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What Is The Metaverse?

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While the move to rename Facebook to Meta might have been a stroke of marketing genius the technology giant can only affirm itself as one player in the metaverse. Yes, Facebook/Meta is not the metaverse, nor do they own the metaverse.

Hypothetically, the metaverse is a network of shared virtual worlds. It is a concept of a persistent, 3D universe that combines different virtual spaces. One can think of it as the next iteration of the internet. It is not a specific technology but an interoperable network of different innovations such as virtual reality (VR), Augmented Reality, NFTs, and cryptocurrency. The metaverse will allow users to work, meet, game, and socialize together in these 3D spaces essentially changing how one interacts with technology.

The Metaverse is still in its early stages as software and hardware components are still being developed. As a continuously evolving concept, it is difficult to predict what it will evolve into or how far-reaching its impact will be.

Continuous improvement in hardware/software technology, accessibility, and widespread adoption are crucial factors that will dictate the speed at which the metaverse is realized. Many gaming companies are already exploring the possibilities of the metaverse with the virtual world and immersive experiences. One such example is Decentraland, a 3D virtual world platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to create, experience, and monetize content and applications. It is browser-based and users can buy virtual plots of land in the platform as NFTs. Users can create a wide range of experiences on their parcels of “land”, including interactive games, 3D scenes, and a variety of other interactive experiences.

Big techs are already investing billions in metaverse-related R&D and acquisitions in an effort to stake their claim on a piece of the metaverse pie. Meta committed $10 billion to develop its metaverse vision, a sum that is expected to increase over several years. Microsoft has recently entered a $68.7 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard. If successful, it would be Microsoft’s largest-ever deal and the biggest all-cash acquisition in history. The planned acquisition includes iconic franchises like “Warcraft,” “Overwatch,” “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush,”. One post from the Microsoft news blog reported that “This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.”

There are exciting times ahead as the utopic concepts of the metaverse evolve and immerse reality.

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