Mark Zuckerberg caused a stir in 2021 when he announced that Facebook, which he founded back in 2004, would be rebranding as Meta. He then went on to explain how he saw the future of the internet and how he envisions people using it in the future.
In its simplest terms the Metaverse according to Zuckerberg would be a virtual reality realm where people could create markets for virtual products, work, play, and entertainment.
Many critics pointed to the fact that all these things are already possible online: such as virtual concerts being held by the likes of Travis Scott and BTS via the Fortnite platform, virtual currencies and trading already existing in online games, and many peoples’ working days taking place on cloud and streaming networks.
So, what exactly is this mythical Metaverse that Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley bean bag loungers are waxing lyrical about and how big a role will online gaming play in bringing it to fruition?
Coders and developers are working tirelessly to ensure that their platform is ready for whatever a future metaverse or cyberspace 2.0 could look like
Interconnectivity is the Metaverse’s Hallmark
The constant advancements in technology and GDP growth we have witnessed in first-world countries can partly be chalked up to the recent busting of barriers to trade across the world. It is this phenomenon that Zuckerberg and others appear to be trying to bring to bear in the Metaverse, except the barriers to trade are not now government red tape and country borders, but the barriers that exist between online entities and platforms.
This is most evident in the way that many Apple products do not work on Microsoft platforms and vice versa, meaning that the trading of their respective products is limited. The Metaverse looks to do away with these online barriers to trade.
Online gaming sits in a unique position because there are already examples of cross barrier trade and cooperation that exist within the sector. One of these is the way some progressive jackpot slots are interlinked across rival online casino Canada platforms as well as those from Europe and rest of the world. Another good example are the ways Cloud gaming platforms host multiple titles from developers who are not part of the Cloud’s overarching organisation, with the latter choosing to offer more value to their customers rather than blocking access to rival games.
Online gamers are perhaps better versed than most of the population when it comes to understanding exactly how the Metaverse will work
VR and Open World Games are Metaverse Benchmarks
While it probably will not be necessary for everyone to don a VR headset to enter the Metaverse, there can be no doubt that much of the technology found in VR video games are going to play a huge part in forming what the Metaverse looks and feels like. Certainly, this is the case with Meta’s iteration, with the company having gone to great pains to acquire VR start-ups like Oculus. Of course, the end game here is not really about creating a graphically appeasing place that people will wish to spend hours of their time but is more about the reams of data that can be collected by eye, face, and hand sensors – data that can then be used to even further refine marketing and advertising techniques down the line.
And it is not just VR gaming structures that will be used in the Metaverse, with AR techniques used in popular games like Pokémon Go also likely to be part of its eventual rollout.