Every day, Jonathan at Metaverse News reads a number of fascinating articles regarding web3 and the metaverse. However, some are more captivating than others. And when I read research from the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies on potential future metaverse scenarios, my mind was blown.
Currently, Metaverse News is releasing a 5-part article series. This article series draws extensively from the research conducted by the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies but has been revised and updated by our own team. Relax with a cup of coffee and dive into this series.
Like in Scenario A (The first one), groups of interested people work on developing the Metaverse as a successor to the World Wide Web, but interest wanes after early inquiry. Much like earlier ‘betaverses’ like Second Life, the Metaverse doesn’t offer anything most users feel they need, the technologies around the Metaverse haven’t proven their worth, and the big ‘legacy’ brands who invested heavily in entering the Metaverse didn’t integrate the new Web3 logics into their solutions, failing to understand the new consumer needs of co-creation and co-ownership. Nike suing Web3 producers in the early Metaverse led to many users not supporting their Web3-solutions. In this scenario, the Metaverse is a world where Web3 collapsed due to politics and power battles in the new virtual economy.
The Metaverse adds blockchain technology and limited VR and AR possibilities to the existing World Wide Web, and people are generally content with what they have. The Metaverse’s concentration on high-quality 3D visuals excludes users with poor connections or low-end devices, including much of the developing world since satellites like Starlink don’t supply the same bandwidth as urban hi-tech customers.
The Metaverse is still used. It offers levels of immersion that the standard internet doesn’t, attracting fans of visual experiences and lifelike interactions in fitness and work-related activities. Those who have invested considerably in gaming equipment or early VR and AR technologies are likely to use the Metaverse. The Metaverse is frequently sarcastically termed the Nerdverse because its users don’t mind being branded tech nerds or Meta-heads. Only self-proclaimed geeks utilize a Nerdverse, thus the image reinforces itself.
Experienced users often mock less tech-savvy users or impose rigid standards of conduct, scaring away casual users. With few users, scant regulation, and blockchain-enabled anonymity, the Metaverse is a hotbed of hate speech, conspiracy theories, and illicit dealings. The Metaverse is split across multiple metaspace networks with minimal contact.
Metaverse has its upsides
The newest VR and AR technology being tested there, including full-body haptic suits that casual consumers couldn’t buy. Advanced haptic technology is used by networks of people to create complex worlds that offer very realistic, immersive experiences, where users may feel the wind in their hair, the effort of walking up a hill, the touch of other bodies, the smell of flowers, the taste of food, and more. Some users spend every free moment exploring or adding to their favorite virtual environment and communicating with others in it. Some even volunteer for experimental brain-machine interfaces or neural implants, embracing the dangers for greater immersion.
Other Metaverse users combine AR lenses with location technology and scanners to create overlays of the real world, either to guide them through the day, e.g. visual traffic notifications, or to make the day prettier or more exciting, or for gaming purposes, ranging from pervasive games like Pokémon Go to live-roleplaying scenarios that add scenery, characters, and props. Outsiders shake their heads when they observe half of these activities, but real Metaheads don’t care.
Due to the limited, frequently secret or even clandestine users, many Metaverse teething difficulties are never addressed; instead, users develop work-arounds or suffer with periodic errors and malfunctions. The Metaverse’s volatility drives away many entrants, keeping it specialized.
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