The pandemic made us realize that face-to-face meetings were mostly unnecessary. Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom was just as good (or should I say better?) at getting the message across and getting the job done.
Then came the gamification of musical concerts with artists ranging from Ariana Grande to Lil Nas putting their vocals chords to work on Fortnite. No matter what angle you come at it from, it’s safe to say that digital media, apps, and tools are the go-to mode of communication now and will be in the future.
You would be wrong if you thought it was just a passing phase because digital communication is rapidly evolving. Before you know it, the Metaverse will disrupt and transform communication as we know it.
Whether it’s a shareholder meeting, marketing campaign, or a call to your mom on Mother’s Day, the Metaverse will play a key role in how messages are delivered.
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is the next natural step of the internet (r)evolution that started decades ago. It’s essentially a broad representation of the next phase of the web (or web3), where user experiences are more immersive, interconnected, and integrated into physical and digital spaces where people spend time.
If you’re surprised that I used the word “physical,” let me explain. Although the Metaverse will be predominantly driven by virtual reality (VR), there is also a lot of room for augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and extended reality (XR) technologies.
Like smartphones helped break some of the barriers between us and the web, the Metaverse will further remove obstacles and blur the lines between realities. We already shop online, hang out on social media platforms, play multiplayer video games, and meet on Zoom. Now, these experiences will be three-dimensional (3D) and more immersive.
In fact, video games are already at the forefront of the web3 and the Metaverse. Both Fortnite and Roblox are building their own worlds, and soon, there will be a tsunami of others.
The seven rules of the Metaverse
According to entrepreneur, investor, author, composer, and metaverse veteran Tony Parisi, there are seven rules that govern the Metaverse. These rules of the Metaverse are comprehensive and perfectly align with our web3 values.
1. There is only one Metaverse
As all the different publicly accessible virtual worlds will be connected to an open global network, there will only be one Metaverse. As such, the Metaverse won’t be controlled by anyone while remaining accessible to all.
The plural form of the word “metaverse” is meaningless because it’s already all-encompassing and connected. Although there will be a multiverse, it will all coexist within one Metaverse. Just like we only have one internet, we will have only one Metaverse in the future.
2. The Metaverse is for everyone
Being accessible to all by design means the Metaverse is for everyone. It’s an ethnographic statement with political and socioeconomic implications.
In this scenario, Parisi believes that not every use case demands a presence or embodiment. In a way, you can say that we will experience some web content in 3D. It’s a collection of all media types incorporated into presentation style architecture that services different use cases and people.
As the Metaverse will enable a wide range of use cases, it must also accommodate the motivation of consumers and creators across industries and society.
3. Nobody controls the Metaverse
No one owns the Metaverse, so how can anyone control it? Even if some name their companies after it, our collective and common interest will govern the Metaverse at the end of the day. This approach will ensure that we do everything for the greater good of the majority.
Parisi believes that any attempts made by corporate elites to control the Metaverse will be doomed to fail. We can attribute this to user demand for the broadest range of options (and value).
Any company striving to control the Metaverse will only have a monopolistic influence over a tiny vertical slice. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and other blockchain-based infrastructure will drive creative economies in web3. This method will help ensure true democracy for the entirety of the Metaverse.
Content creators will continue to drive metaverse experiences while NFTs will be the vehicle of distribution. Any attempts made by government entities to control the Metaverse are beyond the scope of these rules.
4. The Metaverse is open
We are already building the Metaverse using interoperable tools and technologies on mostly agreed-upon free and open communications standards. All necessary measures are already in place, defining media formats, wire protocols for data transfer, and agreed-upon interaction and presentation rules. This is enough to get started.
This approach will help the metaverse scale. However, our standards today are probably insufficient in the long term. So, we should use current standards as a starting point and start building.
5. The Metaverse is hardware-independent
The Metaverse is inherently hardware-independent and accessible across devices regardless of display type or form factor. So, you have to present this content in a manner that accommodates the broadest range of hardware and devices
Although metaverse content will be in 3D, the display doesn’t have to be. You can have a two-dimensional version for flat screen mobile devices and monitors. Companies that choose to focus on a specific set of form factors will limit growth.
6. The Metaverse is a network
No matter how different brands might try to frame it, the Metaverse is a computer network connecting everyone to publicly accessible virtual experiences in real-time. It’s not a single software. It’s a collection of multiple programs exchanging data through network protocols.
Like the internet isn’t restrained to a particular game, social media platform, or destination, the Metaverse won’t be a single access point.
7. The Metaverse is the internet
The Metaverse is the next incarnation of the web. It’s essentially an upgraded version of the internet that’s designed to deliver highly immersive 3D content.
The internet has already laid the foundation and built the global communication infrastructure. Not much will change from a technical perspective, and we will just adapt the Metaverse to operate within this infrastructure. However, this doesn’t mean that the internet is the Metaverse (at least, not yet).
8. The Metaverse is a space for communication
Parisi alluded to but didn’t highlight the eighth rule — the Metaverse will be the go-to platform for communication. Like the iPhone made FaceTime and Skype made video conferencing the norm, the Metaverse will take this mode of communication to the next level.
Think of it this way, instead of changing backgrounds in a Zoom meeting, we can have our next meeting on a remote (virtual) beach on the French Polynesian island of Nuku Hiva. Or it could be a brainstorming session with up to 20 people where we are all avatars on an alien planet (or if you want to keep it simple, a conference room).
Or, if you want a personal assistant who mimics real-world support, you can turn smart assistants like Siri into avatars who can join meetings, take notes, and much more.
No matter where you want to engage and get your message across, the possibilities are endless. All authenticated users can join these spaces from any device. This will probably usher the end of an era as old-school chat platforms like Messenger won’t be able to compete in web3.
Using cutting-edge platforms like 8XR, users can also create their own immersive experiences across the Metaverse. We can quickly build these spaces and experiences using a web browser without writing a single line of code.
A web-based XR graphic engine enables this no-code approach to create metaverse experiences. So, you won’t have to depend on some conglomerate to create these immersive scenes or avatars for the cost of your personal data or even money.
Multiplayer tools also allow users to create their own unique three-dimensional digital spaces where users can engage each other in a highly immersive environment. With ML-powered emotional scanning, VR-device hand tracking, and sharing, users can interact and communicate on multiple levels.
So, it’s not the same as presenting to your team in front of static wallpaper. It’s not even like blurring the background or sharing your screen on a Zoom call. These interactions activate several senses and emotions, making each engagement more memorable. You can design any environment for any occasion and invite others to attend. You are always in complete control of your virtual environments.
By just connecting a Metamask or Phantom wallet, we can all become creators and great communicators in the Metaverse.
The Metaverse we’re actively imagining today might not look like what we will get in a few years. Although we’re confident it’s a game-changer, we’re not sure how it will end up.
The idea of the Metaverse today is comparable to the early days of the consumer Internet or even smartphones. The possibilities are enticing, and decentralized architecture will ensure that we decide how it evolves. But one thing is for sure; these eight rules will dictate the future of web3 and the internet.