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The Metaverse Explained: Everything you need to know


What is the Metaverse

The metaverse concept isn’t new. It was first described in the 1992 novel Snow Crash. Several companies later developed online communities based on the concept, most notably Second Life, released in 2003.

In the metaverse, people use avatars to represent themselves, communicate with each other and virtually build out the community. In the metaverse, digital currency is used to buy clothes, weapons and shielding, in the case of video games, and many other items. Users can also virtually travel through the metaverse for fun with no goal in mind using a virtual reality headset and controllers.

Snow Crash was more of a dystopian view of the future and didn’t put the metaverse in a positive light. Author Neal Stephenson coined metaverse as a kind of next-generation virtual reality-based internet. One way to achieve status in Stephenson’s metaverse was technical skill, represented by the sophistication of a user’s avatar. Another indication of status was the ability to access certain restricted environments — a precursor to the paywalls and registration requirements some websites use today.

What is metaverse explained

The technologies companies refer to when they talk about “the metaverse” can include virtual reality—characterized by persistent virtual worlds that continue to exist even when you’re not playing—and augmented reality that combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds.

What is the difference between the internet and the metaverse

The internet is a network of billions of computers, millions of servers and other electronic devices. Once online, internet users can communicate with each other, view and interact with websites, and buy and sell goods and services.

The metaverse doesn’t compete with the internet — it builds on it. In the metaverse, users traverse a virtual world mimicking aspects of the physical world using technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), AI, social media and digital currency. The internet is something that people “browse.” But, to a degree, people can “live” in the metaverse.

What is the metaverse, and why

As veteran technology writer Eric Ravenscraft wrote in Wired several weeks ago, “It’s been … months since Facebook announced it was rebranding to Meta and would focus its future on the upcoming ‘Metaverse.’ In the time since what that term means hasn’t gotten any clearer.”

On the assumption that the “Metaverse” will likely influence our lives in many ways, some of them currently unfathomable, in the years ahead—and that many of you also are mystified by this and other developments in the tech world—I recently sat down with one of my favourite techies, Kristi Woolsey, an associate director at BCG Platinion, to find out more.

What is the real purpose of the metaverse

In the broadest terms, the metaverse is understood as a graphically rich virtual space, with some degree of authenticity, where people can work, play, shop, socialize — in short, do the things humans like to do together in real life (or, perhaps more to the point, on the internet).

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