Under the repeated epidemics in the past three years, people’s demand for online life and the frequency of participation have reached a peak. It is against this background that the Metaverse quickly became popular. Domestic and foreign Internet giants such as Facebook (now known as “Meta”), Microsoft, Tencent, and ByteDance have entered the market.
Metaverse relies on VR, AR, AI and other technologies to create an immersive virtual space. During the epidemic, a game company in South Korea moved its headquarters to the Metaverse, where some employees already work.
A luxury home for sale on the emerging Metaverse platform Keys. There are mansions under construction in the United States and the United Kingdom that will be sold in the Metaverse and in reality at the same time, which means that there may be two owners.
In early 2022, the “China Metaverse White Paper” compiled by more than 130 academicians and scholars was released, stating: In the next 30 years, the Metaverse will be China’s pillar industry, and at least 1.2 billion people can become the end users of the Metaverse. Behind the explosive development, there are many voices of doubt: “Isn’t this just an online game? What’s new?” “Isn’t it bad to live in the real world?”
The Metaverse concert held by the Swedish group in 2020 will interact with the audience in real time with the help of AR/VR/XR
Virtual fashion blogger “Kira Qiya”
Since February, I have chatted with the first-generation in-depth users of the 80s to 00s about their experiences: falling in love in the Metaverse, dancing, going to work, buying a house… and interviewed Pei, an in-depth researcher and observer of the Internet industry. Pei, trying to understand what the current Metaverse really looks like, if and how it will connect to the lives of each of us in the future.
Metaverse, a future way of life?
The blogger scanned his home into VRChat and invited friends in the virtual world to visit (Source: Believer shinja)
The social interaction of young people has come to the critical point of virtual and reality
On the evening of December 31, 2020, Rubi, a post-00s Hong Kong girl, tossed and turned in her isolated hotel room, unable to sleep. “Why don’t you check out the Metaverse, New Year’s Eve is too boring to be alone,” she thought.
Putting on the VR glasses and logging on to the Metaverse platform VRChat, she was surprised to find that a group of friends gathered in the Japanese-style courtyard they love to go to on weekdays, forming a circle under the cherry blossom trees to chat happily.
Say hello to new friends in the Metaverse
There are a total of 9 people in the small group, including Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, office workers, and student parties. It is a combination that is almost impossible to exist in the real world. But here, since the epidemic, they have met almost every day, chatting, singing karaoke, playing cards, watching movies, and they have been together for a few hours.
Everyone chatted about the trivial things in life and set off fireworks, because the jet lag has crossed three years. Saying goodbye to friends, Rubi faces an empty room filled with “real happiness”.
According to official data from VRChat, more than 40,000 people were online for New Year’s Eve at the same time. At around 0:00 in the Eastern Standard Time zone, where the most users are, the server was once paralyzed due to the large number of people.
Under the epidemic, the social function of the Metaverse has become mainstream. Microsoft’s Altspace, Meta’s Horizon Worlds, etc. are all similar Metaverse social platforms (the picture shows the event site of different platforms, the audience entered the venue through VR equipment, and the atmosphere was hot)
On this pandemic-hit platform, you can explore hundreds of thousands of virtual worlds or create new spaces with millions of people from all over the world. Almost all users are post-90s and post-00s, and most of them have very realistic and strong social needs, rather than holding a “playing game” mentality.
In the Metaverse, they experience a great sense of immersion. With the help of extended reality technology, everything from the splash of raindrops, to the instantaneous change of hearing when you bury your head in the water, to the user’s movements and even expressions restored by sensors, everything feels immersive. This is before. The web experience cannot be achieved.
In fact, the objects of Metaverse social interaction have also become close friends and even lovers in reality.
In an interview with Yiyi, Haru told us that she and her German boyfriend of the same age met on VRChat at the end of 2019 and have been in a stable relationship for more than 2 years.
At this stage, there are many VR devices that can achieve full-body tracking, which greatly enhances the realism and intimacy of social interaction in the Metaverse (Source: Tata’s VR Classroom)
The amazing date Haru and her boyfriend experience in the Metaverse
“How can people be attracted to another person without any real physical contact and without seeing each other’s appearance? To be honest, I found it difficult to understand before I tried it. It’s amazing.”
