In a nutshell: lol no We’ve already established that the phrase has been in use for thirty years in real life as well. It has long been incorporated into corporate future visions. The U.K. grocery chain Sainsbury’s created a VR shopping demo during the first VR boom of the 1990s that eerily resembles a video that Walmart created in 2017.
Virtual worlds that resemble the metaverse have actually been around for almost as long as their fictional counterparts, beyond marketing hype and proof-of-concept demos. Anyone who has followed online gaming for the past few decades will sigh in recognition when they read hype articles about people getting married in the metaverse. The “online multimedia platform” known as Second Life, which debuted in 2003, is one of the most well-known virtual worlds and may be the one that comes closest to the metaverse ideal Noticias Metaverso.
The majority of the time, Second Life resembles a massively multiplayer online role-playing game from the early 2000s like World of Warcraft, but without any of the game’s other elements like combat, quests, stories, or rewards. Since its inception, it has played many of the roles envisioned for the metaverse of the future. In virtual spaces, users interact with one another while wearing avatars. They take pleasure in simulating authentic experiences, such as clubbing and business meetings. Users can produce their own goods and services, as well as exchange goods and services. There is a virtual economy with its own currency that can be traded for money from the real world. If there is such a thing as a textbook metaverse, Second Life is it.
PlayStation Home is another noteworthy but frequently overlooked example of an early metaverse. To the dismay of its small community, Sony’s misguided virtual social hub for the PlayStation 3 launched in 2008 and shut down in 2015. In contrast to the anarchic, community-driven Second Life, it didn’t go anywhere and seemed rather pointless, but it’s an interesting illustration of what a highly corporatized metaverse might look like. It suffered from being placed next to the games’ much richer and more entertaining virtual worlds in your PS3 interface, which featured a lot more advertising and one-way purchasing opportunities. However, the art’s minimalist, blandly stylized, utopian futurism clearly anticipates Zuckerberg’s recent metaverse demo. Companies imagine our dreams to look like this.
Of course, reality is probably more like the occasionally filthy and disorganised Second Life. If you give people the freedom to create a world without boundaries, they’ll either create a fetish dungeon or a chance for branding. For those who will design the metaverse in the future, that should either be a caution or an opportunity.
WHY IS THE METAVERSE ALL OF A SUDDEN EVERYONE’S TALK?
In recent years, a few factors have propelled it to the forefront of the tech industry’s thinking. One is the development of a few technologies that are closely related to ideas of the metaverse. When Stephenson wrote Snow Crash in the 1990s, virtual reality was just beginning to make headway. Today, it is, well, a reality. There are decent-quality headsets for sale on the market, including wireless stand-alone products like the Quest. The 2014 acquisition of Oculus by Facebook was a forerunner to Zuckerberg’s vision for his company.
Another is the energy-guzzler and scarcely understandable blockchain technology, which has made cryptocurrencies and NFTs possible. Over the past year or so, NFTs have become the obsession of cryptocurrency enthusiasts, snake-oil salesmen, suggestible executives, and (bizarrely) some segments of the art world. NFTs may make it possible to own virtual goods and real estate in the metaverse.