“Hell of simulation, which is no longer one of torture, but of subtle, maleficent, elusive twisting of meaning…”
― Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation
What is reality exactly? Have you ever had this feeling that you are on a setup and watching yourself from outside? Not like the Truman Show way, but being equivocal about the truism of surroundings. What makes us think this is the real world? All these questions have been asked for thousands of years, from Ancient Greek to existentialist philosophy in the late 19th century. Just like the song..” Is this real life? Is this just fantasy?”
Considering the answers of intellectuals over centuries, we humans make things real, although the concept of reality is a poised one. Therefore, the limitation of reality is in our minds. If we all believe that our national flags symbolize our countries, here it is! Do you believe that the Coca-Cola company is real? It is just a name on formal papers. It is real because its existence is accepted by billions worldwide.
On the obtuse aspect, the edification of the corporations to the status of a person is one of the most widely accepted legal fictions, just like national flags, Pfizer, money, religions, countries, nationalities, and marriage. None of them can exist without you and me. These are simple products of our collective imagination. So they are not real? Or maybe it’s already time to release ourselves from our preferential perceptions and twinges of existential crisis to step forward to another perspective welcoming us! An environment beyond our most bizarre dreams also stands as a getaway from everything we are limited to. Welcome to Metaverse then!
What is Metaverse?
Have you ever played Second Life? An exquisite multimedia platform enabling users to create an avatar they like and have a second life in an online virtual world. When Linden Lab released it in 2003, it drew massive attention, and everyone rushed to animate their very own characters. These were the first steps of Metaverse. Actually, the name has its origins from a science fiction novel Snow Crash from the ’90s as a portmanteau of “meta” and “universe.” In this extraordinary book, humans are programmable avatars interacting with software agents and each other in a 3D virtual space as a metaphor for the real world. Sounds familiar?
To be honest, although we do not have avatars, we already live in a virtual world through Instagram and Facebook. When we slide the screen, we have the opportunity to enter direct conversations with our friends who are not physically present there. Is it real us? Well, this is also discussable. When Mark Zuckerberg released Facebook Metaverse in 2020, he claimed that users will express themselves more openly and experience the world with ever more incredible richness. These immersive ways of interacting are supposed to connect us deeply and make us feel more present. Metaverse meaning evolves into a utopia where people have the natural feeling of” being” in virtual reality—something beyond our most bizarre dreams.
Is there just one Metaverse?
There is no one and the only metaverse. Companies like Meta, Microsoft, Unity, Epic Games, Roblox aim to create their own, whereas many mothers are pouring tremendous money on the projects to develop their reality-like versions. Maybe they will unite somehow with each other, or we will prefer some of them rather than others. This creates a tremendous sector competing to visualize the most lifelike virtual reality in both cases. Moreover, as you hear a lot nowadays, investing in Metaverse is in the limelight. People do not want to miss out on upcoming opportunities. None of us wants to. However, since our angle of sight is a bit blurry, there is a chaotic noise out there. Tens of companies have volunteered to sell you a piece of land in Metaverse, yet we have no idea which metaverse will be highly popular. Yet, there are other ways to these environments which promise us an intense experience in a parallel reality, there will be a plethora of opportunities to profit.
Can you invest in Metaverse?
The concept is presented as another world where people will have houses, buy items and pay for concert tickets. Therefore, how to invest in Metaverse is up to your imagination. Would you like to open a shop selling virtual clothes for avatars? Do you want to own a cafe in which people can listen to your style of music? What about being an estate agency to sell lands? The sky’s limit. If you have watched Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta video in which he explains what kind of future is trying to be staged in Metaverse, you can have an understandable opinion of what is waiting for us.
Since the aim is to create a reality, it is not only about music and buying lands as an investment. There will be universities, courses, business meetings, and international agreements in a more obtuse aspect. You can learn Japanese in a class momentarily when Sakura tree blossoms fall on your notebook, or you can be a guest in a lecture about astronomy at the University of Cambridge. Thus, investing in these points can be wiser for those who want to avoid volatile prices in lands in multiple metaverses. Creating a program selling event tickets for the particular metaverse can be a more sustainable job rather than popular investment ways nowadays. Other than this, technology may be applied to many platforms instead of limited by one.
All in all, Metaverse is a new approach to socialization, digitalization, and, more significantly, the view of reality. Will it be a medium to an upgraded interaction among us, or will it turn to a tornado casting out from where we are now? Nobody knows. Although it promises sunshine and pink roses, we all know how we messed up even this limited one on our moody hands. The Internet is already full of bullying, the loss of reality, the corruption of family bonds, unwanted crimes, and a meeting point for dangerous minds. Considering Metaverse will be more intense than now, how can we protect ourselves from the side effects? Will we have higher authorities regulating our actions? Are lawyers professionalized on Metaverse?
Metaverse is coming! This is unavoidable. Even some futurists believe that this is an unskippable part of our human evolution. But are human beings ready for this massive step of virtual reality? Are we prepared to exist in two worlds at the same time? How about you? Are you ready?