Once, they took a train in VRChat to see the sea view. The sunset light filled the carriage, and it was as beautiful as a fairyland. “I turned my head to look at him and found that he was also looking at me. At that time, I was really confused.”
This year, Haru chose to go to the UK for postgraduate studies so that he could meet his boyfriend, while his boyfriend who majored in Chinese in college plans to come to China to exchange, experience his girlfriend’s city, and then discuss where he wants to live together in the future.
A couple met on VRChat is going on a virtual and reality double date
Both Rubi and Haru say they spend a lot less time in the Metaverse as their offline life gradually resumes. “At present, the Metaverse mainly relies on VR, but the current VR technology is far from being able to fully reproduce or conquer reality.” However, that world still attracts them to visit often.
On Weibo, station b, YouTube and other platforms, more and more post-90s and post-00s are sharing their daily life in the Metaverse, and they have gained a lot of attention. In major cities, VR experience halls are gradually becoming a new choice for young people’s entertainment.
In the movie “Ready Player One”, the hero and heroine met and fell in love in the virtual world
“For the younger generation who grew up in the digital world, online social networking, entertainment, etc., were actually an indispensable part of life before the epidemic. But in recent years, the Internet experience has not been significantly upgraded. And changes come and go, such as WeChat, Weibo, and streaming media. And the Metaverse, it brings a lot of surprises,” said Raymond, a post-95 Chongqing native, who has been paying attention to and deeply experienced this area since 2016.
Beijing, Osaka, Moscow users re-engraved their own cities in VRChat
What attracts him most about the Metaverse is that it can achieve many “things that are difficult to do in reality, or even unimaginable.”
Anyone can create their own world in it and participate in a variety of shapes according to their preferences and needs.
Some worlds are re-enactments and extreme transformations of the creator’s own living environment, while others are astonishingly magical.
During the visit, everyone naturally began to chat, explore and play together. “This kind of networking is very impressive because it has a lot of memories and is very interesting.”
Bloggers experience a day of living in the Metaverse wearing VR glasses: After walking the dog, “teleport” to the beach to watch the beautiful sunset
Metaverse world like a sci-fi movie
Raymond has at least 80 or 90 friends in the Metaverse, of which the best relationship is a 15-year-old Canadian boy Sean, and the two can chat for 4 or 5 hours a day when they are frequent.
Socializing in the Metaverse, avatars erase a lot of ingrained, preconceived notions.
“These concepts are not necessarily wrong, but it must make us know fewer and fewer types of people, and see the world narrower. When you are old, what country, what you look like, and what you do The standard of education, the level of education, is no longer important, it is very meaningful in itself, and it opens up a lot of possibilities.”
There are already some devices on the market that can realize tactile and other sensory experiences, but they are very expensive and difficult to popularize at home (the picture shows the gloves being developed by meta, which is rumored to be available in the second half of the year)
In Raymond’s view, there are still many problems in the Metaverse. For example, the VR headset is too heavy to wear for a long time; it cannot support more physical sensory experiences at present, and the immersion is not extreme enough; the inherent information leakage in the network environment and Harassment is elevated to a new, harder-to-control level in an immersive environment…
“I think it will take at least another three or four generations to solve the current problem well. This day may not come soon, but I believe and look forward to it.”
In addition to social interaction, more complex groups and needs
The current Metaverse users are by no means limited to young people seeking to socialize. The participation of more and more people also means more and more complex needs and expectations.
“For ‘older people’ like us who are married and have children, the idea of making friends through this is almost nonexistent.”
Big MacEle, the second-born father of the post-80s generation in Sichuan, said that he first entered the Metaverse because of Amway from the neighborhood father group.
“Because of work and family, we actually have very few opportunities for ourselves to relax, or to hang out with friends. In this regard, what the Metaverse can provide is very attractive to me.”
Talk show (top) and blind date conference (bottom) attended by BigMacEle (big generator) in Altspace
Usually, he enters the Metaverse late at night, after work is done and the family is asleep: a few dads find an empty room, watch a movie while chatting, or sing karaoke, dance a disco, watch a concert , talk show or magic…
“It’s so convenient and cool for us to be able to participate immersively while sitting at home in our pajamas!”
