What is Metaverse? Why does it matter?

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  • What is Metaverse? Everything about living in the digital world

    This question has now occupied the minds of many Internet users after the news of Facebook changing its name to “Meta” and the CEO’s talk about transforming the Facebook ecosystem into a virtual world or Metaverse: What is Metaverse? What is its use? Where did this word come from? and how does technology want to surprise us this time?

    In 1992, Neal Stephenson released a novel called Snow Crash. The novel tells the story of a man who takes people’s pizzas to their homes during the day as a courier and goes on an adventure in the virtual world at night as a superhero. This virtual world was called The Metaverse, and anyone could enter it with special glasses and escape the problems of the real world.

    This idea was later used in the novel Ready Player One. Even in 2018, the famous Hollywood director “Steven Spielberg” made a movie based on the same title, which well portrayed the concept of the Metaverse.

    What Stephenson created from his imagination a quarter of a century ago has now thrilled tech lovers. He writes in part of his book:
    “When Hero first saw the place 10 years ago, the monorail software was not yet written. He and his friends had to write car and motorcycle software to get to different places. They took out their software and competed in the Black Desert one night.”
    digital world
    Now the world is moving in the direction that the realization of Neil Stephenson’s dream is possible for the first time in history. Without leaving their homes, people can travel anywhere in the world and enjoy a completely visual and even tactile experience. They will be able to communicate through images and trade in that space. They will also access games, movies, sports, news events, and new genres of narratives; Hanging over a paraglider over the Alps, they fly to the moon and move rapidly toward life in the digital world or metaverse.

    Let’s go back to the time when we are at the end of 2021 and the concept of Metaverse and virtual worlds has come to the fore once again. The big company “Facebook” has announced that the future belongs to Metaverse and wants to invest in it. Microsoft and other large corporations have also expressed interest in investing in the field. Go to any site or news source now It’s talking about Metaverse, and many refer to it as the next-generation Internet (Web3).

    But what exactly is Metaverse and what are its unique characteristics? Can any virtual world be considered a meta-transformer? What will the future look like with the development of this technology? We’ll explain all these questions comprehensively and completely in this article. Stay with us.

    What is Metaverse’s meaning?

    what is metaverse

    Metaverse is a combination of virtual worlds, augmented reality, online games, and social networks that each user can log in and perform various activities.

    Metaverse is a combination of virtual worlds, augmented reality, online games, and social networks that each user can log in and perform various activities.

    The word Metaverse is a combination of the two English words “meta” and “verse”. Meta means “transcendental” and Verse is an inverse derivation of the word “Universe”. As a result, metaverse means a world beyond our real world. In general, think of Metaverse as a network that combines the various features of social networks, online video games, Augmented Reality or AR, Virtual Reality or VR, and cryptocurrencies.

    So in other words Metaverse is a virtual version of the real world where anything can be done. In Metaverse, everyone will have a virtual character or “Avatar” who can change its appearance in any way he likes. Do you love robots? You can choose a robot as your avatar and apply your desired appearance changes to it. In this virtual world, you can travel to different places. Maybe there’s a concert of your favorite singer in a corner of Metaverse, or you buy a piece of land you like. Or even go to the company’s virtual workplace to see your co-workers, see your co-workers’ avatars, and interact with them.

    The emergence and growth of the video game industry have led to a new phase in Metaverse and the virtual worlds in which players can build their characters in a fictional world, travel to different parts of the game world, and interact with other players.
    With the growing influence of the blockchain in the world of technology, Metaverse also opened its doors to blockchain games. In these games, people can trade game items in the form of tokens. The type of performance of Metaverse games in the blockchain is no different from non-blockchain games, and only the player’s assets in the game are tokenized.
    For example, in one of these games, players sell their land or in another game, warriors have tokens of their swords and armor and can sell them to other players in online markets.
    Many experts believe that further development of Metaverse will not affect the discussion of jobs and daily life of human beings, but its impact on culture and society as a whole is undeniable. Of course, we will see later that if all the ideals of Metaverse are fulfilled, our lives will change.

    Is Metaverse a tool for technology?

