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Metaverse: A Space where Virtual and Real World meet; Know how it will Change our World

by Shatakshi Gupta

In 1992, Neil Stephenson, an American author, mentioned the term Metaverse in his novel named ‘Snow Crash’ which was based on science fiction. In this novel, the incarnations of real people live in the virtual world. The novel talks on many scales like virtual reality, digital currency. The Metaverse is Silicon Valley’s next biggest stop nearly three decades later. Metaverse technology is formed by combining online 3-D virtual environments, augmented reality or improved reality. It is currently available on many video game platforms. Lately, founder Mark Zuckerberg on October 28 changed the company’s name to Meta to reflect his focus on new technology.

What is Metaverse?

The concept of the virtual world has already become a reality in online games. In the future, the world of reality will also become the same as the world of gaming is today.  Right now these things seem to be exaggerated, but with the development of Metaverse, gradually it will become common for us.

In simple words, the Metaverse will be a kind of virtual world. With this technology, you will be able to enter the digital world through a virtual identity. It will be like entering into a parallel world where you will have a different identity. In this parallel world, you will be able to meet your friends and relatives, from travelling and buying stuff. It works on the combination of many technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Machine Learning, Blockchain technology and artificial intelligence.

To understand better let’s take a few examples. Suppose you are walking on the side of a road in a virtual world. You saw a TV in a shop and you liked it. You bought that TV by paying digital currency. Now this TV will be delivered to your given address. In this way, you will get the experience of virtual shopping, but your purchase will actually happen. When you are talking to someone on the Internet, it will seem as if you are sitting face to face, even if physically you are hundreds of miles away. Future conferences and ceremonies can be done in this way. Notably, you will also feel the touch and sensations of the virtual world in real life. This will completely change our outer world experience and make this world an even smaller place.

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A few years ago a film was made in Hollywood called Avatar. That film broke all the records of earning. The world shown in the film Avatar is the world of the Metaverse, in which a person sits at home but his virtual avatar can be anywhere in the world.

 Recently, gaming company Epic Games had organized a music concert in the past, which was virtual and people participated virtually in it. Meaning people were dancing in concert with pop stars sitting in their homes.

Metaverse is future of gaming

Microsoft and Nvidia have also expressed their intention to adopt the Metaverse. The potential of the Metaverse was glimpsed on November 8, when online game Roblox, with 200 million monthly users, announced its quarterly results. The number of its daily users has increased by 31% in one year and the income has increased by Rs 3700 crores. Newzoo, consumers have spent Rs 13 lakh crore on video games in 2020.  Newzoo estimates that 73% of the industry’s revenue comes from games that sell virtual goods such as sportswear. Game players can make and sell their own programs.

Some proponents of the Metaverse believe that video game companies such as Roblox, Epic Games and Unity could overtake technology companies.  Roblox is both a game and a platform.  It allows users to create their own programs and sell their own 3D games.  In another game Adopt Me, users can sell virtual animals. The music industry is using the virtual world of the video game Fortnite.

Some concerns

However, even before the arrival of the Metaverse, different types of debate have started going on about it. The biggest issue in this is digital privacy.  Experts say that if the platforms on which the Metaverse is being built, if they have more control over them, then they will start to have a lot of control over our lives, personal data and our private conversations. However, its real advantage and disadvantage will be known only after its arrival.

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