American rapper Travis Scott’s concert in the Metaverse, the audience entered the venue as a virtual image, and danced without caring about the sight of others
As he went to more and more events, he found that in the Metaverse, there were three special communities that were quite large in scale.
The first is social terrorism. “I think the society is afraid of looking at people. First, I’m shy. Second, the changes in the other party’s expressions can easily affect me. I’m afraid that I may say or do something wrong. It’s a lot more natural,” said Sujin, 17, who not only has social fears but also has deep appearance anxiety.
BigMacEle met a girl from Chengdu in the Metaverse, and often refused to leave after 3 or 4 in the morning. He was very puzzled at first, and then he realized that her social fear was very serious, and she was still single after she was in her 30s.
“She speaks very nicely, and everyone often praises her for her beautiful voice. I think she should have gained a lot of happiness and confidence here, and many people know her.”
The two very popular clubs in VRChat are always crowded with people who release their carnival after get off work. Musicians from all over the world perform here every night.
The second is the depression group. Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, have found that a highly immersive virtual environment can help alleviate the anxiety and pain of patients with depression. Many professional medical institutions abroad are also trying to use VR for new treatments and research.
In the Metaverse, people often sing loudly in public squares, laughing while singing. There are also many people who do nothing and just listen to the ambient sound quietly. “It’s probably all their way of pouring out those emotions that they have nowhere to express in real life.”
Geffeory’s meditation class is set in a temple
The last group is the disabled, Geffeory, BigMacEle’s meditation teacher in the Metaverse. Geffeory was a middle school history teacher before losing his ability to move and his job as a result of illness and physical atrophy.
He said that the happiest thing about his class is that he can help those suffering from chronic diseases to obtain a certain amount of spiritual release and adjustment.
“Their reality may be confined to a small room, or even a bed, and here, life has another beginning, a new opportunity to achieve all the things that have not been done, go to school, work, travel , dating, to rediscover the joy and meaning of life.”
“This makes me look at the meaning of the Metaverse from a new dimension. In addition to entertainment, maybe each of us can find some new life possibilities that we expect,” BigMacEle thought.
Office scene in Horizon Workrooms
Bloggers work remotely through Metaverse during the epidemic
For example, in the context of the epidemic, the potential of Metaverse in commercial office has been attracting attention.Like Altspace, users are mostly business people, and professional international seminars are often held on it. “The experience of that scene is quite shocking. It is completely different from the virtual meeting on platforms such as zoom. The sense of interaction, focus and interest is much higher,” BigMacEle sighed.
Last year, Meta launched Horizon Workrooms, a Metaverse conference and office space, which allows users to set the environment independently, and the camera recognizes and projects the keyboard in reality.
The headquarters built by a South Korean game company in Metaverse, some employees already work here
BigMacEle said that he knows that several small companies have moved their companies to the Metaverse, and a game company with 2,500 employees in South Korea also announced that it will realize the full Metaverse work in the second half of 2022.
“If similar operations can be implemented on a large scale and with high quality and applied to various fields such as education and medical care, our lives will undoubtedly become more convenient, low-carbon and sustainable. Of course, future development It’s not necessarily as perfect as we thought, but at least it’s a good direction.”
The debate sparked by virtual consumption
In fact, the current hottest discussion about the Metaverse is not the various immersive experiences mentioned above, but the consumption of the Metaverse, which includes virtual real estate, avatars, fashion, artworks and other categories.
Beeple’s sky-high price work “Every Day: The First 5,000 Days” has set off an NFT art craze.
The “Bored Ape” NFT avatar is not only a work of art, but also a membership card for this online club, which is regarded as a symbol of a new social identity. After Curry, Eminem, Jay-Z, Lin Junjie and other celebrities from various countries have successively purchased.
From a piece of Beeple’s NFT artwork at Christie’s that sold for a sky-high price of 450 million yuan in early 2021, to NBA star Stephen Curry’s $180,000 purchase of a “Bored Ape” NFT avatar, to a virtual real estate on The Sandbox platform It sold for 4.3 million US dollars, and then major luxury brands and trendy brands launched NFT fashion one after another, and even bought land to open stores in the Metaverse… According to the data of the well-known news platform Fast Company, the consumption of virtual goods will exceed 100 billion US dollars in 2021.
