Metaverse era: How far are we from the parallel world?

According to Sina Technology News, Facebook announced on Thursday (October 28) that it will change the company’s name to “Meta”. It seems that the new chapter of the meta universe has really opened!

Zuckerberg delivered a speech at the Facebook Connect conference held on Thursday (October 28), saying, “The metaverse is the next frontier. From now on, we will put the metaverse first, not Facebook first. “Facebook hopes to bet the future on the new computing platform “metauniverse”. The name change is the clearest signal. The concept of metauniverse originates from the imagination of science fiction writers. In Facebook’s view, whether talking with colleagues in a conference room or hanging out with friends in distant parts of the world, people will gather and communicate by entering a virtual environment.

“Oasis” in “Top Player”, “Lakeview” in “Upload Life”, life rating upload mechanism in “Black Mirror”, virtual idol Lil Miquela with millions of fans on Instagram, local idol Lingling, The virtual supermodel Ask…The advancement of human technology and the take-off of imagination are gradually breaking the shackles of reality and virtuality. In the virtual world, programmer Xiao Wang, who has worked overtime for a week at the computer desk, may be the hero Wang Daxia who has saved the world millions of times; Xiao Zhang, who is nine to five in a suit and leather shoes, may be squatting in a corner of the second element to play. dish.

How many selves does man have? Is there an end to time? How many dimensions are in space? With the development of civilization and humans’ thinking and exploring the mystery of the universe, the concept of “meta universe” came into being.

The Origin of the Metaverse: A Utopia of Reality?

The term Metaverse was originally produced in the scientific book “SnowCrash” published by Neal Stephenson in 1992. “As long as you put on wireless headphones or eyepieces and find a certain port, you can enter another three-dimensional reality fictionalized by the computer through the connection method, and everyone can be in this illusion parallel to the actual world. In the space environment, obtain an Avatar of the self. In this virtual world, everything in the real world is digitally copied, so humans can do all real life things in the virtual world, including shopping and cooking. , Send a virtual circle of friends. In addition, humans can also complete ambitions that cannot be accomplished in the real world, including instantaneous movement.” The meta-universe is depicted in the novel.

In a recent paper “The Metaverse” by overseas analyst Mattew Ball, he systematically summarized a basic understanding of the metaverse: it will never terminate and reset, and will continue to advance to the end; it maintains consistency and immediacy, time It also passes by at the same time as the real world; every individual can participate in certain things and social activities as a member of the meta-universe.

Metaverse is a fully functioning economy: individuals and companies will be able to create, own, invest, sell, and get rewards for their “work”, and the “value” generated by these “work” is recognized by others. From the perspective of the concept itself, the multiverse is a reflection of the real world, which is independent and parallel to the real world, and is also a digital virtual world that is always online and with increasing authenticity. In a word, in the concept of meta-universe, reality and virtual existence have a mapping and parallel relationship.

On March 10, 2021, Roblox , the electronic game platform, as the first stock of Meta Universe, included the concept of “Meta Universe” in its prospectus for the first time. In the absence of other market makers, Roblox’s stock price broke 40 billion yuan on the first day of listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Since Roblox’s transaction commission reached 80%, which is much higher than the 30% of Apple and Facebook, this profiteering percentage is sufficient to illustrate the popularity of the meta-universe concept. Therefore, for a time, “Meta Universe” has become the phenomenon-level focus of science and technology and capital markets, and it has had a great influence in the fields of culture, science and technology, industry and investment.

Meta-universe application: cyberpunk

In 2003, the American Internet company LindenLab put forward the “Second Life” (Second Life) three-dimensional virtual community, which can be regarded as an important milestone in the development of the meta-universe field. Players can do real-life things in the game world, and they can also get to know players from all over the world through various activities in the game. Players can freely create their dream society in the game, the products produced can also be freely traded among players, and the official can also exchange the game currency held by the player into US dollars.

With the gradual increase in the influence of Second Life, more players are also involved. Sweden and other countries have set up their own embassies in the online game world, IBM has also set up a sales center, CNN has launched its own game newspaper, and the national parliament has also given speeches in online games. Although Second Life is a game, it has no rules, no winners and losers. It is more like a combination of online game + social network + Web2.0.

