Let’s picture a scene. You wake up, go through your morning routine, and get ready for work. You are not dressing up for show, but for comfort, and when the meeting or class has started, you slip on some glasses and noise-canceling headphones and dive in.
Billions are being thrown into creating the Metaverse. Tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft, and Nvidia are betting big on its creation and proliferation.
Facebook has put its entire identity and future existence into it. Businesses are being built, relationships are being forged, and fortunes are being spent and earned, all around the new and exciting concept of a persistent virtual world embedded within our own.
The Metaverse will undoubtedly transform everything we know in the same way, if not more so than the internet. But what exactly can we look forward to in the coming decades?
Reimagining Experience itself
As we know very well at this point, the pandemic was a catalyst for technological adoption, the likes of which we have never seen before. Everything from work, school, doctors’ appointments, and concerts were held remotely.
The famous Travis Scott concert that took place within the Fortnite videogame universe had an attendance of around 11 million people – vastly beyond the capacity of the world’s largest venues.
Not only that, but people liked it. It could display sceneries and imagery that could not otherwise be imitated.
The concert garnered a staggeringly large number of people, and so it is no wonder that large companies are rushing to buy so-called “virtual land” while foaming at the mouth, thinking of what they can do with it in the coming decade.
That is just the beginning. Imagine a limitless 3D world parallel to our own in which people like you and I can create our own virtual worlds like we would with websites and include pre-made or custom-made virtual experiences.
During a Gold Rush, Sell Shovels and Picks
The internet has transformed the global economy from the inside out. So much so that many brick-and-mortar stores that do not embrace regional if not global deliveries are struggling. Mainly due to the pandemic, but the dye has been cast, and this trend is not likely to cycle back.
The Metaverse’s overall worth is projected to exceed the hundreds of billion by 2025, and so not only will virtual land actually be worth something, but those who help build the Metaverse will have a very lucrative future ahead of them.
Metaverse virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and world-building experts will become a thing, whereas a game developer was once a dream job for many, if not all, avid gamers will be like being a web developer today.
Not only that, but the advent of play-to-earn games has unlocked a whole new dimension of economic opportunity where people can be paid to engage in the Metaverse. Not by big tech companies necessarily but by the player base itself as well.
Dressing in the Metaverse will be as important as a stellar profile picture. So your Metaverse avatar will be as representative of you as your Instagram profile picture, and your virtual home will be as important as your room.
A long-overdue educational revolution
Parents and children alike can attest that our education system could use some improvement. Many would consider it criminally inefficient and practically archaic.
But what studies have shown is that physical and visual interactivity significantly increases people’s learning ability. Nothing helps you learn geography like browsing google earth. Many history buffs discovered their fascination with history through video games in a past era. Militaries are using 3D simulations to prepare soldiers for real-life challenges. The list goes on.
Attention spans are decreasing over generations, yet people can sit for hours on end playing virtual games and having digital experiences with friends that are as real as anything.
Point is, as the software and hardware of the Metaverse, which is admittedly still in their infancy, catch up, we can only imagine that the adoption will increase as well, as the demand is already there.
If we grew comfortable having our meetings through Zoom in a couple of months, it is not far-fetched to see everyday virtual meetings wearing ‘work appropriate’ virtual avatar skins.
On the other hand
Yes, many things – and one can argue most things – are going digital.
The internet and social media impacted the way we all interact in profound ways, both good and bad.
The Metaverse is centered around the gamification of life and the ability to connect to a virtual world from wherever you are. Yes, we already have that ability sitting in our pockets, now scale that up a few dozen times, and you have the Metaverse.
With everything said, humans will not be permanently plugged into chairs by the year 2100, being tended to by robots and fed through a tube. We are still humans needing real experiences, sensations, and living.
Hiking and sky diving will undoubtedly be recreated in the virtual world, but our children’s children will still yearn for the real thing.
One thing is for sure; however, we live in a time equivalent to the enlightenment age, when new continents were being discovered and tamed, and new maps were being drawn.
It is a time of exploration and discovery, but this time, the world is created by all of us for all of us.