Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the Metaverse:
- Is the Metaverse Here Now?
- What Is the Metaverse?
- How Do People Access the Metaverse?
- What Is Virtual Reality (VR)? What Is Augmented Reality (AR)?
- How Will People Access the Metaverse in the Future?
- Is Facebook (Meta) the Metaverse? Will Mark Zuckerberg Own the Metaverse?
- Will There Only Be One Metaverse?
- Why Did Facebook Change Its Name to “Meta”?
- Is the Metaverse a Game? What’s So Important About the Metaverse? Will the Metaverse Be Centralized or Decentralized?
- Will the Metaverse Have Cryptocurrency?
- Will the Metaverse Have NFTs?
- What Can I Do in the Metaverse?
- What Are Some Metaverse Stocks? How Do I Invest in the Metaverse?
- How Do I Make Money in the Metaverse Now? How Do I Buy Land in the Metaverse Now?
- Will the Metaverse Be Bad for the World?
Is the Metaverse Here Now?
Shades of Gray
To answer this question, we first need to note that the term “metaverse” is currently a bit gray and quite frankly overused. As of now, there are numerous different games and platforms advertising themselves as “the metaverse”, yet there isn’t really a strict classification that determines whether something is or isn’t “the metaverse”.
At this early stage, it’s probably more accurate to say that a game or a platform has metaverse-like qualities than it is to say that that game or platform either 100% is or isn’t a metaverse.
However, it can be assured that as years or even just months pass, these games and platforms will steadily begin to take on more and more “metaverse-like” qualities. It will be a gradual process.
What Is the Metaverse?
The general consensus of the basic idea of the metaverse is that it’s a shared 3D virtual space that exists on the internet. Within this space, people (represented by their 3D avatars) can interact with environments, objects and other people, no matter where they actually are in the real world.
Currently, the metaverse is still in its infancy. Although companies are now racing to “build the metaverse”, everything is mostly still in development.
The Fully Grown Metaverse of the Future
In the future, however, the metaverse will basically be like stepping inside of the internet. Everything about the internet will be brought to life as virtual worlds. Websites will become “physical” locations with buildings. Video calls will become 3D virtual meeting rooms. YouTube videos will become moving scenes that you can walk through and engage with.
How Do People Access the Metaverse?
As of now, some early metaverse-like games and platforms can be accessed through just a computer. Others require the use of a virtual reality (VR) headset. Of course, an internet connection is required as well.
What Is Virtual Reality (VR)? What Is Augmented Reality (AR)?
Virtual Reality Vs Augmented Reality
Virtual reality (VR) headsets completely block out your vision of the outside world. Through VR headsets, you are completely immersed in a virtual world; a virtual world that you can move around. VR headsets are usually used with hand controllers that allow you to interact with items inside of the virtual world. VR headsets have been out for years and have started gaining rapid popularity lately.
Augmented Reality (AR) headsets (or glasses) don’t block out the real world; they “add to” the real world. They allow users to still see their real-world surroundings, but they will also see “holograms” of objects or people around them.
Most applications of augmented reality to date have been via smartphones. “Pokemon Go” was one of the first popular examples of augmented reality. However, tech giants (such as Google, Meta and Apple) are currently in the process of producing metaverse-worthy augmented reality headsets/glasses.
The umbrella term “extended reality” (XR) can be used to refer to either virtual reality or augmented reality. Both a VR headset and an AR headset would be classified as an XR headset.
How Will People Access the Metaverse in the Future?
In the not-too-distant future, people will be able to enter the metaverse using only a virtual reality (VR) headset or an augmented reality (AR) headset. VR and AR headsets will most likely eventually merge into one type of headset that will be able to deliver both virtual reality and augmented reality.
As of now, VR and AR headsets are quite clunky and cumbersome.
However, in the future, XR devices will most likely eventually be able to fold and fit into people’s pockets, allowing people to enter the metaverse anytime and anywhere. Futuristic XR “glasses” will most likely eventually replace smartphones, as they’ll be able to do everything that a smartphone can do plus much more.
As well, VR hand controllers will most likely be replaced with special haptic gloves. These gloves will contain pockets of air that can compress, expand and shift dynamically to simulate the pressure that your hands feel when touching things. As a result, in the metaverse, you’ll be able to feel the curvature of a virtual ball that you catch. You’ll feel the virtual pen in your hand as you take notes. You’ll probably even be able to feel the pressure another metaverse user applies when you shake their hand. There are already gloves like these in development now.
Of course, people will also need an internet connection to enter the metaverse, whether that’s through Wi-Fi or mobile internet. In the future, public objects in modern cities such as street lamps will most likely radiate strong signals that will allow connection to the internet/metaverse.
Is Facebook (Meta) the Metaverse? Will Mark Zuckerberg Own the Metaverse?
Facebook (Meta now) will design its own metaverse, but they will not be “the metaverse“, just like no company can be “the internet”. To understand clearly, let’s take a look at the next question:
Will There Only Be One Metaverse?
