The past and present of the Metaverse

A ghost, the ghost of the metaverse, roams the human world. For a time, everyone was arguing about the metaverse, and countless companies wanted to wear the hat of the metaverse. Some people are happy and some are worried, some people think that the metaverse is the future, some people think that it is a bubble, and some people think that it is a drug, which will corrode people’s hearts and even lead mankind to the abyss of doom.

So, what is the metaverse? This is a concept derived from science fiction, and it is also the oldest dream of mankind. We can regard the traditional real world as a real universe, and at the same time, we have another universe very early, that is the imaginary universe: literature, painting, drama, film… In the past, these two universes were Separated from each other, it is impossible for us to actually walk in while watching “A Dream of Red Mansions”. But what’s interesting is that such a scene is really described in “A Dream of Red Mansions”, and a very sci-fi crossing device is more specifically envisaged: Fengyuebaojian. In any case, the desire to transcend reality, from the real universe into the imagined universe, is real and strong. With the development of technology, the boundaries between these two universes began to be broken, and they became more and more integrated with each other. For example, a very real thing such as shopping can now be done in the virtual world, and even virtual currency can be used, and this virtual currency is obtained through virtual activities in the virtual world. It can also be said that human virtual activities are becoming more and more physical. The result of this fusion is the Metaverse.

The past and present of the Metaverse

In this sense, mankind’s journey to the metaverse began with the first scribbles that our ancestors painted in caves tens of thousands of years ago. The metaverse is another dimension of human spiritual projection, and all human art has its own metaverse attributes.

The development of digital technology has pushed the construction of the metaverse by human beings into a new stage.The computer network is a more concrete version of the metaverse. It is not only like traditional literature and art, it is our imagination and fiction, but it also has reality, and itself is increasingly affecting reality and becoming reality. Social media has a self-organizing mechanism, which can produce its own content, continuously evolve, and form an organic ecology.This is very close to the origin of the word metaverse and the scene in the science fiction novel “Avalanche”: a multi-faceted river and lake with its own operating mechanism. It is virtual, but closely related to reality. The metaverse can be understood as an enhanced version of the Internet. At present, what is in the network will be in the metaverse: connection, isolation, projection, escape, mutual assistance, confrontation, reality, illusion… All these existing elements will be strengthened with appear in the form.

We can also think of games as another form of the metaverse. Many people in the metaverse-related industries say that the metaverse is not a game. Zuckerberg also emphasized that it is social networking and office work. They want to untie the metaverse from the game, and they feel it. In fact, the metaverse and the game have the same origin, and they are two sides of the same body. Understanding the metaverse requires the perspective of the game, and vice versa. Let’s take “Avalanche” as an example. People who play games today will understand after reading this novel that the metaverse in it is a massively multiplayer online game filled with various game scenes: avatars, roles, tasks, rules, world building. etc. The cyberpunk novels represented by “Avalanche” are also prophecies of the Internet, and the later Internet is largely developed according to the scripts of these novels. Networks and games have symbiotic mechanisms and co-evolution trends, laying a physical and psychological foundation for the metaverse in terms of virtualization, interactivity, and transcendence. The people of the game are the new subjects of the metaverse.

The past and present of the Metaverse

So, how is the hyped metaverse different from “traditional” games and the web? The Metaverse can be seen as the next generation of games and web products. Those previous generation products still have many limitations, such as the screen is 2D, you are still outside that world, you can’t really walk in. The new metaverse is a dimensional ascension, and you will “walk” further into the world in various ways. And then of course it also draws on the latest technology, which is the virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality that I’ve been lonely touting for years. After years of accumulation, these technologies have begun to take shape, appearing in the consumer and commercial fields and showing their style.

Of course, it is far more than just the advancement of hardware. The core here is the breaking of boundaries and the improvement of dimensions. The metaverse is a new transcendence and fusion: information, social interaction, games, education, work, reality, virtuality… These previously divided fields are increasingly integrated with the development of technology. We become readers and writers, spectators and actors, producers and consumers, educators and educated.And these activities will have a more immersive and interactive mode, which is the game mode. People’s game nature will be newly integrated with various human activities, and work and study will become more interesting, more convenient and more creative. How exciting that sounds, and that’s why I’ve always been bullish on VR and gaming. Now, this long, slow trend seems to have suddenly intensified.

