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Is the Metaverse already there

Is the Metaverse already here!

Do you remember "Second Life"? Back in 2003, it felt like the virtual frontier, a land of pixelated dreams where you could build a second identity, own a digital island and dance to electronic music with pixelated strangers. But Second Life faded, and the "metaverse" became a whisper of the tech industry, a futuristic vision gathering dust on the shelves of concepts.

Fast forward to 2021. Mark Zuckerberg renames Facebook to Meta, putting metaverse endeavors in the spotlight. Suddenly everyone is talking about persistent, immersive virtual worlds. But wait a minute, isn't the metaverse supposed to be the future? So is it already here or just another technical mirage shimmering on the horizon?

Is the Metverse already here? Does nobody know? The truth, as always, is somewhat more nuanced. There is no single, unified metaverse, but a constellation of virtual experiences that push the boundaries of interaction and immersion. Let's put the hype aside and get to the bottom of it.

Elements of the evolving metaverse:

Virtual worlds:

You may know Roblox and Fortnite? With over 200 million monthly users, these persistent online worlds blur the lines between gaming and social interaction. Users create avatars, build structures and participate in social activities, creating a foundation for metaverse-like experiences.

Virtual reality and augmented reality:

Virtual reality glasses such as Meta Quest 3 or the Apple Vision Pro immerse users in fully immersive experiences, while Augmented Reality (AR) virtual elements into the real world. While acceptance is still growing, early adopters are exploring virtual concerts, art galleries and even remote workspaces in these immersive formats.

Networked communities today:

Platforms like Discord offer persistent online communities with voice chat and spatial audio that can foster a sense of presence and connection. Discord offers a degree of presence and connection with its combination of persistent online communities, voice chat and spatial audio, reminiscent of aspects of the metaverse. However, Discord lacks the immersive 3D experience and full integration of virtual and augmented realities that are key features of a comprehensive metaverse.

Beyond the hype:

Most blogs focus on the "big players" like Meta and Microsoft, but the metaverse is more than just a corporate vision. There are some hidden corners to discover here:

    • Open source platforms such as Decentraland and Cryptovoxels offer unique advantages and potential for the development of the Metaverse. By utilizing the Blockchain technology they enable Community ownership, Decentralizationexperimentation and new forms of interaction. These features contribute to the development of a sustainable, diverse and user-friendly metaverse.
    • Exciting VR platforms that have been specially developed for the education sector, such as Engage VR, Labster and ImmersiveVR EducationThe new programs offer interactive experiences in subjects such as history, science and anatomy that place students in simulated environments and promote deeper understanding.
    • Creative communities on platforms such as VR Chat What is the Metaverse and what is it not...and Rec Room organize virtual concerts, art installations and even user-generated games, demonstrating the limitless potential of user-controlled content.
  • Fortnite bears traits of the metaverse through its persistent online world in which players interact, build and participate in various activities. However, Fortnite cannot be considered a metaverse in the true sense, as it remains primarily a game and does not offer the wide range of life experiences that would be expected in a fully realized metaverse, such as complex economic systems, diverse social interactions beyond the game and integration into many aspects of daily life


It is important to note that such forecasts are often optimistic and may depend on various factors such as technological breakthroughs, market acceptance and regulatory developments. Therefore, some caution is advised when relying on these figures, as the actual development of the market may vary. Let's take a look:

  • The global VR/AR market is expected to reach USD 571.48 billion by 2027, indicating massive growth and potential (Statista, 2023).
  • 60 % of Generation Z respondents believe that the metaverse will be an important part of their lives in the next decade (McKinsey, 2022).
  • 71 % of companies are already investing or planning to invest in metaverse technologies (PwC, 2023).

So is the metaverse already there? That depends on your definition. A unified, utopian virtual world? Not yet. But the building blocks are scattered across the digital landscape, waiting to be put together. It's an evolving ecosystem, a mesh of VR experiences, social platforms, user-generated content and specialized learning experiences that harness the power of immersion for deeper learning. The metaverse may not be fully in place yet, but its beginnings are undeniably there, showing us the potential to transform our interactions, experiences and perhaps even our understanding of reality itself

clarence dadson

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Clarence Dadson CEO Design4real

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