The Metaverse: What is it and who does it affect?

The digital environment Metaverse will be launching this year, affecting how individuals will communicate, game, and live daily life.

Madeline Clark

A Metaverse is a simulated digital environment visually represented through augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain. These digital environments mirror the real world while solely being located online through the virtual world. These Virtual Economies will first be released in 2022 by Microsoft teams. Users will be able to hold virtual meetings and experiments in virtual offices. Mark Zuckerburg, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, hopes to sign a billion users to its metaverse platform by 2031.

To an extent, the metaverse already exists in some ways today. Elements of the metaverse can be found in video games, the most closely related being virtual reality. Satya Nadella, the Executive Officer of Microsoft, spoke about the Metaverse during the economic conference in San Francisco on November 3, 2015. Today, he continues to speak about the subject in great detail. In a press release, Nadella mentioned how gaming will affect the new world.

“As the virtual and physical worlds converge, the metaverse… is emerging as a first-class platform,” Nadella said. “Games evolve into metaverse economies.”

Minecraft, made by the company Mojang, has been working closely with Microsoft in developing a new gaming platform that will eventually be transformed into meta. Players will no longer be playing with friends but be physically represented in the game with them. However, Microsoft’s metaverse bets are not limited to gaming. Walmart has been experimenting with the metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). It intends to sell virtual goods and products. The U.S Patent and Trademark Office announced Walmart filed the applications on December 30. 

“There’s a lot of language in these, which shows that there’s a lot of planning going on behind the scenes about how they’re going to address cryptocurrency, how they’re going to address the metaverse and the virtual world that appears to be coming or that’s already here,” Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney for Walmart, said.

Companies ranging from Disney to Walmart have been experimenting with the Metaverse. The virtual world is developing rapidly and more and more gaming companies, businesses, and more are adopting this virtual environment.