    No, Metaverse is a concept; It is not a software or a game environment. Metaverse is a virtual world where users can have their character and do everything they do in the real world virtually.

    History of Metaverse

    Metaverse was first introduced in 1992 during a novel. This concept later expanded to include large corporations.

    As we said, the word Metaverse was first used in 1992 in Neil Stephenson’s novel Snowfall. In the following years, various companies and organizations showed more interest in virtual worlds and each of them marketed different games, computer programs, and internet social networks in which you could play the role of a virtual character. Take it and live in it. For example, you probably remember EA’s famous game, The Sims, which can be considered a form of Metaverse.

    But in recent years, Metaverse has reached a point where it can no longer be considered for gamers, video games, and mere entertainment. It even got to the point where a company like Facebook changed its name to “Meta” to focus more on Metaverse.

    Facebook and Metaverse

    facebook and metaverse

    Facebook, the tech giant, is one of the leading companies in the field of Metavars. The company had previously set aside $ 50 million in funding for its XR Programs and Research Fund.

    Facebook recently announced in an announcement that it offers all its services under the name “Meta”. This renaming ‌ means that social networks Facebook and Instagram and WhatsApp messengers will henceforth be meta-subsets.
    Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, said in a virtual conference:
    “I hope to be seen as a meta-company in the future, and I intend to align my work and identity with what we are building. We now look at and report on our business as two distinct segments; One for our app family and the other for the effort that will be made on future platforms.  Now, as part of the project, it’s time to embrace a new brand that encompasses everything we do; To reflect who we are and what we intend to build.”
    Given Facebook’s high potential, as well as the company’s vast financial resources, it seems that we should expect a strong player in the field of meta-transformations. On the other hand, Facebook is working with various companies to develop its Metaverse, and this could expand the scope of the project.
    Many also associate the Deim project, Facebook’s digital currency, with Metaverse, and say that this stable coin can transform the financial transactions of people in Metaverse.

    Over the years, we have seen a gradual shift in the attitude of Zuckerberg and his company. From the introduction of Oculus virtual reality headsets to augmented reality glasses and smart wristbands, all promised change. Finally, Zuckerberg made this fact public by renaming Facebook to Meta and releasing a video showing the future of the world with Metaverse.

    It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Even if he can tie the future to the Metaverse, will humanity end up in the same post-apocalyptic world with effects like Snowfall or Ready Player One, or will humans be able to blur the line between the real and virtual worlds? We have to wait and see.

    What are the uses of Metaverse?

    As we said, Metaverse is a virtual world where users can do whatever they want. To some extent, it can be said that developing a complete meta-transmitter makes our work easier in many areas and can even transfer many of our daily lives to the virtual world.

    Virtual meetings and business appointments

    During Corona, videos of inappropriate clothing were released during job interviews and meetings. These videos were somewhat embarrassing; But with the development of Metaverse,  there will be not these problems.
    You can create a character in your favorite outfit in Metaverse and participate in virtual meetings and appointments. Facebook has already entered this field and developed Horizon Workrooms. Horizon Workrooms is a Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality service that holds meetings outside the traditional framework.
    The purpose of this service is to create a digital environment where users can create their avatars and interact with each other in the form of this avatar. Their interactions in the virtual environment will be like in the real world; This means that if Horizon Workrooms can achieve its main goal, there will be not huge rental costs for companies; Because there is no need for employees to be under one roof and all of them can interact with each other in the form of virtual characters.
    Work on the development of similar services accelerated during the Corona; This is because many companies have decided to operate remotely, and this has highlighted the need for telecommunications software and infrastructure.

    Virtual teaching

    As we know, during the Corona and lockdown, schools all over the world were closed and many countries started virtual and online education.

    Many companies have offered a variety of software and services to meet the needs of e-learning and online classes. Communication software, software for determining the efficiency and quality of education, as well as tools for greater interaction in the virtual learning environment, were among the items that grew during the quarantine period.
    Just like virtualizing business processes and interactions in the workplace, the learning environment requires fundamental change, and Metaverse can go a long way toward making those dreams come true. Among the uses of Metaverse in the field of virtual education, we can mention the gamification of the process of education and distance education through video calls.
    Many education and technology experts say that universities and schools with better digital capabilities can grow very quickly and become leaders in this field.