Many people sighed, “Why are virtual things so popular?” In fact, many senior players of the Metaverse don’t quite understand it.
At present, there seem to be two groups of people who use the Metaverse for various immersive experiences and those who consume the Metaverse, and the two groups have different views on the future development of the Metaverse.
On the map of The Sandbox platform where JJ Lin’s Metaverse property is located, a lot of land has been bought, many of which are large companies. Users can build various facilities on their own land and charge tourists, but according to many players, the platform is still in a very early stage of development, and it is simply impossible to achieve this.
Raymond, one of the very few people in an interview with rich experience on both sides, mainly buys virtual real estate, avatars and art collections.
“The real world is actually extremely scarce in resources. Neal Stephenso, the author who proposed the concept of the Metaverse, wrote in “Avalanche” that human beings have two choices: one is to go to space, and the other is to build one or more virtual The world. Then I think based on the existing technology and experience, the latter can be realized faster and has more room for development. So Metaverse consumption, especially buying land, is like buying an early bird ticket for me Tickets, because I really believe this is our future.”
Many respondents who purchased real estate in Metaverse have similar thoughts. “It’s like a futuristic experiment where everything is undecided, and together we can build new rules.”
In early 2022, in order to support childhood idols, Raymond purchased the NFT “Fantasy Bear” issued by Jay Chou
Virtual fashion try-on experience, full of fun
Other reasons for consumption are very simple, that is, love. Virtual consumption does seem to have a higher acceptance among Generation Z born after 95 like Raymond, which is especially evident in the fashion field. Many fashion brands that have joined the Metaverse have stated that it is to cater to the preferences and needs of Generation Z.
Rain, a post-00s virtual fashion enthusiast, said that she currently owns at least 30 virtual fashions with prices ranging from 200-2000 yuan.
On social networks, the younger generation of hipsters show off their virtual fashions. They think virtual fashion is more personal and more environmentally friendly
An important point of Metaverse consumption is that it is based on the blockchain. As long as there is a server in the entire system that can work, the entire blockchain is secure. The core feature is that data is difficult to tamper with, and it is decentralized, that is, it does not rely on additional third-party management agencies or hardware facilities.
“Now each of us actually spends a lot of time building our own image online, but it is difficult for you to prove that a virtual thing is yours. Metaverse consumption actually provides such a once-and-for-all reliable certification, you The property, identity, etc. will not disappear because of the failure of a third-party platform, which I think is very necessary.” Raymond said.
He also added, “Even if I am gone one day, I know that my traces will always remain on the chain.” According to the “2021 Chinese Wills and Testaments White Paper”, more and more post-90s and post-00s will “virtual property” “The inclusion of wills can also explain, to a certain extent, the attractiveness of Metaverse consumption to the younger generation.
For this idea, another group of people, including BigMacEle, is conservative: “Why is a virtual thing called virtual, because as long as there is no electricity and the world’s network is cut off, there will be nothing.”
In BigMacEle’s view, the essence of the disagreement is whether the Metaverse will eventually move towards a more virtualized parallel world, or whether it is more about feeding back into reality, that is, the direction of AR (augmented reality) technology.
The future vision of the Metaverse combining virtual and real (Source: Meta)
Many users of the current Metaverse immersive experience still tend to the latter: cooking at home for too long, you can cast a virtual world concert into reality and perform at the same time; running on the road is inconvenient to look at the phone, all the Your app and information can be displayed in front of you just like the advanced version of the screen; if you are sick and have no energy to go out to see a doctor, you will send yourself to the hospital for examination…
“Of course, these two directions are not necessarily completely separated and incompatible. We are like the first group of people to play Big Brother, no one can imagine what it can develop in the future, but this journey is full of surprises and expectations. of.”
A: Pei Pei
Q: What is the root cause of the sudden explosion of the Metaverse in the past two years?
A: Under the epidemic, people’s online life time has greatly increased, which must be one of the reasons . This kind of virtual social entertainment platform has a natural network effect. As long as it achieves “out of the circle”, it can form a snowball-like continuous growth and achieve realization. Although the world has gradually entered the “post-epidemic era”, it is difficult to change the user habits that have been formed .