Since then, the same meta universe based Roblox, my world (Minecraft) and other virtual reality games, and Facebook’s Facebook horizon VR virtual social platform, Ethernet Square ‘s Decentraland virtual asset management platform, Hyundai Motor’s global virtual design collaboration system flag The manifestation of Zhuyuan Universe derived from games has surpassed the game itself, and has transitioned to more life-oriented and industrialized application scenarios in the fields of social, education, digital currency, automobile design, etc. This is exactly a process of development and maturity.

In 2021, with the listing of Roblox on the New York Stock Exchange and Epic’s financing of over 1 billion U.S. dollars dedicated to the development of Metaverse, Metaverse will “return red”. In 2021, it will even be called the “first year of Metaverse.” The power is evident. Especially under the macro background of the epidemic, the application value of Metaverse has been further highlighted. Immersive activities such as virtual concerts and virtual graduation ceremonies not only provide participants with an experience comparable to reality, reduce the risk of epidemic transmission caused by gatherings, but also provide the possibility to find new growth points for the sluggish economy sex.

In April, the famous American rap artist Travis Scott performed an “ASTRONOMICAL” virtual concert in the game of “Fortnite”, which triggered 12.3 million people to listen online in just over ten minutes, making the month The number of mobile game installations increased by 6 million, bringing about $44 million in revenue. Hyundai Motor’s global virtual collaboration system allows design centers in Europe, the United States, China, and India to complete the Neptune bus design without contact. NVIDIA is currently creating an interoperable collaborative space environment that allows builders, engineers, and designers to complete designs together on this platform. This shows that the future development of the meta universe is promising.

Internationally, the digital assets of Metaverse are usually circulated in the form of NFT, which is another digital application scenario of Metaverse. NFT (Non Fungible Token) is a programmable equity or non-homogeneous token. Its basic feature is that the copyright and equity of digital assets are confirmed on the blockchain through an immutable smart contract. At the same time of the transaction, the smart contract will automatically transfer the copyright of the asset and distribute the rights and interests without any middleman.

Without middlemen like Alipay, the circulation of digital assets is more international and efficient, which is very suitable for the global promotion of sports, art, music, film and television and other cultures. At present, the NBA’s monthly income through NFT has reached 100 million U.S. dollars, and European football clubs have also used NFT to operate their media and cultural influence.

Metaverse Development: A New Concept

Why should we pay attention to Meta Universe? Why do capital predators such as Facebook and Tencent pay close attention to this market? First of all, Meta Universe is an upgrade of the development of digital entertainment. The meta universe reflects the trend of young people to some extent. Different from the unified values ​​of traditional games that are dominated by platforms, the diversified world view of the metaverse is richer, which advocates collaboration and stimulates creativity in individualized development.

Dreams and regrets that are difficult to achieve in the real world can be made possible in the meta-universe, which embodies the unique high-dimensionality, creativity and freedom of the meta-universe. Redefining entertainment life and business forms, making the development of Metaverse an outlet for Internet entertainment, and at the same time the next outlet.

Secondly, Metaverse has opened up a brand new track for the ever-developing emerging technologies. Blockchain and digital currency, artificial intelligence, privacy computing and other technologies are the cornerstones of the meta-universe, and the virtual reality built on top of them creates the sense of experience of the meta-universe. The development of Metaverse relies on the progress of the above technologies, and it also feeds back the development of the above technologies. There is a benign interactive relationship between the two.

Taking blockchain and digital currency as an example, the clearing and settlement platform, smart contract and value delivery system that dissolve the intermediary are the technical prerequisites for realizing the reasonable value of digital assets and circulation in the meta universe, but the meta universe also provides the application of digital currency. It has a broader exclusive scene than electronic payment intermediaries such as Alipay. Blockchain and privacy computing technology have improved the stability, transparency and efficiency of the operation of the metaverse, which is conducive to ensuring the security of individual data, but the metaverse is also conducive to the popularization and internationalization of digital currencies, especially in China, the digital renminbi is combined with privacy Computing is conducive to the realization of data security and the large-scale development of the digital economy.

In addition, Metaverse is also a new channel for cultural dissemination and value shaping. The meta-universe carries the mapping and parallel relationship between virtual and reality, which is also the reason why we need to pay attention to the development of the meta-universe. In the foreseeable future, the reality of the meta-universe is so high that it can become an indispensable part of people’s lives. However, all science and technology are double-edged swords, and Metaverse is no exception. The meta-universe is an idealized world constructed by man. Its perfection and attractiveness make it easy for people to indulge in it, neglect the concerns of reality in the paralysis, and finally cannot wake up in the virtual and abandon the reality.

