Metaverse: The New Iteration of the Internet
By Khalidha Naushad
Perception of reality appears to be more diverse than ever before, but what if I told you that humanity is on the verge of making those subjective facts a reality? The metaverse, which may be thought of as the next version of the Internet, will be the catalyst for this transition. To recap, the original version of the Internet was the ability to perceive it, and the second was the ability to travel with it.
The metaverse, which consists of being immersed within the Internet, is now the third iteration of the Internet. Facebook recently revealed plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union to assist in the creation of a metaverse. Since then, the concept of ‘metaverse’ is quickly becoming a buzzword in technology and business. But what does it mean?
What is the metaverse?
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has been a strong proponent of the ‘metaverse,’ a virtual reality version of the internet that the tech giant envisions as the way of the future. The metaverse is a possible future (counterpart or continuation of) Internet, generated by the fusion of digitally augmented physical reality and physically permanent virtual space. In layman’s terms, it refers to shared virtual world environments that individuals can access through the internet.
Some people also use the term metaverse to refer to virtual worlds in which players can roam around and interact with other players. There’s also a sort of metaverse that makes use of blockchain technology. Users can use cryptocurrency to purchase virtual land and other digital goods. A community of individuals can engage in the form of avatars in the metaverse, which is a cyberspace parallel to physical reality.
Author Neal Stephenson invented the term in his science fiction novel Snow Crash, published in 1992. It’s when physical, augmented, and virtual reality collides in a shared online space. Unlike existing VR, which is mostly utilised for gaming, this virtual environment might be used for anything - work, play, concerts, movie trips, or simply hanging out. Most people imagine that when you use it, you’ll have a 3D avatar - a depiction of yourself. To sum up, the metaverse can be thought of as an immersive 3D virtual world or augmented reality (AR) where people can communicate, collaborate and interact with all of the things within it.
Why is metaverse taking off suddenly?
We are all aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has spread throughout the world and people have started working or going to school remotely as the possibility of seeing real-life people has increasingly decreased. People currently communicate with one another via the internet only by visiting websites such as social networking platforms or by utilising messaging apps. The Metaverse, the next stage in the evolution of the Internet, enables the creation of new online environments in which people’s interactions can be more multi-dimensional, allowing users to immerse themselves in digital information rather than just seeing it.
As a result of the pandemic, there has been an increase in demand for mays to make internet contact more life-like. Wealthy investors and huge tech businesses, on the other hand, are equally or more excited about the metaverse, and no one wants to be left behind if it turns out to be the internet’s future. There’s also a sense that, for the first time, the technology is almost there, with advances in virtual reality games and networking approaching what’s needed.
The impact on culture and community
Because the internet is worldwide, anyone on the internet can meet you there, and language barriers might be totally eliminated for the first time, thanks to various technologies that can instantly translate talks. The vast majority of human history has been marked by tight divisions in language, culture, and ideas. However, the metaverse appears to be set up to accelerate the transmission of shared data.
This method of communication may aid in the development of more meaningful connections. Currently, the technology required to interact with people who do not speak your language is extremely slow and frequently fails to convey exactly what you intend. But when the translation actually sounds like you in real life and an avatar of yours express mannerisms that make us individuals.
I can imagine making friends in other countries may become pretty common. But unfortunately, for people with a conservative mind, it may amplify anxieties about losing their culture. According to a survey done by loupfunds.com, the top concern most people have when learning about the Metaverse would be the consequences of spending so much time completely immersed in a virtual world.
As the transition from physical to virtual continues, many will likely spend more and more time focusing on their virtual selves instead of their physical bodies. If our virtual avatars can look however, we want and can do anything we want, why would we spend time exercising or eating healthy? The build-out of the metaverse is in its early stages and it’s no doubt that it’s going to challenge everything from our culture.