What is the Metaverse?

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A metaverse is an immersive digital world and holistic virtual ecosystem.

It’s essentially a virtual realm where one can exist within a society of others under a particular identity. For many, it’s a utopia.

Life outside of your life where you can be a bit more anonymous, live more harmoniously, and experience something new. For some, it’s a dark, scary place full of hackers and an anti-social jail.

Evolution not Revolution

Regardless on your opinion of the concept, many of us have already existed in a metaverse-like ecosystem this past year. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack have just about crossed over from communication tools to metaverse-esque platforms.

When we open Teams, Outlook, and the rest of Office365’s tools we are existing in a digital society where we engage with others and almost step out of the real world into this digital one.

It’s exactly how Mark Zuckerberg sees the future of Facebook – less a social network, more a metaverse.

What’s the point? The point is metaverses are coming. It’s almost so common and so close, they’ll come without us recognizing it. And that is exactly what the gaming world has proven.

When worlds collide

There’s no question esports and gaming has grown exponentially year-over-year, but what’s most impressive about gaming is its ability to influence other industries.

The gaming community has redefined how we play. The typical barriers to compete or be an athlete have been foreseeably changed. The technological advancement of sport didn’t always mean harder competition, it also meant smarter. 

The gaming community changed the way we consume entertainment. The requirement for professional TV broadcast level cameras and equipment is a thing of the past. As we have moved from radios to televisions, esports opened the world’s eyes to the idea of streaming.

Big hitters

The power of the metaverse goes far beyond attracting many users. It sends a signal to brands on where to invest money. As users live out their alter egos in the metaverse, they want to be seen a certain way and take part in other-worldly experiences. 

One of the world’s most recognizable brands, Gucci, integrated its products into Roblox and sold virtual items to players for their in-game avatars. In The Gucci Garden, Roblox players were able to purchase several virtual Gucci products ranging in price from free to the equivalent of approximately $10. There was such a buzz to buy these exclusive add-ons that one of the “purses” re-sold in the game’s marketplace for more money than the purse costs in real-life ($3,400).

This is a taste of what a metaverse is, and it’s so innate to gaming that that community holds the keys to the future of our social experience.

As we hear more and more about the metaverse and its potential forthcoming, keep an eye on all things gaming to learn more. Metaverses will be here well before Facebook becomes one.

Beyond the Match
The SPORTFIVE Magazine

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