Imagining µniverse: The B2C Metaverse (Part 6)

What It Is – 4

Andrew Chen: “When you think of a metaverse you think of the idea that there’s other people. Intrinsically, it’s a social product. There are other people you’re interacting with, as opposed to the next triple-A first-person narrative-driven thing… The other part of the metaverse that’s compelling is that you would be willing, maybe, to put in a lot of different types of content there. You might imagine part of the metaverse would have very science-fiction stuff, or very fantasy-oriented stuff. We like the idea of user-generated content or moddable platforms as part of our investment thesis, because it lets users participate in creating their own worlds… Another big part of it is just the concept of a persistent identity you care about. Part of the metaverse idea is that you might spend as much time there as in real life. That’s an interesting thing. People are already gaming, obviously, for many hours a week. That’s almost already available. That’s shared… I’m more excited about the idea that instead of having “the” metaverse, we all move further and further toward a world where there’s a set of standards and we view that–there’s going to be identity and avatars and a payment processing layer.”

@punk6529: “the metaverse is a superset of virtual realities, augmented realities and the internet. NFT Twitter & Discord is a form of proto-metaverse, with its avatars, shared communities and shared 2D/3D spaces (@opensea, @oncyber, @decentraland), hanging off it. And this is, of course, a continuation of decades of internet communities from bulletin boards to AOL to modern social networks So what is different now? Why does this feel different? So what is different now? Well, global internet scale for one, but more importantly: Crypto/NFTs and UX. Crypto, and in particular NFTs, have converted our online communities for the very first time into an ownership society. Your avatar, your digital art, your in-game items, your gallery template are all NFTs and they are genuinely owned by you…The scale and breadth of what this can unleash is astounding as you get huge decentralized global communities coordinated with economic incentives…What about UX? This is what drives the jokes right now. 3D worlds are still clunky. Interesting, but not ready for consumer prime-time YET…The UX issue is going to be solved in the 2020s. You can expect photorealistic mixed reality (augmented reality, virtual reality and real reality) with minimal lag in non-ridiculous devices this decade. Mixed realty (the Metaverse) will be just your regular life.”

As the world searches for the next big thing after 25+ years of the Internet, the metaverse could just be that. Smartphones and Zoom have made screens central to our personal and work lives. Now imagine them to be immersive and persistent, and we can start imagining what the metaverse would look like.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.