When futurists first started talking about the metaverse, it was just an idea only few people shared. Now, the network of people interested and developing the metaverse is growing rapidly. Though, still no one knows exactly what the metaverse will be or look like. If you google it, you’ll find the term fictional universe. Which is actually correct, given that it is still just a vision and not there yet. Though, the vision of it is being shaped more every day.
What is the metaverse?
To explain the metaverse, talking about what it isn’t the metaverse may be one of the most effective ways. The metaverse isn’t just one device or one platform. People often immediately think of VR goggles. Needless to say that this is a device that provides an immersive experience. However, associating the metaverse to one device puts a limit on the potential of it. Try to look at it as an interconnected network of digital spaces and experiences both in the real world and virtually. It’s a platform where people can explore, interact and create, regardless of the device they are using.
Currently there are already 3D worlds that tap into the idea of the metaverse like Roblox, Fortnite, Sandbox and so on. They provide a virtual universe that lets you create, form communities and provides limitless self-expression as your digital self. Though it touches on some of the qualities of the metaverse, it ignores one of the most important characteristics. It’s not one platform. It’s a collection of interconnected virtual worlds that provide an immersive experience.
The Metaverse as the next internet evolution
The metaverse is considered to be the next evolution of the internet. Web1, web2 and web3 are concepts that describe the different stages of the internet over time. Before we look at what the future holds, let’s explore the evolution of the internet.
Web1: Sharing information
When the internet was first created in the 1990’s, it was only meant to share information. This information was only readable and static. There were no options to make changes. Internet at its web1 stage was just one-way communication of some major sites that provided news, product and service information for example.
Web2: Connecting people
Enter the second generation, the stage we are currently at. Web2 is all about connecting people. It allowed for users to not only view information, but also share it. It’s characterized by user interactivity, allowing users to have more control over the content they are viewing. And so ushered the emergence of social media, blogs and other web-based tech that encourage collaboration, sharing and content creation.
Web3: The Metaverse
Web3 is the next step in internet evolution. It’s about three things: community, authenticity and traceability, by connecting not only people, but also places and things. Web3 is a decentralised version of the internet, which allows users to interact directly with each other without the interference of major tech companies. It is built on blockchain technology (explanation calls for another article), which provides trust and security to its users. This is essential for creating a more secure and open internet.
So, how are the metaverse and web3 related? These two concepts are often used in one breath. But don’t be confused, they are not the same. However, they are inseperately linked to each other. Web3 technology is being used to provide users with a secure and decentralised platform, necessary to power the interconnected virtual worlds and technologies that deliver an immersive experience: the Metaverse.
How to join the metaverse?
To conclude, the metaverse isn’t just one device or one platform. It’s a collection of interconnected virtual worlds and technologies that provide an immersive experience. It’s a platform where people can explore, interact and create, regardless of the device they are using. So how do you join it?
The first step in getting involved with the metaverse, is to just have look around. Create a Roblox account for example and experience 3D worlds that already exist. Go to a virtual concert, try Virtual Reality, explore Crypto and NFT’s, anything really that will help you get more feeling with the future that is the Metaverse.
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