The freshness of the Metaverse is ultimately inseparable from the word “play”

Immersion stems from a sense of participation.

The freshness of the Metaverse is ultimately inseparable from the word "play"

“The Metaverse is like a coin that’s still flipping in the air”.

After a buoyant 2021, 2022 in the Metaverse will be uneventful. Some investors questioned that Meta was in a dangerous period because Zuckerberg bet on the uncertain Metaverse; and after the news of the development of MR head-mounted display from Apple, the stock price of listed companies in the “fruit chain” once rose sharply… …

Just like the intergenerational changes of the Internet, various emotions such as hesitation, restlessness, blindness, and optimism are mixed together. Accidental benefits may set off a violent whirlwind, turning entrepreneurs who are in it into unicorns quickly. But once there is a dilemma, even giants with a market value of trillions will encounter whirlpools.

As a “bystander” outside the wave of the Metaverse, the general public may not care about the rise and fall of stock prices, and they don’t care about the rise and fall of the so-called giants. There seems to be only one topic of interest, that is, what is the “Metaverse” like, in the “Metaverse” What kind of experience can you get?

01 The Metaverse of “Three Days Fresh”

The concept of the Metaverse became popular at the beginning of 2021. At first, it was limited to theoretical speculation. By the end of the year, a large number of Metaverse contents had been released.

According to the statistical report of the data company Sensor Tower, from November 2021 to January 2022, about 552 apps added the word “Metaverse” to their product descriptions, among which they claimed to be the social apps of the Metaverse. There are 70 of them, and an average “Metaverse” is added every day.

Every intergenerational change is a golden period for new and old iterations of entrepreneurship, and the liveliness of the Metaverse battlefield vividly interprets the mentality of practitioners. Entrepreneurs’ passion should not be ridiculed. It can be attributed to product experience. The current Metaverse is only increasing in quantity and is still in the “raw” stage.

Taking the popular gel in a short period of time as an example, it has been on the top of the APP Store free list for many times, and its popularity is no less than that of many old-fashioned social products. In terms of product form, Jelly focuses on cute and cute avatars. Users can create their own images by “pinching their faces” and interact based on location and dynamic sharing. It’s just that the current gel is being removed from the shelves, and no further innovation has been seen.

The freshness of the Metaverse is ultimately inseparable from the word "play"

Backed by Baidu, Xiyang got rid of the fate of being removed from the shelves, and even attracted more than ten companies such as Nvidia, Intel, Lynk & Co, and FAW to settle in. The main focus is also on avatars, and provides three styles of cartoon, anthropomorphic and realistic. . Unfortunately, Xi Rong has not given too much differentiation in the gameplay. At present, he can only run the map, browse the scenery, watch the exhibition, or communicate with friends and passersby by voice.

The results can only be said to be unsatisfactory. Many Metaverse products have flooded into a large number of users in a short period of time, which shows the allure of the Metaverse concept, but the single and homogeneous gameplay can easily make users tired, and the freshness period is often only three days. time. The “Metaverse” has made more and more ripples at the product level, but it is far from a phenomenon-level wave.

There are many explanations that can be found.

For example, many cloud service providers have launched the Avatar+ social solution, which has greatly lowered the technical threshold of the Metaverse. Even entrepreneurial teams lacking core technology research and development can quickly realize some ” Metaverse” function. It took less than a year for the concept of the Metaverse to become popular, and the product level showed a trend of blooming. However, many products are still in the testing stage, and some expected modules and functions have not been “unlocked”, and it still takes time to polish them.

The pain points of the Metaverse content at this stage may be understandable, but the standard for measuring a product is by no means “Metaverse”. “The experience trap, I am afraid it will be difficult to survive until the market matures.

02 The exploration period of the big waves and the sand

There is a specific explanation in the industry for the current state of the Metaverse—the industry is in a period of chaotic exploration. The Thousand Regiments War in 2010, the Thousand Broadcasting War in 2016, and the Thousand Box War in 2018 were the successors of entrepreneurs, exploring business models such as e-commerce group buying, live streaming, and smart speakers.

After all, the application of any new technology is not smooth sailing. There is a stage of exploration. It takes trial and error to find the most suitable application scenario, and the Metaverse is no exception.