Kind of, the answer to that question is mostly based on a matter of semantics. There will be only one metaverse in the sense that there is only one internet. However, different companies will design their own smaller metaverses that will all be connected together within the one large overarching metaverse.
There is only one internet now, but there are many different apps on your phone. When you click on (“enter”) one of these apps, you then experience the internet through that company’s app. In the metaverse, when you put on your XR headset and select a company’s “app”, you will be entering that company’s own particular metaverse; you will be entering their virtual world.
Then, within each individual company’s metaverse, people will most likely be able to occupy a portion of that metaverse, as well as build structures on their portion. This will be the equivalent of building a website or creating a Facebook page.
So for example, you could build a “physical” store (like the evolution of an e-commerce website) inside of Meta’s (Facebook’s) metaverse, while your friend builds her store inside of Microsoft’s metaverse. Your stores would be in two different companies’ metaverses, but would still be connected under the single, massive, overarching metaverse.
Eventually, some tech giant will coin a word for the smaller metaverses (like Apple coined “apps”) and that will make talking about it less confusing.
So no, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook/Meta) will not own “the metaverse”, but he will likely own Meta’s metaverse.
Why Did Facebook Change Its Name to “Meta”?
Perhaps Meta wants people to believe that Meta will be the metaverse, but as we’ve just learned, that won’t exactly be true.
Facebook changing its name to “Meta” in the early days of the metaverse is like a company changing its name to “Net” in the early days of the internet. Meta (Facebook) clearly wants to make it widely known that they intend to focus on creating and developing their metaverse and technology used to access the metaverse.
It can be fairly easily deduced that Meta hopes to be the first to create a cutting-edge mainstream metaverse; they want to produce something as significant as the original iPhone was. Thus, they will then be able to build on that legacy for decades to come.
Some people speculate that one of the reasons for Facebook’s rebranding to Meta was partially to draw attention away from recent controversies. Some of these Facebook controversies include (but aren’t limited to) the negative mental health effects of Facebook and Instagram, data privacy violations, spreading misinformation, encouraging political polarization and failing to take action to prevent armed conflicts that were incited over Facebook.
Is the Metaverse a Game? What’s So Important About the Metaverse? Will the Metaverse Be Centralized or Decentralized?
Initially, the metaverse will probably look a lot like a video game at first. Furthermore, it will most likely be full of games and activities that you can experience with friends or strangers. As well, there will be AAA video games of all different types developed to be played inside of the metaverse. However, that’s not all that the metaverse will be.
The model of traditional video games has been that a company creates content and then delivers it to users. The users play the game, but they don’t really change the game. They passively experience the game; they passively consume the product, like watching a movie.
On the other hand, the metaverse has been envisioned to have a decentralized Web 3.0 focus. It’s predicted that the metaverse will heavily incorporate blockchain technology and be packed full of user-made NFTs. What this means, is that users will be able to actually legally own virtual assets that they create, buy or earn in the metaverse.
As opposed to giant companies creating most of the content, it’s expected that most of the content inside of the metaverse will be created by individual users. Users will then have the possibility to monetize the content that they have created, resulting in the metaverse becoming a thriving decentralized economy that’s available for all to participate in.
That’s been the vision of the metaverse anyway. There’s a possibility that tech giants will attempt to monopolize and authoritarian-ize the metaverse and its content, currency and data.
On the flip side, there’s also a pretty good chance that tech giants will realize and accept the inevitability of a decentralized Web 3.0 metaverse. As an example supporting this type of outcome, Meta announced in January 2022 that they are working on adding features to Facebook and Instagram that will allow users to create, showcase and sell NFTs; NFTs are almost always based on decentralized blockchains.
Time will tell as to whether the metaverse will end up steering toward being mostly centralized or mostly decentralized. However, the further it goes in one direction or the other, the less resistant it will be to change in the future. I would be wise of humanity to pay attention now as to what path the infant of the metaverse is heading down, before it’s too late and it has become a monumental, world-changing, immutable titan, for better or for worse.
Will the Metaverse Have Cryptocurrency?
The metaverse will have bustling economies with immense amounts of wealth flowing through daily. Most metaverses will have their own currency, much like a country has its own currency.
A centralized metaverse will likely be governed by a centralized digital currency that a corporation monitors and controls.
A decentralized metaverse will almost certainly be powered by cryptocurrencies existing on decentralized blockchains. Some of the early metaverse-like games and platforms that we are starting to see now use tokens (cryptocurrencies) that are based on the Ethereum blockchain.
If you’re not yet sure about what a blockchain is and what separates a cryptocurrency (based on a blockchain) from a digital currency (may or may not be based on a blockchain), then this article will tell you everything you need to know:
Will the Metaverse Have NFTs?
In a centralized metaverse, most of the assets, objects and content within the metaverse will actually be owned by the corporation controlling the metaverse. As well, most of the public locations in the metaverse will likely be built and monetized by the corporation controlling the metaverse.
