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What are the principles of a Web3 metaverse?

What are the principles of a Web3 metaverse?

Just as Moore’s Law predicted the technological evolution that improved how computers work and are connected, we’ve seen the parallel evolution of how humans do the same. Technological advances have allowed us to synchronously connect with a more extensive and diverse group of people, breaking down the barriers of geography, demographic similarity, and differences in our cultural systems. 

If we believe that, then we are just beginning our journey. The Metaverse that many seem to think is just around the corner is the Spielbergian Ready Version Player One. A fully immersive, almost photorealistic fantasy world where you can be a superhero player, endless access information, feel real-time haptic feedback and benefit from fully functioning economies. While there are hints of this in recent projects, we still don’t have the capacity, real-time processing power, or home hardware to make this vision a reality. The current streamlined infrastructure allows for low to medium-resolution connected games. Dynamic, pre-made animations, primarily messaging and little awareness of geographic location.

The current state of the Metaverse

There is tremendous experimentation in the Metaverse space today, with various approaches. But again, we need to resist the hype that founders, venture capitalists, brands and others are backing and be realistic about what’s possible today while keeping an eye on what will be tomorrow. Anyone who has spent any time in CyberTown or SecondLife knows that what a virtual world can be doesn’t always match the reality it is.  But if we believe the stats (some predict the Metaverse’s market cap will be close to $1 trillion by 2030) and the premise that the Metaverse is the next wave of technological innovation, then the Web2 brands and the Creators of Web3 be prepared. Get in and start strategising.  

Prepare to act and have a flexible approach for the future.

Forward-thinking brands are learning, experimenting, strategising and tackling multiple use cases, from creating owned and operated worlds to connecting with future community-owned micro verses. While many brands work hard to learn and test, others launch projects to grab attention and appear “innovative.” However, the Metaverse is not necessarily a fad. Build not for a press release but for a seismic shift from 3 to 30 years in Human connection.

Stop focusing on selling and start focusing on feeling.

The brands currently being built on Roblox are primarily creating gamified trading experiences. We shape the buying behaviour of people from all angles and a younger demographic. Is that the best we can do with an immersive data graphics-rich experience? “Just as Apple Stores feel like life-enhancing occasions associated with Best Buy’s transactional approach to product presentation, emotional, experiential design thinking will drive brand success over the long term. Community, empathy and connectivity will move the Metaverse more than commerce.

Let’s not forget that the world’s most successful modern technology brands were created to make connecting easier. From Facebook to TikTok, at the heart of these brands are chat, comments, self-expression, and community (speckled with rage and fury). The Metaverse provides access to supportive communities in different subgroups based on passion and, most importantly, empathy. If we see the Metaverse as immersive social networks rather than games, we can design experiences with more kinship in mind.

There are endless stories of people living in small towns or countries where their sexual orientation, taste in music, style of fashion, neurodivergence, and other characteristics cause them to be harassed, shunned, or made worse. But entering virtual spaces has opened connections between people as minded people who not only support but celebrate each other’s diversity. It’s a tool for people to find their people. It can be challenging for brands and businesses to fit in naturally here, but those who authentically use it can genuinely see a loyal community.

Digital identity is fluid and ever-changing.

Instagram and TikTok reward similarity. From the angry chef criticising recipe videos to dozens of teenagers making viral dance videos, neither the algorithms nor the fans like it when creators change their style or tendencies. But identity in the Metaverse is designed around a certain fluidity, the ability to easily connect a wallet and switch from one avatar to another. With many active wallets containing dozens of non-fungible tokens, and Metaverse projects actively working with PFP collections to import into playable characters worldwide, we must prepare for a future where we change how we present ourselves in the Metaverse. As often as possible, we change moods. 

Contextual mixed reality metaverses may outpace purely digital metaverses.

The digital twin market is expected to grow from $6.9 billion in 2022 to $73.5 billion in 2027. Just as Google and Apple have mapped the roads and topography of the world, many companies, large and small, use lidar and others to capture and compile 3D information about the world around us. This can become the next incredible creative landscape: the overlay of art, data, social connection, search and commerce applied as an information—layer in the real world using mixed reality hardware and software. The biggest bang in the Metaverse, especially in non-gaming pursuits, may lie in real-world location data that shows us everything from available tables at local restaurants to artist skins on the bridges, buildings, and skylines we see.  

In short, there is tremendous hype about the Metaverse: what it is today and what it can become. There could soon be a seismic shift in how people spend their time in digitally-enhanced worlds that could enable an entirely new paradigm of limitless connection. Looking ahead, rather than rushing into today’s hype cycle, a long-term Metaverse approach will pay off in the end.

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