The word metaverse is on everyone's lips. But what is behind this term in the actual sense?
Certainly it is normal that terms change in their meaning over time. As far as the term metaverse is concerned, one can see that quite different things are described with the term at the moment.
In this post I want to write about the original meaning of the term and point out the differences with technologies that are often, and in my opinion incorrectly, used as synonyms to Metaverse.
So what is the metaverse - an attempt at a definition
The metaverse is a term used to describe an immersive virtual world consisting of a multitude of interconnected virtual realities. It is a type of "virtual universe" that consists of an infinite number of interconnected virtual worlds, games, and communities. The Metaverse is essentially a place where people can immerse themselves in a virtual world where they can interact not only with each other, but also with virtual objects and digital assets. It is often considered the next evolutionary stage of the Internet and offers a unique opportunity to merge virtual and real worlds.
The Decentralization in connection with the metaverse refers to the way the virtual world is organized and operated. Unlike traditional centralized platforms, where all data and decisions are controlled by a central authority, the Metaverse will be decentralized, meaning that it will be operated by a network of participants who make decisions and conduct transactions together.
This is made possible through the use of blockchain technology, which allows users to own and trade digital assets without the need for a central authority. The blockchain provides a transparent and secure way to track activity in the metaverse and ensure that all transactions and actions in the network are conducted fairly and democratically.
Decentralization also makes the metaverse more democratic and inclusive, as there are no restrictions on access and participation. Anyone with access to the Internet can be part of the metaverse and own and trade digital assets.
Overall, decentralization is a key element of the metaverse concept and will help create an innovative, transparent and inclusive virtual world.
The Interoperability in the context of the metaverse refers to the ability of different platforms and applications to interact and collaborate with each other. It is about different virtual worlds and platforms being able to seamlessly communicate and interact with each other so that users are able to move digital assets and information between different platforms.
An important aspect of interoperability in the metaverse is the use of open standards and protocols supported by different platforms and applications. By using open standards and protocols, different platforms can communicate with each other and exchange data, regardless of who runs them or what technology they use.
Interoperability is important to ensure that the metaverse is not divided into different, isolated silos, but remains an open and democratic environment accessible to all. It allows users to move digital assets and information freely between different platforms and applications and fosters better collaboration and innovation within the metaverse.
Promoting interoperability in the metaverse can also create new business opportunities as companies and developers are able to create new products and services that work on multiple platforms and applications. Overall, interoperability is an important aspect of creating an open and democratic metaverse that is accessible to all.
What is the difference between the Metaverse and Social VR.
Many social VR platforms like Engage VR, VR Chat and Recroom have recently been referred to as metaverse platforms. This is not entirely correct and is certainly also somewhat due to the buzz around the term metaverse.
Social VR and the Metaverse are two related concepts, but there are some differences between them.
Social VR refers to virtual environments in which users can interact with each other in real time. These environments can be accessible on a variety of platforms and devices and can range from simple 3D chat rooms to complex, interactive environments. Social VR is typically limited to a specific platform or game and has no connection to other virtual worlds or platforms.
The metaverse, on the other hand, is a concept that describes an immersive virtual world consisting of a multitude of interconnected virtual realities. It is essentially a "virtual universe" consisting of an infinite number of interconnected virtual worlds, games, and communities. Unlike social VR, the metaverse is not limited to a specific platform or game and allows users to travel between different virtual worlds and environments and interact with other users. In this context, one also speaks of interoperability.
Another important difference between Social VR and the Metaverse is the way they are operated and organized. Social VR platforms are typically operated and controlled by a centralized company, while the Metaverse is decentralized and operated by a network of participants who collectively make decisions and conduct transactions. More about the concept of decentralization
Overall, the Metaverse is a broader concept than social VR and has the potential to create a new kind of virtual world that can be used for a variety of applications and purposes.
What is the difference between Metaverse and MMOs
It is also worth noting that many online games, so-called MMOs, Massive Multiplayer Online Games are often referred to as metaverses. This certainly sounds more exciting, but there are clear differences here as well.
The Metaverse and Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs) have some similarities, but there are also some important differences between them.
MMOs are usually online games that are operated by a central authority and in which thousands of players can play and interact with each other simultaneously. They usually offer a limited number of virtual worlds created by the game developers, and players can complete certain tasks in these worlds, compete against other players, or simply socialize.
The metaverse, on the other hand, is an idea that describes a more comprehensive, immersive, and decentralized virtual world. It consists of a variety of interconnected virtual worlds and platforms created by a variety of developers and operators. It is not limited to a particular platform or game and allows users to freely travel between different virtual worlds and environments and interact with other users.
Another important difference is that the concept of metaverse is an open and democratic system where users can create their own virtual worlds and own and trade digital assets. It is not controlled by a central company and users have more freedom and control over their virtual experiences.
Overall, MMOs are primarily about playing online games, while the metaverse is a broader concept that describes the creation of a new kind of virtual world that can be used for a variety of applications and purposes