The Metaverse – the final frontier for entertainment. This is as bold of an opening statement as you can get, but is it actually true? Is the Metaverse really destined to become the ultimate entertainment medium or is it just the buzzword of the month, a fad doomed to be forgotten before too long? Let’s investigate!
What is the Metaverse?
The first thing you need to know about the Metaverse is that it doesn’t exist as a singular, monolithic entity. Rather, it can be best described as a collection of ideas, applications, services and technologies that work together to create a shared digital world where people can interact with each other and participate in various activities through their virtual avatars. The Metaverse leverages technologies like VR, AR and blockchain in order to create an immersive virtual environment for its denizens.
It should be noted that the concept of virtual worlds is not a new one and is a well-established fixture in pop culture. One of the most recent incarnations of the idea can be found in the book Ready Player One, which presents a virtual world – The OASIS – almost perfectly matches the actual vision for the Metaverse.
Just as the dream of virtual worlds didn’t originate with the blockchain revolution, the efforts to make that dream a reality are not limited to the world of Web3. The online game Second Life has been exploring the idea for nearly two decades, peaking in popularity in the first quarter of 2009 when the game reached its highest concurrency, with nearly 90,000 concurrent users logged in. More recently, Epic Games have been attempting to build its own metaverse within the framework of its hugely popular battle royale shooter Fortnite. And these are just a couple of the major players with Metaverse aspirations.
The role of Web3
A common limitation of these and similar projects is that they are separate, proprietary platforms that do their own thing instead of contributing to a larger, overarching metaverse. Fortunately, Web3 gives us the means to overcome that problem, paving the way for a unified Metaverse.
A true, persistent virtual world cannot exist without the right infrastructure. Infrastructure that allows it to grow and evolve unimpeded and enables seamless communication between different apps and services, allowing users to hop from one experience to another with ease. Infrastructure that isn’t beholden to corporate interests and encourages collaboration, rather than competition, between developers.
A decentralized Web3 network powered by blockchain fits the bill perfectly. With blockchain as a foundational layer, the Metaverse can remain open to anyone and free to grow and evolve in the most natural and organic way possible.
In addition, the advent of NFTs have given us a new way of representing and protecting ownership rights over digital assets. This takes us a step closer to realizing a true digital society.
The most prominent Web3-based Metaverse projects today utilize NFTs to a great effect. Decentraland, for example, is a platform where users can buy virtual plots of land as NFTs and use them for various purposes. Its main competitor, The Sandbox, employs a similar approach while also allowing users to build scenes on their land using NFT-based graphic assets.
Check out our article on How to start an NFT project.
Metaverse skeptics often question whether there is a demand for such a platform, pointing to the pushback leveled against projects like Meta’s Horizon Worlds and Ubisoft’s NFT initiative Ubisoft Quartz. What these arguments fail to take into account, however, is that other platforms have already shown that there is demonstrable interest in activities like virtual events, virtual events and content creation, which are expected to be at the core of the Metaverse experience. Just look at the success of Fortnite concerts, or the acclaim the latest Microsoft Flight Simulator – which offers the best virtual representation of our planet – has garnered since its 2020 release. Not to mention sandbox juggernauts like Minecraft and Roblox and the massive popularity they have been enjoying. The demand is clearly there, so stellar execution and quality products remain all that is needed for the Metaverse to take off.
Learn more about LimeAcademy and how you can transition to blockchain development and start building in the Web3 space!