My Interest in the Metaverse. Unlike my previous posts on the… | by Anke Hao | Sep, 2022

I’ve been creating my own worlds since I was in kindergarten. I wrote picture books from kindergarten through 2nd grade, then moved on to writing chapter books. In 6th grade, I finished writing a roughly 200-page fiction book that I self-published on Amazon (I took it down a few years later. You couldn’t have expected a story I started at 9 to be good). Later on, my genre of interest became sci-fi, and my preferred format became short stories — all the better to experiment with ideas in a quick and flexible way.

Just like how writers have freedom to visualize and create their own universe, the builders of the Metaverse also have freedom to shape it with their own hands. I’ve grown up in the era of Web2; the chance to make significant changes to it has largely passed. The Metaverse, on the other hand, is a chance to create something not tied to the existing restrictions and limits of what I’ve seen in Web2, most notably the walled gardens (closed ecosystems) of the tech giants and the user expectations of an internet that wasn’t built for a blending of virtual and real. It is far enough out in the future that it’s still a nebulous concept, with no standards or even a universal definition for it, yet close enough to the present that people are already building for it. What I hope for, then, is the chance to be a builder, to be a part of shaping it based on my own standards and values.

The word “Metaverse” was first coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 book Snow Crash, though he has since revised his initial framing of the Metaverse from avatars “going to bars on the [virtual] street” to become much more gameplay oriented instead. At the time of Snow Crash, he knew that 3D imaging graphics hardware was “outrageously expensive,” and he thought if it were to become affordable, then “there would have to be a market for 3D graphics as big as the market for TV. So the Metaverse in Snow Crash is kind of like TV.” Instead, history shows that the driving factor behind 3D graphics affordability became games, so the actual Metaverse became grounded in gaming.

The Metaverse holds the possibility of people having true ownership of their own data, allowing them to bring it across platforms and into the real world.

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Author: Traciwininger

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