The past and present of the Metaverse

If people can complete shopping, office, planting, mining, education, medical care, social interaction, marriage and love in the virtual world, and in a more relaxed, fun and free way, what will happen to the traditional real world? Do we still need to live in reality? Do we still need to endure the various isolations, queues, congestion, and traffic jams of reality? Will people increasingly migrate to virtual worlds? Perhaps, in the not-so-distant future, we will still retain our physical and real existence, but just treat them as a shell, a basic piece of hardware, and devote more energy to building and enjoying our software , our content and applications, aka virtual worlds?

This is also where the biggest controversy about the Metaverse lies. There is a denial of the metaverse, thinking that the metaverse is too illusory: can the metaverse allow people to eat braised pork? At present, the Metaverse cannot let people eat braised pork directly, but the two are not opposites. Why can’t people build the Metaverse with braised pork in their mouths? Virtual and reality are two sides of the same body, and now the relationship is getting closer and closer. For example, the Horizon Workroom office application launched by Facebook (now renamed Meta, which is the Metaverse of Metaverse) can make people work more efficiently and happily in the Metaverse, which can create real value and exchange for fragrance. Braised pork.

The past and present of the Metaverse

There is also a fear of the metaverse that will destroy humanity. These people borrowed Liu Cixin’s critique of virtual reality, believing that the metaverse allows people to easily satisfy all kinds of desires in a virtual way, which will kill people’s will to explore. There are many misunderstandings here. Liu Cixin is of course a spaceman, who believes that the future of mankind is the sea of ​​stars, but he is not against virtual reality itself. Instead, he sees it as an essential technology for space development. Because the exploration and development of spaceflight is inseparable from IT technology, including virtual reality artificial intelligence, it can enable us to complete most of the work in space exploration without human beings taking risks. He believes that the ideal situation is that the development of human introversion and the development of extroversion occur at the same time and promote each other. In his “Golden Field”, it is the hundreds of millions of people on the earth who use virtual reality technology to get along with the astronauts on the distant wrecked spacecraft in a virtual way day and night, and establish a strong empathy that promotes the government on earth. A huge investment was made to build more powerful spacecraft to carry out rescues, thus promoting the development of the aerospace industry.

So, does the metaverse have a bright future? wait too happy. I am optimistic about this metaverse megatrend from the perspective of human nature and technological development, but the recent boom, IMHO, is mostly hype. The new metaverse vision needs the support of powerful virtual reality equipment. I own almost all of these devices, and I know their limitations: the chips don’t have enough computing power, the clarity is not enough, the field of view is too small, the image is delayed, the positioning of body movements is not precise enough, it is prone to dizziness, and the content is not enough. What’s more, current devices are too large, too heavy, and damage hairstyles when worn on the head. These are to be solved by the development of technology and the development of content. It will take at least 5 to 10 years for the metaverse to become a more mainstream reality, and it will take a lot of long work in this regard.

Humanity is undergoing a profound change. Once upon a time our lives were physical lives, our reality was our immediate reality, and our world was the world around us. With the advent of the telegraph, telephone and television, mankind began to enter the era of communication. You may think that this is just more convenient communication, but this is more than the progress of tools. Our life and the fundamentals of human beings have changed. If people are information, when more and more interpersonal information can be transmitted in an instant manner, the traditional boundaries between people will gradually be broken, and the distance will begin to disappear. Digital and the Internet have pushed the relationship between people and the world into a new century. The metaverse is the embodiment of the development of this relationship and a new growth point for the human spirit. Just like the Internet and AI, the metaverse is not a question of whether it will come, but in what form.

The Metaverse is a process where reality and virtual merge. Without virtuality, there is no imagination, there is no reconstruction of reality, and there is no development of civilization. There is no reality without the virtual. All art is a combination of virtual and reality, and is a metaverse in a sense. With the development of science and technology, art and life are moving towards a new fusion, which is a new stage of the metaverse. Of course, this will also be a long process of exploration.

The day when the Metaverse comes, the time when human beings are reborn.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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