The metaverse is coming - how Facebook is involved
What is a metaverse? How is this relevant to Facebook? How did somebody make almost one million USD selling a digital plot of land?
Think about the movie Tron, or The Matrix. These movies are about virtual worlds where people experience a digital life in parallel to the everyday experience. These are metaverses.
Imagine an always-on and always-connected virtual world where you could enter at any time by putting on a virtual reality headset. Where you could meet millions of other people, travel to different locations, and potentially sell digital goods.
Think this is just science fiction? Facebook is investing billions into the technology required for its very own Metaverse (see Facebook Reality Labs). Facebook has also announced that there are plans to create 10,000 jobs over the next 5 years to help bring the metaverse concept to life (Facebook to create 10,000 jobs in EU for 'metaverse' vision (cnbc.com)).
We don’t have the technology to make something so futuristic as the Matrix, yet virtual worlds have existed for quite some time.
Heard about the game Fortnight played by enormous numbers of youth? In August the game hosted a virtual in-game concert featuring the singer Ariana Grande which saw millions of live viewers (Fortnite’s Ariana Grande concert offers a taste of music in the metaverse | TechCrunch).
The popular game Minecraft is built from virtual worlds. Players join together to explore, socialize and create things from simple building blocks. Some of the biggest Minecraft worlds can have thousands of players at once.
It’s hard to pin down exactly the boundary between a virtual world in a game and what would be considered a metaverse. We could say that these virtual worlds are their own metaverses, and over the next few decades, we will see metaverses evolve from these games to fully immersive experiences where it’s hard to tell the difference from actual reality.
Whatever the case, people are taking them very seriously. Have a look at Decentraland. This is another virtual world where you can explore, social and trade with other players. This year a virtual plot of land in Decentraland sold for almost one million US dollars ($913,228.20 - Most Expensive Virtual Plot of Land Ever Sells for $900,000 on Decentraland (yahoo.com)).
Why so much? Because there is a limited amount of virtual land available. The land has scarcity. Just like an art collector spending millions of dollars on rare art, the people within the game spend big dollars with the hopes of selling it for more later as the virtual world gets more popular.
Whether you want to participate or not, the concept of metaverses is a technology trend that is gaining traction and attracting billions of dollars of investment. There may be a time where digital houses and property are more expensive than the dwellings that we live in.