There is no clear consensus on how to describe the metaverse, but in summary, it is a jointly shared environment where the virtual and physical worlds combine. Read along in this series where Jonathan from Metaverse News tries to find out: What is the Metaverse?
It’s more than the Internet, and it’s more than a single computer game. It is a kind of optimal expansion – as in meta, which is defined as the “level above” our physical reality, the cosmos.
It is an additional virtual world that takes place optimally in a 3D parallel world or a digital mirror of the physical world, where our avatars can freely interact with each other and we can meet our fundamental human needs to the same extent as in the real world, such as our social life, well-being, and status – in short, it covers the majority of the needs from Maslow’s pyramid of needs. Shopping, working, studying, and socializing can all be done online just as easily as in person (IRL). And, despite the fact that most renowned metaverses are from games and entertainment, the viewpoints are far broader. But this is just the start of something larger.
Historically, some of the most well-known efforts at metaverse include Second Life, which debuted in 2003, and Roblox, which debuted in 2006. Second Life was a momentary success, but it exposed the fact that the technology was insufficient to construct a well-developed metaverse. So, while being ahead of the curve, the conditions were insufficient to develop a sophisticated enough metaverse.
“Roblox” aspires to be much more than a children’s game, and its current aim is to develop the metaverse to include elements for the adult age, such as online gatherings and virtual concerts. Photo credit: Roblox
It seems different with Roblox, which is not to be taken lightly. Roblox has recently completed a fresh round of funding, and they have been valued at a mind-boggling 185 billion kroner! And Roblox is another market participant with lofty goals based on the meta concept. Roblox’s director, David Baszucki, stated at the most recent investor meeting, where he also announced their plan to attract older users and people who aren’t gamers by building a more elaborate metaverse. They will do this by focusing more on virtual concerts, such as Fortnite, and online gatherings, while also introducing components like as audio-based social chat services—think Clubhouse—and assuring visual quality comparable to that of recent feature films. The concentration on an older audience on Roblox can already be evident in the statistics, with as many as 44% of Roblox’s 32 million daily users (!) being above the age of 13. Although verifying the age of users is difficult, there is apparently a doubling of the number of elderly users in 2020 compared to earlier.