    Earning money through playing games

    Many games make a lot of money selling items and updates. In fact, by offering such products, they motivate players to play more. With the advent of mobile games such as PUBG, Candy Crash, and Clan Wars, the field has grown exponentially and now few can be found who have no experience playing them.
    In almost all of these games, players receive coins, diamonds, or special in-game money. They can only use these currencies and points inside the game environment. The concept of Play-to-Earn is set to change that.
    Many players in Southeast Asia now make money through the AxieInfinity game.
    Other blockchain projects such as Decentraland and Sandbox have also created a virtual world where users can earn money by playing games. In these games, game items, such as land, artwork, and items, usually take the form of NFT tokens, which users can buy and sell on trading platforms. Since most of them work on the Ethereum blockchain, it is also very easy to cash in on revenue.

    Online Shopping

    online shopping
    Even now, large and reputable sites can be named from which it is very easy to buy online; All you have to do is select the product you want, enter the address and pay for it; then wait for a few days or even a few hours to receive the goods.
    Online shopping has some disadvantages; For example, choosing the right size for clothes or the long process of returning money to the customer’s account is annoying. Sometimes the product does not even look like what you first see at the time of purchasing, and it takes a long and time-consuming time to return the product.
    Metaverse can solve this problem too! For example, an Indian company that sells glasses has provided the possibility that users can see the glasses on their faces virtually through the camera.
    With the development of Metaverse, online shopping is taking on a new shape and your room can act like a Pro room!

    Metaverse and the world of cryptocurrency

    Metaverse brokers used blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to determine ownership of assets within Metaverse and to conduct financial affairs.

    Implementing the ambitious idea of ​​a virtual world with a unique economy and assets requires its infrastructure and technologies. For example, how can the definitive ownership of a piece of land purchased in Metaverse be transferred to one person so that no one can deny it? Or how to create a local currency for Metaverse finance? This is where using blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies come in handy.

    Consider the same area of ​​video games. This area has moved away from the old system in which game developers only made money from the industry. Every day we see the emergence of new games in which the player himself, in addition to participating in the game process, also participates in earning profit and income.

    These days, such games are called Play to Earn or “play and make money” and their number is increasing day by day. These games are like a smaller and simpler version of the Metaverse. Interestingly, they all work thanks to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. In such games, users have to buy a cryptocurrency for the game and its non-replaceable tokens (NFT) to play the game and earn money.

    Take Axie Infinity‌, for example. In this transformative game, each user must have some local cryptocurrency of this game, namely Axie, to be able to buy several characters with its help. The characters in this game are each designed in NFT format and have different features than the other characters in the game. Each user can form a team by buying game characters, defeating their rivals, and receiving another token called SLP as a reward. In reputable exchange offices, you can buy or sell this token, like any other cryptocurrency.

    As you read this article, hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippines, even our own country Iran and other countries, are making significant money this way.

    Another example is Decentraland, where any user can purchase virtual domains and generate a variety of user experiences. Like the real world where you can buy a piece of land, set up a small shop, and then sell it, this is possible in Decentraland.

     Decentraland in metaverse

    Concluding remarks

    Many people believe that what the Internet world has done over the last few decades will be Metaways this time around, breaking all current equations. Close your eyes for a moment and think that you can study in a virtual world, or go to work and earn money, or go to a concert of your famous singer that you may never have the opportunity to see up close in the real world. Do not go. It is exciting to even think about the many and varied opportunities that Metaverse has given us.

    But we still have to ask the question: Will people in the future distinguish between the real world and the meta-world? Are things going to be so good for them in the virtual world that they no longer want to go back to the real world?

    We still have a long way to go to achieve such a future. Problems such as security issues and potential risks must be addressed first. However, we must prepare ourselves for such changes and advances in the world of technology.

    Our related articles:
    What is Diem? Everything about Facebook cryptocurrency
    Axie Infinity; A platform to play and earn money in the metaverse

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