The Metaverse

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Let’s talk about “The Metaverse”. What is it? Why is it desirable? Who cares? Sure, you can look it up on Wikipedia, but here’s the digested version.

Basically, the Metaverse is a shared artificial computer-based world. It’s like an MMO, the Internet, and Sim Everything all rolled into one. Throw in a bit of Science Fiction and a dash of the Matrix and you’ve got the Metaverse. Let’s break this down a bit:

  • Shared. The Metaverse is intrinsically multi-player. The term “consensual reality” gets thrown around a lot. It basically means that most people agree on what is “real” in the “real world” so why not in the computer world as well?
  • Artificial. The Metaverse is not real. It is engineered to be distinct from (and often in contrast to) reality.
  • Computer-based. The Metaverse is closely tied to computational technology. It’s basically a huge game of “let’s pretend”, only with an “impartial” computer acting as a moderator or game master.
  • World. The Metaverse has its own rules (again, distinct from and often in contrast to reality), history, geography, and whatever else a “world” needs.

But, we already have a real world right? Why go through the trouble of making a computer world? The reason is that people either don’t understand or don’t like the real world. Come on, admit it, at some point you’ve thought “why is life so complicated?” or “If I were in charge…” People don’t understand reality, and want a simpler alternative. People don’t like the real world and wish it were different. Usually this means they want to be more liked, respected, talented, and/or powerful than other people. But whatever the reason, the allure of a persistent enforced fantasy has been around for a very long time.

How does the Metaverse help? Well, the Metaverse is a tool that people can use to understand the real world, or live out fantasies of how they think the world should be. We all have a desire to understand and act. The Metaverse is a promise of a safe place to explore and dream with (relatively) little cost of failure.

Who cares? Anyone with an imagination, creativity, dissatisfaction, or misunderstanding. So, pretty much everybody. Which is why it is important to get it right. The Metaverse could be a potent tool for communication, enjoyment, and even planning for real-world projects and events.

I’m looking forward to it.

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