GamesBeat Summit 2022 returns April 26-28 with its biggest event for gaming leaders. Reserve your place here!
“Meta… verse 2” makes you feel as if dividing Portmentu will reveal some hidden meaning. This is the twentieth time you have heard the word this week. Your mind creates images of virtual reality, gaming and life-changing investment return losses.
And while virtual reality or gaming is often the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about metavars, they are also the two most common misconceptions.
Like any emerging technology, there are many different interpretations of what it is and what it means for the world.
1. Metavers is gaming. No, Metavers is not gaming. Gaming is an activity you can do Inside metaverse – with many others.
2. Metavers are virtual reality. To say that Metavers is Virtual Reality (VR) is to say that the Internet is your phone. Your phone is not Internet: it is a way to interface with the Internet. Similarly, you can imagine experiencing metavars through VR, but you can also imagine experiencing metavars through your laptop.
3. Metavers will change the real world. The dystopian movie trope is that we will all live in a barren wasteland, “plugged in” with the virtual world (i.e., metavers). However, in the less gloomy reality, Metavers will not change the real world. It will be added to the real world, an expanded virtual environment where you can do any number of different things: work, socialize, play, create, explore and more.
4. Metavers is a fade. Metavers are fades the way cars were a fade and the internet was a fade. Yes, we are still 5+ years away from fully realized metavars and the technology we need is far from complete. But even today, we are already living in a very primitive version: we work remotely, we socialize and learn virtually and we get entertainment without leaving our home. Our human needs will not change: we will not stop socializing, learning, working or finding entertainment. However, as always, our technology will continue to evolve as we meet those needs.
5. Metavers will be monopoly. Companies like Meta and Microsoft are two of the most valuable companies in the world because they are psychic. They have the ability to skate wherever the puck will be and they are able to scale quickly. But jumping on the bandwagon early doesn’t mean they will control the Metawors.
One of the main principles of “Web 3” – Web 3 is the repetition of the Internet powered by blockchain technology – is decentralization. Decentralization means that Web3 seeks ownership and control by the community and those individuals rather than large and centralized organizations such as Meta and Microsoft.
The development of metavers will see waves of both centralization and decentralization. New technology is incredibly difficult to build and despite what idealistic Web3 people (including myself) tell you, it often requires a high degree of concentration over the long term. However, due to the unique openness of blockchain technology, decentralization is always around the corner – blockchain architecture keeps that promise. Unlike today’s Internet, Metawors will not be controlled by a single entity, it will be centralized, decentralized, tapestry large and small.
Metavers is the future of the Internet: a large-scale, interactive and interoperable real-time platform that includes an interconnected virtual world where people can socialize, collaborate, interact, play and create.
We are approaching a disruption point. The success of Web2, the remote work and the widespread adoption of hardware and technology is at an all time high. The world has 5 billion Internet users and 3 billion gamers (more on this later) and has emerged as both a crypto infrastructure level and a ZetGist that will fill the gaps: digital currency, fully functioning digital economies, ownership of digital goods and multiple systems of interconnectedness. True interoperability.
Like any misunderstanding, there is often an element of truth. One of the primary misconceptions we need to understand is the connection between gaming and metavars. As we said earlier, metavars are not gaming, but gaming is how we reach metavars. Why?
Gaming is an on-ramp that embraces a wide range of new technologies. We saw this with balconies in the 80’s, early iOS (Angry Birds) and Facebook (Farmville) in the 00’s. Gaming will succeed in bringing billions of people to Web3 and eventually Metawars. People will be fascinated by novels and enticing games and will be immersed in the ecosystem before they know it. Gaming will be the biggest on-ramp for crypto and will eventually be metavors.
Additionally, gaming is a testnet for metavars. “Testnet” is a common term in crypto. As you may have guessed, this is a place where you can test and repeat a new product for millions before scaling. In fact, there are millions Already Experiencing many small scale metavars. Let’s take online gaming company Roblocks for example. People can create accounts and profiles and use their identities to access numerous games and virtual worlds. With Roblox, you can play, create, create and even make money through virtual goods.
Yes, Roblox sounds like a game for kids. But games like Roblocks show people what is possible. They hide technology and put value and pleasure first and foremost. “The next big thing is going to start to look like a toy,” said Chris Dixon, a Web 3 investor at Andreessen Horowitz.
Connection to crypto
Crypto is a technology level. It enables digital goods (e.g., NFTs), digital ownership, true digital economy and more. This applies to both metavars and gaming. The latter is easier to imagine: I could have an NFT that represents an in-game item, a marketplace where I can buy and sell digital goods, and I can earn in-game currency, which I call my “real “I can withdraw in the world” bank account.
Gaming will be the single biggest on-ramp to bring billions of people into crypto, web 3 and finally metavars. The discovery of innovation will inspire people to try out this new and unfamiliar technology, and crypto-enabled games will be a natural testnet to what the final metavers will look like.
State of the Union
We’ve seen many exciting advances in the gaming space, especially the development of the first wave of crypto-enabled games and virtual worlds. But perhaps the best way to think about them is as a technology and financial infrastructure demo. They focus on economics and technology above experience, pleasure and collective adoption.
Let’s take a look at the two most popular virtual worlds: Decentralized and Sandbox. Decentland has 20,000 users daily. Sandbox has 30,000 monthly users. On top of that, Minecraft had 141 million. The digital currencies that power these virtual worlds have billions of dollars in market caps, and their use effectively reaches zero. Their value is driven by the prospect of future growth: people accumulate assets and currency in the game under the assumption that they will make money.
At the same time, we need to be thankful for the work that these companies and teams are doing. They are pioneers and what we learn from their efforts will pave the way for metavars. With many of our favorite games taking over 10 years to create, most people don’t appreciate how difficult it is to develop a game or a virtual world.
But ultimately, the goal is not to showcase technology. The goal is to create great experiences driven by great technology, of which technology is an invisible part. People will not think of “crypto,” “NFTs,” or their previous misconceptions, they will think of experiences in games or metavors, enabled by technology.
Alex is the Group Product Manager at Reeve Coin base
Welcome to the VentureBeat community!
DataDecisionMakers is where experts, including tech people working on data, can share data-related insights and innovations.
If you would like to read about the latest ideas and latest information, best practices and the future of data and data tech, join us at DataDecisionMakers.
You might even consider contributing to your own article!
Read more from DataDecisionMakers