“You set down your coffee and pick up a sleek, lightweight pair of goggles. The display turns on and you scroll through a few notifications then teleport to work.
You’re floating through the International Space Station. Every morning you meet with coworkers for a quick standup in the Metaverse. Every day it’s a different place, today is the virtual ISS.
It’s been so long since everyone worked in the Bay Area or New York, or London, or New Delhi that you don’t even know where some of your coworkers live in real life. Mark lives in Argentina you think, but maybe it was Chile. Doesn’t really matter, you’re all here on the virtual ISS together.”
From: Metaverse Enabled Mass Migration is Around the Corner
The Metaverse will be the next evolution of human connectivity. It will build upon, not replace the internet. Like the internet, it will connect us for work, play, shopping, and more.
The key differences between the internet today and the Metaverse of tomorrow are that the Metaverse will be a persistent, 3D virtual space where an unlimited number of people come together in real-time, and there’s a feeling of presence — because it will be 3D and have spatiality and most importantly because many will be using VR to access the Metaverse.
The Metaverse isn’t Virtual Reality, though. Just like smartphones are the most important, common way we access the internet today, VR is the most important way we’ll access the Metaverse.
You should if you’re a business person, investor, aspiring entrepreneur, or current student. The potential of the Metaverse is profound — trillions of dollars of economic value, new business models we haven’t thought of before, new experiences and entertainment opportunities, new creative outlets, and new ways to foster human connection.
Ever since sci-fi authors incepted the idea into our collective minds, technologists have been slowly building the foundational pieces to bring the Metaverse to life.
Love him or hate him, Mark Zuckerberg leads one of the most important tech companies — and one of the largest companies by market cap in the world. He’s all in on the Metaverse. In fact, every major tech company is actively involved in, or plans to be involved in, the Metaverse.
I've gathered here my current top 5 links on the Metaverse, I'll keep this regularly up to date as I read more and others publish more.
When it comes to metaverse opinion pieces, the top spot goes to Matthew Ball. His essays are referenced by Zuck, and anyone else looking into the Metaverse.
Here’s the essay we all read last year. It’s still worth reading. This is the one Zuckerberg quoted.
More recently Matthew wrote an intense 9 part primer on the Metaverse. You’ll have to work through it over time though!
Before the Metaverse was being written up extensively, Cathay Hackl was exploring and writing about it. She wrote one of the earliest visions of a complete Metaverse for Forbes. She’s a prominent futurist and XR proponent.
Packy McCormick, a fantastic writer of all things business and tech tackled the Metaverse earlier this year with a great write-up.
This is a tweet thread by massively influential pseudonymous tweeter @punk6529, where he puts to words a lot of unformed thoughts many of us have on the Metaverse, and he ties in NFTs, which are what he tweets about most.
Yours truly explored the Metaverse late last year with a deep dive into the who, what, where, when, and whys of the Metaverse. Plus a bonus ‘what then’ section that explores 2nd and 3rd order effects.
The Metaverse was first explored in fiction. The phrase was coined by my favorite sci-fi author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel, Snow Crash. In the novel, the Metaverse is a persistent 3D rendered planet with a long street running the entire equator of the planet. Along the street are businesses, shops, and more. The Metaverse is a significant part of the character’s lives.
Check it out on Amazon 👉 Snow Crash
Later, Ernest Cline built upon these themes and create the Oasis in his novels Ready Player One and Ready Player Two. Chock full of 80s nostalgia and retro videogame references, the novels explore a dystopian future where the main characters live their entire lives in a digital world.
Check it out on Amazon 👉 Ready Player One
Before either of these, 1984’s Neuromancer by William Gibson established cyberpunk as a genre and contained many elements of later sci-fi, including the concept of a Matrix, clearly influencing the Wachowskis and their film series - which features a Metaverse of sorts in the simulation that makes up the life of everyone on earth.
Check it out on Amazon 👉 Neuromancer
These companies are suggesting that they are building the Metaverse. It’s possible that the Metaverse evolves from them, but most likely will be influenced by them.
Decentraland came out with a bang and its own crypto-coin right when crypto was buzzing. It’s the largest of the Metaverse claiming companies. You can buy land, build out 3D areas, hang out with friends, and more. It’s completely decentralized, owned by its users, and run on decentralized servers.
The second largest of the Metaverse claiming companies. On paper, Somnium Space has all the right elements of the Metaverse. It’s open, persistent, 3D, and accessible via every VR headset, or normal 2D means — like your smartphone or desktop. You can buy assets, sell land, and trade on the ethereum blockchain. It’s free to try, so definitely give it a spin.
These companies aren’t claiming to be building THE Metaverse, but are widely regarded as building towards the Metaverse and having built proto-Metaverses. These three companies will feature prominently in write ups on the Metaverse. If you aren’t familiar it’s worth it to check them out.
It’s impossible to read an article on the Metaverse that doesn’t mention Fortnite, and rightfully so. Fortnite has become more than just a game, it’s become a cultural phenomenon, hosting in-game concerts to millions, and so much more. It helps that the CEO of Epic Games, who makes Fortnite, is big on the Metaverse, and not shy about it. Speaking frequently on the Metaverse. Check it out on pc, mobile, or your gaming console for free.
Roblox is not a game, it’s a platform and portal to a plethora of user-created games and experiences. Roblox has aspirations of building the Metaverse and many of the building blocks are already there like: persistent avatars and friends lists across games, an in-world economy, and 3D immersion. Check it out for free.
Minecraft is the biggest indie hit ever and commonly referred to as “the Lego game” by my son. The hit game allows creators to build, play, and interact in endless worlds of their own creativity, and build they have. Minecraft can be purchased for $27 for PC, about $8 for mobile, and tried for free on Xbox game pass if you have a subscription.
What’s a list on the Metaverse without a quick mention of Second Life — which is actually still around. In it’s heyday brands were building storefronts, people were getting married to each other, and millions were being spent in Second Life’s economy. Second Life has the earmarks of a Metaverse, but it just didn’t take — ahead of its time I suppose.
Warcraft? Like Orcs and Elves? Yes, this massive multi-player online role playing game also has many metaverse-like elements in it. Large worlds to explore, tons of concurrent users, an in-game economy that spilled over into the real world. It was still just a game though.
The Metaverse, as we nerds dream of it, is still somewhere between 10-20 years away. It’s not a binary though. Expect more Metaverse chatter in the coming years as many of the elements begin to come together. Expect another big jump when consumer VR goes more mainstream.
Till we meet in the Metaverse, I’ll see you in VR!