For Real

The tech industry is betting big on the rise of the metaverse.

Sreeja Yellapragada, Staff Writer

The future of the internet is right before our eyes.  Welcome to the Metaverse.

What at first just seemed like a level-up of Sims has now caught the attention of the tech tycoons of Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple. For example, Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of what was formerly known as Facebook, has overseen a rebranding of the company as Meta, while Microsoft cited the Metaverse as a justification to acquire the game development company Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion dollars.

In reality, the Metaverse is just a new form of the internet. No one company or game can create or destroy the entire Metaverse. The long-term goal of the platform is to have technology companies and everyday people participate in an interconnected virtual world where people from all over the globe can socialize and, in a sense, live in an online environment.

Facebook’s new name shows how important top companies believe the potential of the Metaverse is. Zuckerberg himself said in his Founder’s Letter,Feeling truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social technology. That is why we are focused on building this.”

Meta now plans to incorporate virtual reality formation into every product they build. Not only can users experience virtual reality by looking, but now also by feeling, hearing, and touching. A full-body experience is in store for the future of Meta. 

For Microsoft, buying the company that makes  “Overwatch,” “Call of Duty,” and “Candy Crush” shows its commitment to producing the most dynamic and exciting new form of games. Since the Metaverse is the combination of virtual reality and digital second life, video games hold enormous potential, offering a taste of more immersive experience in eSports and fan-favorite games like Fortnite, Sims, and Call of Duty. 

One virtual game, Second Life, has already stamped itself as a pioneer in this new world. The designer of the game, Philip Rosedale, wanted to replicate real life without objectives and goals. The course of the game is up to each individual player. They can earn and spend money on their own. In fact, Second Life has an incredibly thriving virtual economy. According to Linden Lab, Second Life has a GDP of $650 million in transactions of goods and services. The virtual game is due for an upgrade as they will probably start using virtual reality headsets to make the game much more full-body.

Along with Second Life, many other games have been using the augmented reality business model. One such example is Pokemon Go, where a combination of animation on a screen and real-life are combined.

A full-fledged Metaverse is far from here, but we are already getting a taste of what the next decade may bring. Although some experts have concerns with safety issues and the cost of building this new “universe,” the Metaverse is on its way to becoming a much a part of real life as reality itself..