Metaverse is a term that describes an always-on computer world that people can flow in and out of as avatars. A metaverse has an economy, with jobs, merchandise, education, entertainment, and any other aspect of what you might consider the “real world.” The term was coined in the 1992 novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. The first popularized version of the metaverse was the computer “game” Second Life, but it was played on a 2D computer screen and lacked the immersion possible with modern virtual reality technology.
Oculus, Epic Games, Mozilla and a slew of other tech companies are racing to build the modern version of the metaverse. Epic’s Fortnite has a huge lead, celebrating their 350 million player milestone with the launch of Party Royale, a world where people can go and hang out with their friends, play games a listen to music. The first week featured live DJ performances by Diplo, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki and Dillon Francis. Epic is taking a top-down approach, for now, offering a curated experience, that is of the highest quality.
Facebook is developing Oculus Horizons, with tools that let participants collaborate on building virtual worlds that are linked together and open to everyone. Virtual reality is the ultimate collaboration technology, and if Oculus can unleash the creativity of the masses without requiring programming or design skills, their version of metaverse could emerge quickly.
Mozilla, the people before profit web company that brought us Firefox, is building their version of the metaverse on top of common web tools, hoping to offer an open-source version of Facebook’s strategy.
What this highlight to see why Epic’s strategy is likely to win, and what it might mean for the future of humanity.