The (real) definition of Metaverse

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

7 steps to understand everything

If you don’t understand what the Metaverse is, it’s perfectly normal.

Ever since Facebook announced its name change to “Meta”, everyone is riding the trend.

This word is used to designate technologies, virtual worlds or video games.

But as you will see in the next few minutes, the Metaverse encompasses a bit of everything.

Today, I want us to take the time to define what the Metaverse is.

No matter what your current level is, by the end of this short article, you will know:

What exactly the Metaverse is
Whether or not your company should invest in this new phenomenon.
And finally, if the Metaverse can be an important growth driver for you.

Without further ado, here is the program:

What is the Metaverse?
The surprising origin of the Metaverse
The vision of the Metaverse according to this best-selling author
The 6 characteristics of the Metaverse (if one is missing, then it is not a Metaverse)
My simple definition of the Metaverse
Understanding the “Metaverse opportunity” for a company
Conclusion Metaverse: why start now?

1 – What is the Metaverse?

I smile when I read articles about the metaverse.

Why do I smile?

Simply because there is no accepted definition of the Metaverse.

So we will refer to those who have worked on the subject.

Then I will share with you my personal definition of the Metaverse (easy to remember).

But first, I have to show you my thought process!

Here we go!

The amazing help of Latin

When I was in high school, I took Latin classes.

So I got into the habit of breaking down words.

In Metaverse, there is :

Meta which means beyond
Verse a contraction of the English Universe

The Metaverse would therefore be a universe that is beyond the real world.

But let’s go further together…

2 – The surprising origin of the Metaverse

Do you know where the word Metaverse comes from?

As surprising as it may seem, it comes from an old Science Fiction book: “The Virtual Samurai” (Snow Crash in English) by the author Neal Stephenson.

In this book, the Metaverse is a virtual universe, a sort of enhanced version of the Internet.

More recently, the movie Ready Player One gives an excellent idea of what the Metaverse could be.

The hero of this Steven Spielberg movie lives in a futuristic land where humans mostly stay at home to navigate on Horizon, a fictional “Metaverse”.

Humans put on virtual reality glasses.

They walk around in the form of an avatar with whom they can play, talk, work with other 3D avatars.

In short, interact with anyone in a 3D world, in real time.

If I have only one piece of advice to give you today: go see this movie. It gives an excellent overview of what the Metaverse could become.

But let’s continue our exploration of the future if you don’t mind, because it’s not over yet.

3 – The vision of the Metaverse according to this best-selling author

If there is one person on earth who has explored the Metaverse concept in depth, it is Mathew Ball.

This VC (Venture Capitalist) is the author of the acclaimed essay “The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything”.

He is the reference on this subject.

And this is how he describes the Metaverse:

“The Metaverse is a vast network of persistent, real-time rendered 3D worlds and simulations that support continuity of identity, objects, history, payments, and rights, and can be experienced synchronously by an effectively unlimited number of users, each with an individual sense of presence.” venture capitalist Matthew Ball

I know.

The definition is complex.

So we’ll break it down point by point.

I guarantee it will be worth your time.

4 – The 6 characteristics of the Metaverse (if one is missing, then it’s not a Metaverse)

In the definition above, Matthew Ball describes all the characteristics that a Metaverse should have:

1 – The Metaverse is persistent: when you log out, the Metaverse continues to function. It doesn’t freeze like in The Sims or like in old video games.

It is a world that lives by itself.

2 – The Metaverse works in real time: any user experience is live, just like when you browse the web.

In the Metaverse, you will be able to interact in real time with other 3D avatars.

3 – The Metaverse has no limit in terms of users: as for the web, everyone can watch a live youtube video at the same time.

In the Metaverse, you can watch a Rihanna concert in real time with millions of users.

Epic Games’ Fortnite game has already held this type of concert with Travis Scott in 2020.

And the Metaverse Otherside has demonstrated by gathering over 4,000 people in real time.

But we’re still a long way from millions of users at the same time in real time.

4 – The Metaverse is interoperable: you will be able to transfer your avatars, objects, costumes across different virtual worlds.

