When Facebook rebranded and introduced the metaverse, a door was opened to so many discussions and to a whole new world, literally. Cryptocurrencies and NFTs were already a big deal, but the metaverse suddenly shed light on the virtual realities around us and gave us an idea of what it can become. But really, what is the metaverse? How does it work? What has it got to do with the Middle East? Here are the answers to all your questions.
What is the metaverse?
“Meta” is a Greek prefix that means “beyond”, and “verse” comes from “universe”, so the word “metaverse” means “beyond the universe”. That is a neat and creative way to describe cyberspace, which is what it is. It’s a digital place that changes how we interact with technology. Hence, it’s not a piece of technology or a virtual reality (VR) headset. It’s where you can go when you put on a VR headset —an online digital space that can take you anywhere.
The immersive digital space includes VR and holographic simulations that would allow users to enter a new world, where they can communicate and much more. It’s a three-dimensional space where you will have your own digital representation, maybe call it an avatar. While digital spaces have existed for a while now, the metaverse will take it to a whole new level.
How does it work?
It’s going to be about more than virtually purchasing sheep for your Family Farm Seaside or a new Fortnite skin. The virtual reality of Fortnite or Family Farm Seaside is just on its own platform. The metaverse is bigger than this, connecting more than one platform. Meaning, in the metaverse, using your virtual persona, you can buy a car and move it around from one platform to the other.
People can attend events in this cyberspace: a family gathering, a business meeting, or even a concert. They can shop online using digital currencies to buy items for their digital characters. Forget about playing online games, through metaverse you can attend workshops, study and socialize!
The company, Meta, stated that it could take around 10 years for the metaverse to become a mainstream actuality. A reality that’s supposedly going to be the future of human interaction and business. It’s meant to be an essential part of the economy, where people can create, buy and sell. Actually, people would be able to invest and make money, much like how cryptocurrencies and NFTs work.
Many huge companies are already making plans for this new universe. Microsoft wants to allow avatars to share Powerpoint presentations and Excel files in the app, Teams. The biggest gaming company, the mother of PUBG, Tencent is working on a new game that solely focuses on the metaverse.
What the metaverse means for the Middle East:
The Middle East is definitely partaking in the metaverse. There are many companies and Arabs that are opening virtual gateways to the Middle East. Many companies and organizations have launched their NFT collections, such as Fine Hygienics and the Commercial Bank of Dubai. Then there’s the Arab Punkz collection, which many Arabs are buying from. Additionally, there’s a new restaurant in Dubai called, MetaTerrance that’s all about virtual reality. Even Hajj and Umrah were taken into the metaverse. The metaverse will change the world, including the Middle East.
For a very detailed explanation — an hour, 17 minutes and 27 seconds explanation, check out below the video from the company Meta itself.