At the same time, abroad, a group of entrepreneurs in the technology industry, represented by Zuckerberg, spared no effort to advocate topics such as the Metaverse and Web 3.0, and regard them as another super “outlet” after the popularization of the mobile Internet. In particular, Zuckerberg changed Facebook’s name to Meta, which had a huge communication effect and triggered many “followers”.
In China, Internet platforms have peaked in the past two years, and they have been affected by anti-monopoly; games and education are facing regulatory headwinds; offline consumption has been greatly affected by the epidemic; the business model of new domestic products, after several years of verification, Not good to go either. At this moment, the “Metaverse” was born, giving all investors hope : it is essentially a consumption concept that can be both online and offline; it has the color of the Internet, but it is neither a platform nor a platform. Not a game; it has high requirements for VR and AI technology, so it also has the attribute of “hard technology”.
Q: Can it be called a future social form and way of life? Is this a possibility, or an established fact? What is the specific direction of its development?
A: Recently, there is a popular American drama “Uploading the New Life”, which describes the possibility of the Metaverse becoming a way of life, although it describes the uploading of consciousness after people die to achieve “immortality”, and the Metaverse is in the People enter a virtual world autonomously while they are alive. I recommend everyone interested in the Metaverse to check it out, it paints a certain level of the new problems people face in the virtual world.
The American drama “Uploading the New Life” tells the story of people achieving “eternal life” through the Metaverse
Whether the Metaverse can become a future social form, the key lies in whether our technical level can achieve a low cost and high flexibility to simulate various human senses. The current home-level VR equipment is still 108,000 miles away, heavy, and can only simulate vision and hearing, and it is difficult to simulate the most important sense of touch and space. Offline professional VR venues can provide a more immersive experience, but the cost is too high, and they cannot be available anytime, anywhere. Therefore, many technology giants and even start-up companies propose to do “brain-computer interconnection”, but it is easier said than done, I am afraid it will take 30 to 50 years to see any results.
Zuckerberg hopes to develop the Metaverse in the direction of “remote work” , but I am skeptical about whether remote work needs advanced VR technology to be “immersive”. Today’s video conferencing + online documents + OA + remote desktop can solve most of the problems of remote office.
As for the direction of AR , its role in the Metaverse is definitely far less than that of VR. Because it is difficult to create a strong sense of immersion, and it faces more regulatory issues than VR . For a simple example, LBS + AR games like Pokemon Go are rarely approved in China because they may involve sensitive geographic information.
I personally think that when the technology matures, the development direction of the Metaverse must be entertainment , at least a virtual social platform based on entertainment. But others can also have different views.
Bloggers experience wearing VR in the Metaverse for a day
Q: From the perspective of ordinary people, why do we need the Metaverse?
A: First of all, the Metaverse can bring us a very rich and highly immersive entertainment experience, and it can even constitute “Second Life” . There is an old saying, movies can make people live three times longer, because you can see all kinds of life stories in movies; I think the Metaverse can make people live thirty times longer, because you can not only watch To different life stories, you can also play and create such stories yourself. This will far exceed the scale of traditional film and television, games, and offline entertainment industries, forming an all-encompassing emerging industry that will bring joy to the lives of hundreds of millions of people .
Secondly, with the continuous advancement of technology, the Metaverse can even give people “immortality”, as described in “The Matrix” and “Upload New Life”. Even if we cannot restore the aging of the human body, we can also keep the human spirit alive in the virtual world. To achieve immortality through “digitization” may really be the ultimate answer to the eternal problem of mankind.
Finally, the Metaverse also gives us room for all kinds of social experiments. For example, the concept of Web 3.0, which is very popular in Europe and the United States, is essentially an experiment in economics, finance, and community autonomy in a virtual world. Even if this experiment fails, its impact can be controlled within the virtual category. If the Metaverse prevails, the trial and error cost of human progress may become smaller and smaller, and the speed of social iteration will become faster and faster.
Many senior Metaverse players are looking forward to the gloves that Meta is developing
Q: What are the problems of the current Metaverse? How long are these issues expected to take to resolve?
A: The first is the VR technical problem I mentioned above. I think it may take humans decades to decades to solve the problem of sensory simulation .
