Everyone knows the Metaverse is coming, but no one knows what it will be like.
At present, people say it’s clunky and difficult to use and are waiting for further development. Are brands just jumping on a PR bandwagon in hyperspeed? Is this the future? Is it a place or a time that is coming? And how soon?
So, I packed my virtual bags and took a trip to find out.
Most of you have probably entered or seen images of the Metaverse, maybe somewhere like The Sandbox or Decentraland. But unless you’re a gamer or a devotee, visiting it may still be a little underwhelming, at least for now — and especially for gamers.
If you’ve seen Second Life (circa 2006) or even Golden Eye 007 from the late 1990s, it’ll be familiar, as the Metaverse’s graphics haven’t advanced that far forward from those pixelated images.
Of course, now we have virtual reality headsets to put you right in among those pixelated images.
Shared virtual worlds created in part by users already exist elsewhere. Roblox has 43 million daily active users and 202 million monthly active users, half of whom are under 12. You make friends online these days — if you’re 12. So, the investment thesis is clear: These kids will not feel so strange in the Metaverse.
And adults still feel the need to escape to different realities. Escapism is ageless. Pokemon Go was a global phenomenon accelerated by a nostalgia that made sense to everyone.
Here are two things I learned from my trips to the Metaverse over the past few weeks:
First, the Metaverse works well for virtual events.
Second, the Metaverse only works well for virtual events.
To be honest, visiting the Metaverse is kind of basic right now.
Ready Player One
I’m not a gamer. I like ocean sports and the outdoors. I’m a believer in decentralized tech and all that it may or may not offer, but I’m not sure the current version of the Metaverse is the place I’d like to hang.
My eventual avatar.
I enter Decentraland, and I soon face choices: Should I select a cartoonish or realistic avatar?