Such rhetoric is not unreasonable, but it can hardly hide the fact that some companies are anxious to enter the game. A direct example is the phenomenon of squatting the “Metaverse” trademark. Most companies may still be in the stage of preparation and planning, and they have no plans to enter the Metaverse, but are just following the trend to register trademarks, making the industry bubble of the Metaverse blow bigger and bigger. . Some companies that have launched Metaverse products do not rule out the suspicion of competing for popularity.

Whether it’s a gel that became popular overnight, a super QQ show that came back to life, or the party island of ByteDance, or Xiyang of Baidu, the core gameplay is nothing more than “pinch face and dress up + virtual social interaction”, except that the style of the avatar is different. , private chats, group chats, algorithm matching, interest groups, tree hole sharing, etc. are all common social gameplays, which are equivalent to putting a Metaverse shell on the basis of virtual social interaction, so as to occupy a place in the industry.

Similar explanations are equally plausible, but not absolute.

Just like Vava and Inke Live use third-party solutions, the final products have their own characteristics. The former integrates Avatar and Yuchao to realize the follow-up of facial expressions of virtual avatars, and users can express emotions, anger, sorrow and fear through facial expressions when chatting; the latter uses the virtual KTV solution to develop the function of panoramic karaoke. In a virtual karaoke room, a karaoke social experience with physical interaction and facial follow-up.

The freshness of the Metaverse is ultimately inseparable from the word "play"

The differentiation of Metaverse products is actually not complicated, and sometimes there will be different answers from a different perspective. For example, virtual concerts may not be a new application. Many celebrities and virtual idols have tried to hold virtual concerts, but the entry point of Inke live broadcast is the ability to sink, weaving a small circle of K songs belonging to ordinary users. With the differentiation of content and experience, rigid new demands have been created.

To make an analogy, the current Metaverse is equivalent to the BBS era in the early days of the Internet, and there is still a lot of application potential that needs to be tapped. The difference is that the concept of “Metaverse” is too grand, abstract, and vague, and a unified evolution path may not be found in a short period of time. Especially with the revelation of the first two “rich-making tides”, the participants in the Metaverse are much higher than in the past, and the proportion of followers and spoilers is very high, and it takes a certain amount of time to filter.

It may not be possible to say how long the exploration period of the Metaverse will last. The accumulated failure cases and successful experiences have pointed out some correct directions.

03 Immersion comes from participation

As Jiang Zhaosheng, a senior researcher at Ouke Cloud Chain Research Institute, said: “Although the market has high expectations for Metaverse social interaction, at this stage, the gimmick outweighs the essence. The premise of Metaverse social interaction is that there is a Metaverse, but now everyone may not have it. Understand what the Metaverse is. The current Metaverse social products are too disconnected from reality.”

Sounds like this are not uncommon. Under the background that the Metaverse has not yet reached a conceptual consensus, the outside world’s understanding of the Metaverse is generally based on hardware such as VR and AR. The biggest feature is the unprecedented sense of immersion. However, the sense of immersion is essentially a sense experience.

If you temporarily take your eyes off the Metaverse and move to the offline social interaction of young people, script killing and escape room can be said to be the most “money-capable” industries. Among them, there will be 5,957 new registrations of “script killing” related companies in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 85%, and the market size has exceeded 20 billion yuan.

Referring to the research report of iiMedia Research, among the reasons why young people experience script killing, 73.7% of the respondents expressed interest in reasoning logic, 63.3% of the participants wanted to experience different roles, and 57.9% of players regarded script killing as a A new way for friends to meet casually… Behind the emergence of “script kill”, young people’s pursuit of immersion is inseparable, and the source of this immersion is the sense of immersive participation.

The freshness of the Metaverse is ultimately inseparable from the word "play"

The same logic applies to the Metaverse. To a certain extent, avatars meet the instinctive social needs of users, and are adopted by more and more virtual social products. If you want to further transform users’ curiosity into user stickiness, you also need to actively mobilize users’ sense of participation.

The virtual KTV solution mentioned above is to integrate the capabilities of virtual avatar, facial expression, spatial audio, real-time audio and video, etc., users can have a realistic karaoke experience in the virtual room, with the first-person, third-person , personal close-up and other perspectives of different dimensions, to a large extent restore the user experience in KTV. With the increase in the user’s sensory dimensions, the moments that resonate also increase, and it is easier to fully participate in it, which is commonly referred to as being there.