Therefore, it should be one of the development directions of the meta-universe to guide people to take the advantages of the meta-universe and realize the complementarity between the virtual world and the real world. Japanese animation and Korean entertainment are typical examples of the overseas spread of local culture. Their success lies in catering to the preferences and trends of young people with effective means. The richness and diversity of Chinese culture are the advantages of going global. However, due to the lack of effective means of communication, there is still room for improvement of the international influence of Chinese culture.

Its futuristic, participatory, and well-experienced meta-universe undoubtedly provides the best tool for the Chinese nation to go to the world. It is of great significance to enhance the cultural self-confidence and humanistic identity of the Chinese people, so as to enhance the Chinese nation A sense of responsibility, self-confidence, and cultural honor.

At the moment of the epidemic, the value of Metaverse has been further reflected. Its immersive social situation helps people break through the barriers of physical space, and strengthen the sense of belonging to social bonds, social solidarity and group consciousness while ensuring the health and safety of individuals. Metaverse has innovative applications in virtual education, academic activities, virtual finance and other fields.

The University of California, Berkeley has also adopted the “Minecraft” platform, allowing graduates to conduct online graduation ceremonies in virtual form. ACAI, the world’s top international academic conference in the field of AI, held a conference at the Animal Crossing Society, and the participating scholars showed PPT and discussed. The establishment of the investment meta universe industry fund marks the gradual establishment of a fully virtualized wealth operation model. There are too many to mention.

The future of the meta universe: the end of the Internet?

Venture capitalist Matthew Ball described Metaverse as a ” successor state of the mobile Internet” rather than a virtual world. He believes that with the continuous development of Metaverse, various products, services and functions will gradually appear. The meta-universe composed of data is bound to bring about the explosion of the digital economy. Compared with the GDP of the traditional world, Meta Universe GDP has the characteristics of cleaner, more international and diversified, younger and more technological. Facing the new wave of Metaverse and related technology development, we should not respond passively, but should seize opportunities, meet challenges, find a technological foothold belonging to China, and gain first-mover advantage.

Carrying out ecological cultivation, vigorously cultivating talents, improving the system, giving full play to the popularization of relevant concepts by mainstream public opinion platforms, and guiding people to form correct understandings and concepts are the cornerstones of the development of the meta-universe. Classroom teaching methods should advance with the times, lead students to care about hotspots of science and technology, cultivate students’ interest in science and technology, and combine science and technology teaching with ideological and moral education to cultivate the next generation of leading talents in science and technology education.

While paying attention to the research and development of the underlying technology including blockchain, artificial intelligence, privacy computing, VR/AR, etc., we must also pay attention to the research and theoretical support of the digital economic system under the architecture of digital currency and digital renminbi. Provide technical support and guidance, enhance the talent pool in related directions, enhance the breadth, precision and depth of related research, enhance the awareness of innovation, problem awareness and overall situation awareness, and follow the trend of technological development with an open and inclusive mind, and further promote the in-depth integration of industry, university and research.

The field of humanities and social sciences needs to strengthen the value research, adapt to the actual technology, and take solving practical problems as its own responsibility. Establish and improve systems and mechanisms in related fields, explore efficient and reasonable supervision methods on the basis of guaranteeing individual freedom of speech, and create a clear and harmonious environment and atmosphere with the guidance of socialist core values; balance the relationship between the virtual world and reality, whichever is The director, abandon its dross, combine the meta-universe with the concrete reality of our country’s development, and realize the sustainable development of the meta-universe.

Is Zhuang Zhou’s Dream Butterfly or Die Meng Zhuang Zhou? The popularity of the meta-universe concept brought this ancient issue to the stage once again. In the long river of human civilization development, is the meta universe a short-lived utopia or an irreversible historical choice?

Historian Robert Bellah said that no one can fully live in daily life and reality. People always leave reality in various ways, even if it is a short time. Whether it is game one, dreaming, traveling, art, religion or scientific exploration, it is all In order to break away from and transcend reality, and reach the other side of the world. Under the joint promotion of scientific development and technological evolution and human needs, the realization of the meta-universe scenario and the maturity of the industry are only a matter of time. The creation of the meta-universe is to give a poetic habitat for the soul that transcends reality. As an extension and expansion of the real world, the tremendous opportunities and revolutionary work that Metaverse brings is worth looking forward to!

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