The second is the regulatory issue arising from the combination of the Metaverse and virtual currency . Virtual currencies are not controlled by governments of various countries, and are prone to various problems such as taxation, money laundering, and market manipulation, which have attracted the attention of global financial regulators.
The third is because the concept of the Metaverse is so popular that it has become so muddy that everyone wants to get a piece of the pie. For example, the “Industrial Metaverse” proposed by some domestic experts, and even the “Agriculture Metaverse”, “Business Metaverse”, and “Culture and Tourism Metaverse” are nothing more than putting some old things on the shell of the Metaverse in an attempt to gain market share. Notice. Such a “pseudo-Metaverse concept” consumes a lot of social resources, and may even trigger rebellious emotions from consumers and investors, causing the Metaverse to lose its credibility .
Magical world in the Metaverse
Q: Do you think it is necessary to build an economic system with blockchain in the Metaverse? Why?
A: Of course it is necessary. The blockchain will not only be used to build the economic system, but also the identity, social and public management systems of the Metaverse.
Using the decentralization and immutability of the blockchain, the rules are written into the code, and only an absolute majority of opinions can change the rules . This technically eliminates the possibility of oligarchs covering the sky with one hand, but it may also bring about the problem of multiple political divisions and lack of unified management.
In addition, the competent authorities of various countries in the world will definitely be highly vigilant against this blockchain-based Metaverse that is not governed by any external authority. How to find the balance? This problem may take more than a generation to solve.
By the way, if someone claims to have established a “Metaverse platform”, but still uses real currency as the economic basis, or uses a private chain that lacks credibility to issue virtual currency, then this “Metaverse platform” is not worthy of the name. .
Zuckerberg at home in his Metaverse
Metaverse life promo released by Meta
Q: What is the current development of the domestic Metaverse? What can the domestic public expect in the short term?
A: From a technical point of view, the hardware, software and offline scenarios of domestic VR/AR have experienced nearly ten years of development, and it can be said that it has begun to take shape . At the hardware level, Pico, which was acquired by ByteDance, is the top three VR equipment manufacturer in the world in terms of market share; at the software level, a lot of VR video and game content is launched every year in China.
The problem is that all of the above are only part of the “VR industry chain”, at most a prelude to the Metaverse .At the end of 2021, Baidu launched the so-called “Xi soil” Metaverse platform, but because of its low technical level and single function, there are many bad reviews. Some people think that Tencent will rely on QQ to do the Metaverse, but so far it has not seen much action. Mihayou also imagined the Metaverse vision of “brain-computer interconnection”, but that was many years later. At this moment, everyone is crossing the river by feeling the stones.
After the epidemic is over, we may see offline VR become popular on a large scale , and even become one of the lifestyles comparable to movie theaters, nightclubs, and KTVs. Online, we can expect Internet giants such as Tencent, NetEase, and ByteDance to try to launch some virtual social platforms with Metaverse colors . Maybe the next version of QQ will strengthen the functions of the Metaverse? Or maybe ByteDance will invest heavily in VR games? I believe they are already doing it now, and some preliminary results may be seen this year.
“Ready Player One” and “The Matrix”, learn about the two most frequently mentioned films of the Metaverse concept
Q: How does the general public learn, understand, and experience the Metaverse? What should we pay attention to? What do you suggest?
A: I remember when I was in elementary school, “learning computer” was a luxury. The computer room of the school needed to change shoes to enter, and I spent a whole semester learning to type. Now, it couldn’t be easier.
If you’re in the internet, tech, or entertainment industry, you might really need to read some books and do some research to understand exactly how far the Metaverse industry is going. But if you don’t belong to the above industries and are just interested in the Metaverse, then reading the news and reading popular science books is enough. Assuming that the Metaverse hopes to be the “next wave” that changes humanity, it has an obligation to make it understood by millions of ordinary people, and at the same time be understood and popularized at the same time .
If the Metaverse is not understood by the majority, then it does not deserve to be a technological revolution on a par with computers and the mobile internet. It is hoped that practitioners of the Metaverse will be brave enough to undertake this mission, so that the general public can understand and fall in love with the Metaverse.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/the-magic-industry-accelerated-by-the-epidemic-they-buy-a-house-and-fall-in-love-in-the-metaverse/
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