NFTs are on everyone’s lips these days. Facebook is all about meta(verse). McDonald’s is giving away NFTs. Microsoft and Nike are entering the metaverse and Burger King is giving away crypto. The metaverse and NFTs are trending and the big players of the industry are trying to take advantage of these new trends. The gaming industry is also joining in, as Electronic Arts (EA) has just announced that NFTs will be part of the future of gaming.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a collective virtual shared space with alternative digital realities where people work, play and socialize. The convergence of virtually augmented physical realities with various virtual worlds and digital avatars is growing and evolving based on the society that contributes to it.
As the metaverse grows, online spaces are created where user interactions are more multidimensional than current technology supports. Instead of viewing only digital content, users in the metaverse will be able to immerse themselves in a space where the digital and physical worlds merge. Eventually, people will be able to enter the metaverse completely virtually (i.e. with virtual reality).
At its heart is the idea that by creating a greater sense of ‘virtual presence,’ online interaction can become much closer to the experience of face-to-face interaction. Interacting in the metaverse will feel way more real for the user than just using the internet.
How tech giants and the gaming industry are leading the way for the metaverse
Mark Zuckerberg announced that he sees potential in the creation of an embodied internet in which a virtual world is created. In this virtual world, the metaverse, users are represented by virtual avatars that are customizable and can move, speak or perform certain animated actions.
Ideally, all users share a single virtual world where the virtual properties and objects are preserved for all users between online sessions. In reality, however, we see cases where users are split across multiple servers, where only a certain number of users are restricted to that server. This can be, for example, a space created for a specific game.
Users will own the virtual property as they would physical property, and it will remain linked to the individual user and not disappear between different online sessions. In addition, users will be able to contribute to the metaverse and create virtual properties themselves. In the past, there have already been some games such as Minecraft or Roblox that simplified the process of building virtual properties by providing building blocks, which can lead the way for future metaverse building blocks. Eventually, users will be able to trade virtual property in the metaverse, as is already possible in certain games.
Nevertheless, the metaverse still has a long way to go in terms of control, moderation and copyright infringement, which will be further developed in the coming months and years.
In summary, it is difficult to judge at this stage where the metaverse is heading. However, many experts predict that the metaverse will change the way we live and work in the future, and it would be extremely negligent not to recognize the trend and continue to engage with it. Time will tell how things develop, but if what the experts predict is true, the metaverse will not only make us consume media differently but even make us part of the media ourselves.
Jenny Stanley, managing director at Appetite Creative.