BLUF

Many Silicon Valley companies are investing heavily to bring the metaverse to life—but this may not result in what many people are hoping will be a utopia.

Summary

The idea of the metaverse was initially conceived in science fiction novels, but the idea has now become a major focus of Silicon Valley. There still is no clear definition of what the metaverse is or could be. However, most people working on the concept agree that users will feel inside a virtual space with other people, seeing things in first-person and probably 3D. It is also likely to host users who can interact with one another in real-time. This article makes the following points about the future metaverse:

  • The metaverse is a relatively old idea that seems to gain momentum every few years, only to fade from the conversation to be replaced by more immediate opportunities.
  • Many of those working on the technology believe there is no turning back now.
  • The pandemic has forced much of the world to become more comfortable interacting in a virtual environment.
  • Some pieces of the metaverse already exist. 
  • Services like the online game Fortnite can give users an early sense of how it will work. 
  • Some people have already spent thousands of dollars on virtual homes, staking out their piece of metaverse real estate.

Issues such as misinformation and radicalization could also potentially have a negative effect on a future metaverse.