If you keep an ear to the ground when it comes to all things tech, there’s one word that you cannot have failed to hear in the past year or so.
The metaverse is a concept that has been discussed for a long time, but only now does it seem to be an idea that is genuinely in the offing. Mark Zuckerberg, facing regulatory pressures and dwindling audience numbers, has opted to rebrand Facebook as Meta – a risky strategy, but one that shows how the tech world views the potential of the metaverse.
One of Mark Zuckerberg’s first steps toward building the metaverse may be physical instead of virtual. Meta, as Facebook is now known, has discussed opening stores to showcase its virtual reality and augmented reality devices. https://t.co/VFVUnOoxdb
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 5, 2021
So, what is it? Readers under the age of 30 may not have played or even be familiar with Second Life, the 2003 release that – as the name suggests – allowed players to create an avatar and live out their days in a virtual world of orcs, warrior princesses, and grunge-loving goths. However, in a fashion, that is exactly what the metaverse will bring to the party. Undoubtedly, it will be a far more immersive and diverse experience than the realm created by Second Life, incorporating elements of social media and personal interactions, but also enabling businesses to advertise in a more engaging way, and allowing for comedians and music acts to perform virtually – Travis Scott and Lil Nas X have already delivered shows in the metaverse via Fortnite and Roblox.
The ultimate objective is for all of these meta experiences to seamlessly go together – so you could hop from checking your socials and reading the news, to watching a gig or playing a few hours of Minecraft, from one device and without having to move from one platform to another. That is still some way off, with brands and developers still in the early stages of building their own forms of the metaverse.
Brought to Life
There is still some waiting for the technology that will power the metaverse to come up to scratch too. VR has been around for well over a decade now, but you would be truly hard-pressed to suggest that it has been welcomed by mainstream society – the headsets are simply too cumbersome and, for the most part, too expensive to cross over.
There is the hope that glasses and lenses will be developed that incorporate elements of VR and AR – augmented reality has already been trialed with some success in games like Pokemon GO.
— VRScout (@VRScout) November 8, 2021
Game developers are particularly bullish about AR, and it won’t be long before more and more online gaming experiences are introducing these extra layers of interactivity. Imagine a platform game where you can actually see power-ups on the ground in front of you. Imagine a battle game like Fortnite where you can almost feel your opposition closing in. Imagine scoring the winning goal on FIFA and witnessing your teammates rushing to celebrate with you.
There are promising signs of AR already taking off in burgeoning aspects of the entertainment industry. For example, online casinos have already begun to experiment with AR. XR Casino is the first brand to focus on the ‘cross technology’ experience, fusing elements of each of the digital realities on its platform. More are set to follow – be sure to look online for minimum deposit casinos that offer this hot new trend… If you have the necessary hardware to make the VR/AR work, of course.
So how the metaverse will actually manifest itself, and how long it will take to become an ‘everyday use’ reality, remains to be seen. Nonetheless, it’s unquestionably an exciting development, and gamers can look forward to a bright, virtual future.