Should we meet in the Metaverse?

AgnosticBoy

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It seems that Facebook has changed its name to Meta. It is rebranding itself as a company where people can interact in Metaverse. Interestingly, I started fooling around with a virtual reality platform called Decentraland. You can buy and sell land and explore them while meeting up with different people. Artists have hosted concerts, stores have signed on to build virtual galleries that people can explore, etc. I consider this to be the next big leap following the advent of the internet.

Maybe we can plan an event there? Hmmm.

So what is the Metaverse?

If you've seen the movie, Ready Player One, then it's not much different than that.

Here's from the New York Post:
Metaverse is a broad term. It generally refers to shared virtual world environments which people can access via the internet.

The term can refer to digital spaces which are made more lifelike by the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).

Some people also use the word metaverse to describe gaming worlds, in which users have a character that can walk around and interact with other players.

There is also a specific type of metaverse which uses blockchain technology.

In these, users can buy virtual land and other digital assets using cryptocurrencies.

Many science fiction books and films are set in fully-fledged metaverses – alternative digital worlds which are indistinguishable from the real physical world.

But this is still the stuff of fiction.

Currently, most virtual spaces look more like the inside of a video game than real life.

Fans of the metaverse see it as the next stage in the development of the internet.

At the moment, people interact with each other online by going to websites such as social media platforms or using messaging applications.

The idea of the metaverse is that it will create new online spaces in which people’s interactions can be more multi-dimensional, where users are able to immerse themselves in digital content rather than simply viewing it.


What I like about Decentraland is that it is 'decentralized'. Here's how Decentraland site explains it:
DAO stands for "Decentralized Autonomous Organization".

Decentraland is the first fully decentralized virtual world. It was always part of the original vision to hand over control to the people who create and play in this virtual space. In short – you, the users. Through the DAO, you are in control of the policies created to determine how the world behaves: for example, what kinds of wearable items are allowed (or disallowed) after the launch of the DAO, moderation of content, LAND policy and auctions, among others.

Interestingly, you can make Decentraland feature proposals here and then have them voted on. Now, that's a good business model!
 
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AgnosticBoy

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Some of the same social pressures that we experience in the real world can get carried over into the Metaverse. For instance, some might begin to see their avatar as a real reflection of themselves. The same thing you worry about in the real world, like looks, clothing style, hair style, you might begin to worry about the same for your avatar or judge others accordingly.

Here's an interesting take from Joanna Stern writing in The Wall Street Journal (full article can be read by pulling up the article on your cellphone):

I spent 24 hours in the Metaverse. I made friends, did work, and panicked about the future.

Here's a lesson from the metaverse: Avatar attractiveness is a thing.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised that my avatar caught the eye of another avatar at a virtual comedy show. Mine is pretty breathtaking - face like a Lego Minifigure, detachable hands and a legless torso that glides like a ghost.

Yet when the comedian avatar on the stage referred to me as the "pretty girl" up front, I was completely caught off guard. Not only that, real me was nervous to be the center of attention in a room with 40 or more other floating, legless digital people.

Then I remembered: I'm alone, in a hotel room, in an Oculus Quest 2 virtual-reality headset. Phew!

There's no real consensus on its technical definition, but broadly, the metaverse is the next phase of the internet, where things jump out of our two-dimensional screens to occupy space in our three-dimensional world - or at least a parallel one.

Those companies and others say it will take years and billions of dollars to build this digital universe. But there are apps and spaces in VR right now that gives us a glimpse.

Interesting stuff here! Especially how avatars can impact our psychology.
 
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AgnosticBoy

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This is a great idea! Ready Player One.

My kids would enjoy being home schooled in a virtual reality environment.
That would be a good idea. I think it would be a plus for those that are visual learners.
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How is work, ABoy?
Worked has definitely picked up. A lot of procedures were on hold during the worse of the covid. Now we're playing catch up along with new appointments. Hopefully the holidsay season won't cause another covid spike.

I hope you and your family are well :)
 
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AgnosticBoy

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Land being sold in the metaverse:

"Interest in the metaverse has skyrocketed since Facebook changed its corporate name to Meta. Enthusiasts buy land in the metaverse as a speculative investment, and other digital properties have sold for hefty price tags, too.

A plot of digital land in Decentraland — an online, virtual-only environment — sold for a record $2.43 million worth of cryptocurrency on Tuesday, more than double the prior record high for virtual real estate, which was more than $913,000.

That's also a smidge higher than the average home price in Manhattan and well above prices in the other boroughs, as well as dwellings in San Francisco.

Metaverse Group, a subsidiary of Tokens.com, completed the purchase of a patch of digital land for 618,000 mana, or about $2.43 million at the time, according to a Decentraland spokesperson and a statement by Tokens.com. Mana is Decentraland's cryptocurrency, which users employ to buy and sell assets in the virtual space.

Tokens.com said it would use the "116 parcel estate in the heart of the Fashion Street district" of Decentraland for expansion into the digital-fashion industry."
Source: Business Insider
 
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