The biggest ideas in tech often lurch into the lexicon before they are truly coherent. Jargon appears out of nowhere, underexplained and overused: the internet of things, the sharing economy, the cloud.
In some rare cases, the terminology sticks. A lot of people talk a lot about a lot of loosely related things, and then those things merge into a single semi-comprehensible thing. Then we live our lives within that thing forever. Remember hearing about “the internet”? Get ready for “the metaverse.”
In fiction, a utopian metaverse may be portrayed as a new frontier where social norms and value systems can be written anew, freed from cultural and economic sclerosis. But more often, metaverses are a bit dystopian — virtual refuges from a fallen world.
Interesting article touching on Decentraland, Second Life, Roblox, Fortnite, avatars in video conferencing, NFTs, online virtual markets, and more. There are already various metaverses in existence, and some are over a decade old and still going.
See Are We in the Metaverse Yet?
Crypto people say they’re building it. Gamers might already be living in it. The art world is cashing in on it. Web veterans are trying to save it. But what is it?