This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!
You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.
The Metaverse is a digital universe, a new virtual society with no borders, giving the option for billions of people to exist almost exclusively online. It is considered the virtual reality-based successor to the Internet.
The term Metaverse was coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans use avatars to interact with each other in 3D virtual spaces.
More recently, proponents have looked at the design of the “Oasis" in the 2011 science fiction novel Ready Player One as the ultimate metaverse, one which allows players to collect experience points or currency, provide them with a means of livelihood, and host scarce events for them to come back to experience.
There are several metaverses being worked on today, all in the initial stages. In time, people will be able to enter them completely virtually (with a VR headset) or interact with parts of them in their physical space with the help of Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality. With outside places IRL being restricted and commodified, the Metaverse proposes a new paradigm of digital spaces with unlimited possibility.
An early example of a Metaverse is Second Life (2003), a user-defined world in which can people can interact, play, do business, and otherwise communicate. It was followed by Roblox (2006) and VRChat (2014). 2020 saw the launch of Decentraland, Sandbox, and Somnium Space, virtual-reality platforms that run on the Ethereum blockchain.
Among other things, the blockchain metaverses have been a home for non-fungible token (NFT) meme exhibitions, like a Rare Pepe gallery and a Beeple museum. Some have called these blockchain-enabled platforms “increasingly expensive blogging mediums with 3-D graphics.” There has yet to be seen a mass onboarding, as most of them require the player to inject large sums of capital prior to being able to experiment fully with the platforms. Non-blockchain platforms like VRChat, Roblox, Minecraft & WoW, which provide spaces for experimentation and play without the barrier of cost, currently have more mainstream appeal.
Building on that appeal, in 2021 Epic Games directed fundraising to start building out Fortnite into a metaverse narrative. Fortnite has a history of hosting a viral collection of physical and digital experiences that overlap, like the five concerts from American rapper Travis Scott in 2020, and a performance from Marshmello in 2019.
The CEO of Epic Games has said, “The Metaverse is going to be far more pervasive and powerful than anything else. If one central company gains control of this, they will become more powerful than any government and be a god on Earth.”
In July 2021, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would transition from a social media platform to a metaverse company in 5-10 years. (Source Vergecast podcast). Facebook has created a metaverse product group, as part of it's VR unit, Reality Labs.
In October 2021, Zuckerberg announced Facebook was changing its name to "Meta."