Everyone has questions about the metaverse these days. We’ve collected some of the most popular questions to help people understand and start exploring the metaverse.
Depending on your relationship with video games and artificial intelligence (AI), the metaverse can incite fears of a dystopian future or a happy virtual reality.
You can’t make someone appear the metaverse and expect the conversation to be simple and digestible. There is no singular definition of what exactly the metaverse is, to begin with, but beyond the initial confusion, people worry.
How will the data be used? Will virtual relationships replace the human touch? Anxiety has range and many flavors.
And yet, even the excitement: does a future metaverse mean that online shopping for the right-sized piece of clothing will be easier, thanks to custom-sized avatars? Will Web 3 finally force advertisers to learn from the mistakes of big tech and respect consumer privacy? And will people be able to earn a universal basic income via crypto tokens to play online and go to their favorite metaverse concerts from their computers? (If so, introverts rejoice!)
Everyone – even experts – has questions about the metaverse. So we decided to fill out some of the questions we hear a lot, along with some that we imagine you’re dying to ask and get answers.
What is the metaverse?
We are starting with the basics, because there is no room for impostor syndrome in Web 3. What is the metaverse, exactly?
The poet and non-fungible artist (NFT) Sasha Stiles speaks of the metaverse looking at the word itself: the Greek prefix “meta” means superior, beyond, often even transcendent. And the “towards” part comes from the word “universe,” to indicate that the metaverse is a universe that transcends what we currently inhabit.
Yes, this is a philosophical definition. Bringing it back down to earth, the metaverse is a technological infrastructure that allows human interaction to go beyond physical and geographical barriers. In a way, we have already lived in the metaverse. Players have certainly been with not only virtual reality games, digital avatars and online communities, but also in-game concerts in Fortnite by the likes of Travis Scott.
Most metaverse enthusiasts argue that the global coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the use of technology, and now many of us are used to having interactions through technology, whether on Zoom work calls, Face Time with family members, or selling physical items on Facebook Marketplace. The metaverse as people in Web 3 know will simply enhance these experiences by equipping consumers with digital wallets containing their cryptocurrency (money) and any digital assets they own in the form of NFT.
“The metaverse is an immersive universal 3D overlay on real life,” said Isla Perfito, co-founder and CEO of Sator, a blockchain-based entertainment platform. “As an alternative form of reality, we are able to navigate virtual worlds as we would with the physical, you are able to move and interact as you would in real life with the additional ability to challenge the physics to which we are bound as beings. humans on planet Earth”.
How to access the metaverse
To participate in the metaverse, you need a compatible crypto wallet. The metaverse worlds and most popular gaming platforms operate on the Ethereum blockchain, but some operate on Solana or other layer 1 blockchains. To get into a metaverse, you need to sign up for a wallet that works on any blockchain the world is built on, then plug it into your internet browser.
Here are some popular metaverse and gaming platforms and which blockchains they operate on:
- The Sandbox
- Axie Infinity |
- Somnium Space
- Galactic Marketplace
- Metahero Hotels
You can also fully immerse yourself by wearing a set of VR glasses, which allow you to control your avatar with your physical movements, but it is not necessary.
Properties in the metaverse?
So, if everything is digital, what do you actually have in the metaverse?
Imagine that you are a video game player and collect a token or special prize that gives you extra lives. In the video game, your avatar could store these items in a digital backpack. This is a fairly easy concept that anyone who has collected gold coins while playing Super Mario can understand.
In the metaverse, the property will work (and already works) in a similar way. Except now, thanks to blockchain technology, it is possible to create a digital act (aka record) of this transaction. Blockchain is a giant digital ledger that stores all this information forever, and your assets don’t disappear just because you turn off your computer or game console.
Going a step further, metaverse companies are finding ways to expand the definition of digital property beyond simple video game rewards. The Mirror platform allows writers to post content for others to consume, and readers may decide to offer the creator cryptocurrency in exchange for some kind of ownership.
Brave, an Internet browser, allows users to activate the amount of ads they want to see. When users choose to see multiple ads, they are rewarded with Brave Attention Tokens (BAT), which are stored in a crypto wallet to allow consumers to use it however they wish.
Similarly, Perfito Sator’s company was created with the aim of revolutionizing property in mind. Users generate the value of a show by watching it, Perfito argues. However, only centralized entertainment companies currently receive payment from this user activity. Even though I watch the same episodes of “Mad Men” every year, I don’t get any part of the profit Amazon Prime makes by choosing to continue making it available. Sator’s platform rewards movie and television viewers for watching their favorite content, which can then be staked to earn interest or exchanged for cryptocurrency or fiat currency. Sator also sets virtual Movie Nights in the metaverse for wallet holders.
These new concepts of digital ownership are fundamental pillars for the brave new Web 3 world, where all our digital contributions can be recorded on blockchain.
How do I make purchases in the metaverse?
Just like online shopping, you’ll access digital metaverse marketplaces through the internet. But rather than connecting to your accounts via a Google or Facebook login, you’ll simply link a digital wallet like MetaMask. To buy things, you’ll need to keep enough compatible cryptocurrency in your wallet to cover the cost of the item plus applicable fees.
Is the metaverse fun?
This depends on your definition of fun and what exactly you do in the metaverse, but many find it fun.
Something about entering a virtual world with new people to meet, new activities to engage in and new experiences to have creates opportunities for human connection, said Luca Arrigo, co-founder of Metaverse Architects, a 3D modeling studio and game development for metaverse worlds like Decentraland and The Sandbox.
“I believe there is a difference between my personality in my hometown and my personality outside my country and online. You abandon any preconceived notion of who you are and where you come from. We all grow up with different insecurities. I think when I go online, I can be more myself,” Arrigo said.
But just because the metaverse exists online doesn’t mean it should stay that way. Most proponents of the metaverse point out that virtual worlds are meant to be a supplement and an improvement to our “IRL” (real-life) lives.
“I met people at a conference,” Arrigo said. “And then we started meeting in Decentraland.”
In one case, Arrigo and a new friend went together to Metaverse Fashion Week and shared NFT wearables for their avatars.
“I honestly don’t think everyone would appreciate an NFT wearable. But if you’re already in Web 3 and you have your MetaMask and you want another NFT and you get it as a gift… it really feels like you’re giving something to someone,” Arrigo said.
And for Arrigo, who normally wears simple white T-shirts and jeans, dressing an avatar in the metaverse is a form of fun self-expression.
“I’m not really a kind of person from a luxury brand. I don’t feel like my identity is tied to real-world objects. Yes, well, since I started getting into the metaverse and experimenting with wearables, I’ve been going crazy for virtual fashion. ”
How do I actually find things to do in the metaverse?
As for finding things to do, you may have to rely on word of mouth, at least for now.
“A big problem with the metaverse is that if you go to Google, and that’s where we look for things to do online, right. And you search for metaverses, events, or you will find summits, meetups, conferences in person. And these are events on the metaverse while you stay in real life in real life,” Arrigo said.
In a way, Arrigo argues, taking a trip into the metaverse is just like visiting another country or another city. And it needs all the same things that tourist destinations have, like TripAdvisor and tour guides.
For now, exploring the Discord servers of a metaverse project and finding people in twitter crypto who are enthusiastic about the metaverse and following them are two ways to find the first signs of interesting things going on.