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What Is Metaverse?

Metaverse refers to a virtual world that can be used to communicate with others using virtual reality headsets. The term Metaverse was first used in 1992 in the science fiction novel Snow Crash written by Neal Stephenson. The aim of the metaverse is to create simulations that mirror real life scenarios such as working in a virtual office, buying virtual land, using virtual currency, etc.

Virtual reality

In 2019 Facebook launched a virtual reality world called Facebook Horizon. Soon after that Mark Zuckerberg renamed his company Facebook as Meta announcing plans to create a Metaverse in the future years. In 2017 Microsoft acquired AltspaceVR, a virtual reality company. Microsoft has also launched virtual avatars and virtual workspace.

Video games

The concept of Metaverse can be seen in many video games such as Second life released in 2003. It is often referred to as the first Metaverse since they have incorporated many aspects of the Metaverse into their virtual world. There are plenty of other examples of creating a Metaverse inside a video game such as Fortnite, Sandbox, Axie Infinity, etc.

Criticism and concerns

Privacy is a serious concern since companies will be collecting data generated from VR devices. Facebook is planning to utilize the Metaverse for advertising which again puts the privacy of the user in jeopardy. David Reid of the Liverpool Hope University mentioned that the data collected on the Metaverse will be far much greater than the data collected on the world wide web. 

Problematic social media use

It is also believed that prolonged usage of the Internet and video games can lead to various harmful effects such as anxiety, depression, obesity, and heart diseases. Experts also believe that Metaverse can be used as a way to escape reality. Metaverse can also be used to spread misinformation, hatred, and bias among the users. 

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