Microsoft just bought Activision Blizzard for $68.7B; Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook as Meta. Virtual real estate in the metaverse is being bought and sold for millions.  What’s going on?

What Is the Metaverse?

According to the New York Times, the “metaverse” describes a “fully realized digital world that exists beyond the one in which we live.”  The author Neal Stephenson coined the phrase in his 1992 novel titled Snow Crash. The author Ernest Cline took the idea further in his novel titled Ready Player One.

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Tech geeks have been dreaming of a time when a virtual reality and a digital second life would come together.  Apparently, that time has come and it’s called the metaverse.

Union of Virtual Reality and Digital Reality

The convergence of virtual reality and a digital second life is here…and perhaps, just perhaps our virtual lives, our virtual lives lived as digital avatars in virtual reality, are or will soon be as important as our physical lives lived in physical realities.

Essentially, virtual reality is a computing platform that enables us to live a second life online. By using a virtual reality platform, you wear a headset that plunges you into a 3-D environment where you interact with other digital avatars and virtual objects to conduct business (such as the 3-D environment of eXp Realty), hang out with friends via their digital avatars, go to concerts, museums, etc. while using a microphone to communicate with others.

Evolution of Computing

According to Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist steeped in the topic of the metaverse, said that the metaverse represents the fourth wave of computing.  First, there was mainframe computers, then personal computing, then mobile computing and now ambient computing.

Ball describes ambient computing as “…being within the computer rather than accessing the computer.  It’s about being always online (in the metaverse) rather than always having access to an online world.”

Is that it?  You and your avatar interacting in a digital environment?  Ball said, “Yes.”

Some Social Elements of Metaverse Already Exist in Gaming Metaverse

Think games such as Fortnite or Playstation 4, soon to become Playstation 5.  Players spend hundreds of hours with a personal avatar.  They “win,” “earn,” “amass” huge sums of virtual currency by interacting with or fighting with or buying/selling virtual real estate with other people’s avatars.

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Tech geeks thank fast internet connections, powerful virtual reality headsets and lots of players/avatars of all stripes…gamers/entertainers/investors/retail/etc. in multiple platforms of virtual worlds for more possibilities/options to live animated, 3-D simulated lives in the metaverse.

Ball said, “It’s only in the last few years that a critical mass of working pieces has come together.”

Thanks to The New York Times.

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