or other regulatory body, blockchain technology would ensure that transactions and identities in the metaverse are secure and public. The second part, written by Pat Bocchicchio, an analyst at Loup Ventures, explains why you should care about the metaverse and why it has the potential to be one of the most impactful technological developments of the next 50 years.

Just as no formal change marked the transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0, the development of the Metaverse will occur naturally as people spend more time online and link more of their identities to their digital lives.

metaverse development
Brianna Buttrey
Brianna Buttrey

Unapologetic twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble food specialist. Incurable bacon scholar. Unapologetic internet buff. Friendly web practitioner. Infuriatingly humble web buff.