A point made by American tech review Shaan Puri is revealing: “Most people have the wrong idea about the Metaverse, which is not a virtual place, but a moment.” When we spend seven or eight a day When you are on your phone for hours, habits and behaviors are already silently migrating, and more and more needs are shifting from the physical world to the digital world. The emergence of the Metaverse is not the result of VR stimulation, but the inevitable redistribution of user time.

That is to say, in the situation where VR, MR, AR and other hardware products are in the ascendant, the gold diggers of the Metaverse want to seize the opportunity, they must continue to create a differentiated experience in content, and awaken the desire of young people to actively participate. Instead of shouting slogans, drawing big cakes, and rubbing concepts.

04 Two pairs of hands that push the wheel

There is a concept in management called “flywheel effect”. It is very difficult to push the wheel to rotate at first, but after reaching a certain “critical point”, the gravity and momentum of the flywheel will become part of the thrust. It also spins and spins faster and faster.

As a huge systematic project, the Metaverse involves artificial intelligence, cloud computing, communication, blockchain and other technologies. There are two main factors that drive the rotation of the flywheel, one is interactive hardware, the other is content ecology, and the formation of There is a positive correlation: the increase in the shipment of hardware such as VR indicates that developers are expected to gain more income; and the more high-quality content, the more it can stimulate consumers to buy hardware.

A worse result is that due to insufficient hardware shipments, it is difficult for developers to make money from it, and there is no source of continuous investment; at the same time, the scarcity of high-quality content directly affects the user experience of the terminal, not only will Barring the entry of new users may also accelerate the loss of old users.

The challenge in reality lies precisely in this. According to KPMG China’s insights, in order to achieve an immersive virtual experience with perceptual interaction hardware such as VR all-in-one machines, it is necessary to solve problems such as “screen effect” and vertigo on the hardware, as well as the accuracy and real-time challenges of full-body motion capture in three-dimensional space. . However, the current VR headsets are still in the early stage of popularization, and there is an urgent need for “killer” products.

The freshness of the Metaverse is ultimately inseparable from the word "play"

Compared with the uncertainty of hardware, the innovation of content ecology can be said to be the biggest force driving the rotation of the flywheel, and the endless content of the Metaverse is the trickle of this force. Although most Metaverse content still uses mobile phones, tablets, etc. as the medium to connect users, there is no shortage of value in the education market. It’s just that the status quo of the homogenization and simplification of Metaverse products is also inseparable from a technical proposition.

For example, to build a realistic, real-time, and interactive 3D virtual world, it is inseparable from the application of game development engines, including Unreal Engine, Unity, etc., corresponding to the scarcity of professional talents. It is said that in order to develop the super QQ show, Tencent, which has a huge reserve of game talents, has opened nearly 100 positions for this purpose, and clearly requires applicants for technical positions to be familiar with engines such as Unreal Engine and Unity.

As a result, some solutions that support scene customization have appeared in the market. At least some cloud service providers have integrated Avatar, RTC, Unity and other technologies. Developers do not need UE and Unity development experience, and can be implemented by simply calling a few lines of code. Metaverse world.

Going back to the discussion of the content of the Metaverse, technology is the bottom-level structure of the Metaverse. The current technological progress limits the imagination of the product to a certain extent, but it is not a prevarication of the “three-day freshness period”. At least under the existing technical conditions, developers do not lack the feasibility of focusing on the business itself and allowing users to “play” in it.

05 Write at the end

Some practitioners in the VR industry have already felt that after entering the second quarter of 2022, the Metaverse capital boom that was almost crazy in the past has already begun to cool down. It cannot be ruled out that the optimism gradually weakens and the pessimism continues to ferment, thereby bringing the entire industry into a trough.

The pressure is actually left to all kinds of content entrepreneurs in the Metaverse. They need not only a flourishing situation of a hundred flowers, but also a product experience that users are willing to pay for. Through the scenes full of freshness, they can find the epiphany moment of the product as soon as possible, and promote the flywheel of the Metaverse. Keep turning and walk out of the “black barrier” before landing.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/the-freshness-of-the-metaverse-is-ultimately-inseparable-from-the-word-play/
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