Metaverse

Feb 27, 2024 3:14:38 PM

The metaverse is a broad concept. In general terms, it is a virtual world or universe, which tries to simulate concepts and environments of the real world, but in the digital realm. The idea is not necessarily new, and we can include games like Second Life, released in 2003, as a first prototype of a metaverse.

One of the biggest reasons for the current widespread use of the term metaverse is the emergence of blockchains. We have already seen that blockchains are the ideal environment to store information about ownership of items, mainly if such items can be accessed from the digital world. Thus, the is the perfect place to create applications involving ownership of objects in a metaverse, such as game items or virtual land.

The term metaverse is currently associated with games in blockchain environments, such as Descentraland and The Sandbox. In them, you can buy and sell land, avatars, clothes, and collectibles, among other things. Similar to the old game Second Life, the idea of the metaverse is to create a virtual environment for people to interact, but which is not controlled by any large corporation. A decentralized virtual world where people own their stuff.

“To the Moon” is a continuous project within the ecosystem, aiming to establish a miniature universe on the moon. Users can venture through the lunar environment, constructing local infrastructure, and enjoy interactions with delightful lunar creatures. This metaverse serves as a colonization platform, featuring collectibles represented as NFTs that users can utilize for diverse gaming experiences.

A fictional example of a metaverse is featured in the book and later made into a movie, Player Number One. In it, people living in a dystopian future inhabit a virtual digital world where they collect valuable items. If the player’s character dies during the game, nothing happens to the real person, but all of the player’s items are lost.

The Player Number One metaverse extensively relies on virtual reality technology, which has undergone significant development in recent decades. In the 90s, virtual reality appeared to be within reach, but over time, it seemed to slip further away. Now, virtual reality is making a comeback, yet its potential impact on people’s daily lives remains uncertain.

The metaverse is one of the concepts that most attracts people to the blockchain environment. The possibility of owning virtual pieces of land can be attractive, especially in the hope that such land will be appreciated in the future. For the moment, however, the metaverse is still just a promise.

It is also necessary to emphasize that there is not a single metaverse but many metaverses. Each game is a metaverse, and their interoperability is minimal and generally non-existent. Large companies are venturing into the metaverse, creating virtual stores to sell virtual or even real products. However, the number of people effectively accessing such metaverses is still low.

There is still a gap between the blockchain environment and the possibilities of a true metaverse. The metaverse is effectively a game, and games need to be processed at high speed. On the other hand, blockchains still suffer from scalability and connectivity issues, which restricts the overall development of games on blockchains.

In the future, we may have a metaverse as imagined in the book Player Number One, secure and decentralized thanks to blockchains. The metaverse may also become a forgotten term if it fails to deliver its promises. Only the future will bring us the answer.