Your information and digital assets will be able to circulate in the different platforms.

For example, you will be able to buy a digital Porsche car on the Porsche website and use it in Fortnite, Roblox or any other game in the Metaverse.

The company Crucible is trying to solve the interoperability problem.

5 – The Metaverse has its own economy: individuals and companies will be able to sell, create, own, invest, and be rewarded for a lot of “work” that produces “value” recognized by others.

For example, you will be able to use the metaverse currency to buy digital goods (NFT) that belong to you (avatar, clothes…).

6 – The Metaverse covers the physical and virtual world: the Metaverse will probably be accessible in the street of the real world with augmented reality glasses.

In addition to being accessible at home with VR headsets.

After reading this paragraph, you understand that the Metaverse does not exist yet.

And that nothing described on the internet as a “metaverse” is a real one.

Before I share with you what opportunity the Metaverse could have for your business, I’d like to make your life easier:

5 – My simple definition of the Metaverse

The Metaverse is the future of the internet in a much more immersive way.

It will be a parallel world “beyond the real”, where you will be able to do almost everything (play, interact, work, watch movies…) with the same feeling of presence as in real life today.

You will use AR glasses or VR headsets.

This world with unlimited boundaries will therefore disrupt the future of all of us.

And that’s why the giants of technology, video games and the Web3 like Meta, Microsoft, Epic Games, Roblox, Yuga Labs, Decentraland, Sandbox are investing massively in this sector.

6 – Understanding the “Metaverse opportunity” for businesses

Mark Zuckerberg already owns the leading brand of Oculus virtual reality glasses with Meta.

You can play games through these glasses, and the rendering is starting to be quite compelling.

He has developed shared virtual spaces like Horizon Home and Horizon World.

To compete with Meta, Microsoft is starting to integrate Mesh, a collaborative platform based on virtual experiences with Teams, its online productivity suite.

For its part, the giant Epic Games and its flagship game Fortnite already has experience with a massively multiplayer game in a virtual world. The company is looking to make it more immersive.

So is Roblox, where you can create an avatar and play games with others. Young teenagers are fond of it.

Yuga Labs, after the overwhelming success of its NFT collection, the bored ape yatch club has raised $450 million to develop a Metaverse NFT: Otherside.

It will be a massively multiplayer video game where all digital objects will be in the form of NFT.

The trade of virtual objects will be done with the $APE crypto-currency.

On the other hand, virtual worlds like Decentraland and The Sandbox already allow you to buy virtual land in the form of NFT. You can then create your own house, building, mini-game with the token of $MANA and $SAND games.

The Metaverse will change the way we play, interact, work.

And you can see from the previous examples that a real war to become the dominant company in the Metaverse is taking place.

Maybe the future of the internet will be a tangle of several virtual worlds, which will form the Metaverse.

Maybe one company will have a monopoly on this new world.

7 – Conclusion metaverse: why start now?

I think it is necessary to take your first steps now in the metaverse.

The reason is simple: almost all companies can duplicate their activity in the metaverse.

This could offer a new growth lever.

For example:

An advertising company like JC Decaux will be able to create billboards in the Metaverse as it does today in real life (and massively multiply its profits because there are no material costs)
A law firm will be able to create a service to manage virtual disputes because they will have real impacts (avatar theft, clothing theft, weddings…)
A clothing brand will be able to make virtual clothes and shoes (Nike has already bought RTFKT, a 3D virtual sneaker design studio)

Specifically, if you have a business related to film, music, entertainment, art, professional services, finance, real estate, and video games, your industry is a good one for the Metaverse.

You can start small.

By investing in a virtual HQ for example.

Because in the Metaverse, you will need to:

to be visible ;
a place for your employees to work together online;
or a place for conferences or customer meetings.

For this, as in the real world, there are strategic locations to choose (the busiest).

It is also important to choose the right virtual world (the metaverse that will prevail in the future).

Then manage all the communication and awareness around this HQ with your employees and your customers.

Thank you for reading this article to the end, I hope you understand better what the Metaverse is.

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