In a decentralized metaverse, users will be able to mint assets on blockchains as NFTs. Therefore, anything that a user creates, earns or buys in the metaverse will legally be the exclusive property of that user. These NFTs could be anything from clothes, accessories, art, buildings, games, land or any other type of valuable digital asset. A user would then be free to sell or monetize their NFTs.
For some examples of the most common types of NFTs seen so far, take a look at this article:
Furthermore, if you’re a bit unsure as to what NFTs are exactly, then here’s an article that goes into a bit more detail about what NFTs are and what makes some of them so valuable:
What Can I Do in the Metaverse?
A core difference between traditional video games and the metaverse is that traditional video games have always put having fun as the primary (or only) priority. The metaverse will provide plenty of opportunities for playing games and having fun, but it will be more focused on economic, educational, professional and social aspects.
Eventually, almost everything that’s currently done over the internet will happen in the metaverse, plus so much more, and to an exponentially more immersive level.
For example, in Microsoft’s metaverse, they’ll probably build a LinkedIn section where professionals can have mixers and conventions to network or find jobs. In Epic Games’ metaverse, they are likely to continue to (they’ve had a few already) throw live concerts from world-famous musicians. As a few more examples of things people likely will do in the metaverse:
- People will buy and sell “real estate” (digital space or digital land) in the metaverse.
- People will build stores and start business of all types in the metaverse.
- People will buy and sell cryptocurrencies and other digital currencies at exchanges in the metaverse.
- People will promote products and services in the metaverse through a variety of different marketing channels.
- People will take classes in the metaverse.
- Most white-collar work will occur in the metaverse.
- People will virtually “travel the world”, “travel through time” and “travel through outer space” in the metaverse.
- People will hang out or “go out” with relatives and friends who are currently geographically distant in the real world.
- People will date in the metaverse, as a hybrid between the first chat on a dating app and the first 30-minute coffee date. Tinder (or a competitor) will most likely have a large presence in the metaverse. The rates of long-distance relationships and intercultural relationships will explode.
- Whether for dating, friendship, education or business, advanced translation software will allow everyone to instantly and seamlessly be able to understand one another.
For more details about what people will most likely be able to do in the metaverse, check out this article here:
What Are Some Metaverse Stocks? How Do I Invest in the Metaverse?
There are a handful of different major companies who are poised to play large roles in developing the metaverse, and thus reap the financial rewards of its development. For a list of 5 of these companies, as well as detailed explanations as to how they will be involved in (and profit) from the metaverse, then take a look at this article here:
How Do I Make Money in the Metaverse Now? How Do I Buy Land in the Metaverse Now?
Although it will likely take some time before full-blown, realistic-looking, mainstream, 3D metaverses arrive, there are a few different early rudimentary metaverses already in existence. Most of these basic metaverses do not support VR as of now.
Essentially, they are kind of like 2D metaverse prequels that allow us to witness some of the things that are possible in the metaverse, at a basic level. However, that’s not to say that they won’t later evolve into full-blown life-like 3D metaverse that will be experienced through XR headsets.
In a few of these primordial metaverses, it’s possible to invest in real estate. Investing in property in these metaverses turned out very lucrative for many people in 2021. Through flipping or monetizing property, as well as through other means, many people have been able to generate income from the metaverses that are currently in existence.
For more information about current metaverses and how to make money through real estate or other means, check out this article:
Will the Metaverse Be Bad for the World?
Almost certainly, the metaverse will create problems as well as amplify existing issues. The internet and social media have changed the world for the better in many ways, but they have also done much harm, causing and contributing to problems.
So the real question may not be, “Will the metaverse be bad for the world?” The real question may be, “Will the metaverse do more good than bad to the world?” This largely will depend on how the metaverse is designed and controlled, among other factors such as:
- Will metaverse economies be centralized or decentralized?
- Who will have access to users’ data in the metaverse?
- Who will be watching you while you use the metaverse?
- Will the metaverse have moderators?
- If so, will these moderators act like fascists? Will they be able to silence, suspend or eliminate your content, property or even entire avatar (profile) without providing any explanation as to why? (like Facebook and Reddit do now)
- Who will decide what gets censored and what doesn’t?
- Who will decide what’s allowed to be built/created in the metaverse and what isn’t?
- Will the metaverse bring out the best qualities in people, or the worst?
- How secure will the metaverse, and people’s assets within the metaverse, be?
- Will people become addicted to the metaverse?
- Will reality become neglected?
As first recorded by Voltaire in the 18th century, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
For a more in-depth look at some of the potential major problems that the metaverse could cause, take a look at this article here:
Do you have any other questions regarding the metaverse? Please leave them in the comments below and I will be more than happy to answer and add them to the metaverse FAQ.
Is there any other important information related to the metaverse that you’d like to add? Please let us know in the comments below.