Are we Metaverse Pioneers?

The 'World Wide Web' once held a sense of wonder. In a small Scottish town, on my bi-weekly trips to my local public library, I'd type out the addresses of webpages I'd scribbled on scraps of paper gleaned from TV and comic advertisements. It felt like prospecting; every web page was a clue within a worldwide scavenger hunt.  The same excitement to explore and contribute is not what it once was. New generations are unlikely to surf an 'internet super highway' of static text and interlaced pictures. Perhaps that same enthusiasm is once again on the horizon for 'Adventures in the Metaverse'. 

When hot topic cultural terms such as 'The Metaverse' invade industry spaces, professional derision can sometimes leave it feeling like only a domain only for the naive. Professionals often strike down hyperbole to show their understanding of technical nuance. Yet, veterans need to accept responsibility in plotting a vision for generations to come. Accessibility to digital information is still deserving of reverence.

Metaverse and Web3 are the "successor states" to the internet as we know it today. Everyone with strategy & budget responsibilities with a view 5 years or more requires an informed opinion. 'The Metaverse' by Matthew Ball challenged many of my preconceptions. As a result, I've come away with a newfound respect for the term 'Metaverse' and the architects stepping up to its early challenges of incorporation.

"Web3 does not require 3D, real-time rendered, or synchronous experiences, while the Metaverse does not require decentralisation, distributed databases, or blockchains .. (Web3) is about societal formation and governance + (Metaverse) is about technology and its proliferation." - Matthew Ball, VC/author of 'The Metaverse'

Spotify Co-founder Daniel Ek posited that the web, until now, has been translating physical into virtual; what we'd once buy as a hardware device like an alarm clock is now an app. Now in the Metaverse, we're tasked with producing 3D alarm clocks. Those with the most experience - are game developers. I didn't quite realise how the gaming industry and notably Fortnight & Roblox were not just informing the creative design principles and building the underlying technologies of the "next-generation internet" but also serving as the Metaverse's economic precedent.

Whatever it is, your concern is required.

A Metaverse is coming, its infrastructure, politics, communities and dependent markets will take at least 5-10 years to build. You can roll your eyes from the bylines or get into the trenches and help build towards your ideals.

"it promises to exist as a parallel plane for human leisure, labour, and existence. Therefore, the philosophies, culture, and priorities of the companies that lead in the Metaverse era will help determine whether the future is better or worse than our current moment, rather than just more virtual or remunerative. ..An ever-growing share of our lives, labour, leisure, wealth, happiness, and relationships will be spent inside virtual worlds, rather than just extended or aided through digital devices and software. It will be a parallel plane of existence" - Matthew Ball, VC/author of 'The Metaverse'

Some disagree that the Metaverse has anything to do with VR/AR. Personally, I believe AR is key because computing interfaces need to evolve past flat surfaces. VR today is a glimpse of UX within the AR world of tomorrow. The Metaverse has always conveyed a world between software and reality. It is a perfect popular culture corridor to push through new technology ideas. 

More than anything, 'The Metaverse' just needs your participation. Entertain your curiosities, Make a Meta-version of yourself with Readyplayerme and join some experiences in Horizon Worlds , Spatial & Somnium Space these worlds aren't perfect, but if you wait until then, you won't be privy to the pioneering possibilities. It worked out well for the crypto crowd. They may be licking their wounds because of relative price losses, but for many, it was a life-changing hyper-cycle. I expect the same ahead for the Metaverse.

"the economy in the Metaverse . . [will] be larger than .. the physical world" - Jensen Huang, CEO/Co-Founder of Nvidia  

"If one central company gains control .., they will become more powerful than any government and be a God on Earth" - Tim Sweeney, Co-Founder of Epic

Embrace the Metaverse vision

The Metaverse is nothing less than a “next-generation internet”, a great big vision, with 30 years of cultural inspiration and much work to be done around the real world's physical and political limitations. Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee, and Grace Hopper could all once only dream of a future where so much information was connected through a global network of computers. We got there, and it is terrific for many more reasons than its criticisms. However, there is no road ahead where static webpages are the only answer; new form factors and interactions across various virtualised experiences mandate a renewed creativity from all working within digital interfaces. I can think of no more holistic, galvanising term than 'The Metaverse', so let's embrace it without sarcasm or reservation. This way we'll have more fun! 

Avid explorer, architect of the Metaverse, where might you take us on your adventure?


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