If you’ve spent any time on the internet in the last few weeks, you’ve probably seen one thing or the other that references the metaverse. From people paying large amounts of money for virtual property to debates about what it will mean for our real-life interactions, the metaverse is very much having its moment.

But what is the metaverse in the first place? Why are we paying so much attention to it these days and what will it mean for the future of humanity?


What is the Metaverse?

Simply put, a metaverse is a virtual landscape where users can interact with both other users and the environment itself the same way they would the real world. If you’ve ever played a video game, you’re likely familiar with the concept of operating in a virtual world.

However, the metaverse is far bigger and more impressive than a video game universe. The metaverse that is being discussed is one in which humans can do virtually everything that they do in the real world. Going out, working, getting married, traveling, and so on. These days, people are even buying virtual land in the metaverse.

One thing to keep in mind is that the metaverse that people are looking into is not just one where you can buy virtual houses and make friends but an all-encompassing digital world that the entire world uses. Think ‘Ready Player One’ but in real life.


Who Started It?

The first known mention of the term ‘metaverse’ was in 1992 in sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash where humans interact with each other via digital avatars. In the last few years, the metaverse has become more prominent in the mainstream thanks to the success of blockchain, gaming, NFTs, and so on.

In 2021, for example, Facebook announced that it would be changing its parent company name to Meta, with plans to invest in metaverse-related projects in the future. During this time, many private companies have launched their own metaverses with different degrees of capabilities and features.


How Does it Work?

To access a metaverse, you would need to create an account with the metaverse provider you decide to use. From there, you can create an avatar and begin exploring the metaverse and whatever activities are allowed in the one that you choose.

As the metaverse is expanded on as a concept, you should be able to do even more things.


Why Should We Care?

With all the hype around the metaverse, it’s easy to wonder why we should care in the first place. The truth is that if the metaverse succeeds in the way that many want it to, we could be looking at the entire world being digitally connected and being able to interact with an ease never seen before.

Forget chatting with your friends while playing a video game; you could hypothetically speak to anyone in the world with little to no restriction. While the future of the metaverse cannot be known as of right now, there is no denying that it is a fascinating concept.

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