Metaverse = Meta + Universe
It is a combination of “meta” and “universe”, meaning “virtual world”.
Metaverse is a place where countless people and countless contents gather in a transcendent virtual space, and you can live a life as good as the real world in it.
It is an expanded concept than existing virtual reality, and the boundary between the virtual world and the real world is broken down.
Academically, the Acceleration Studies Foundation (ASF), which many researchers refer to in relation to Metaverse, defined Metaverse as a “physically enhanced fusion of physical reality and physically sustained virtual space.”
In addition, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers viewed Metaverse as an “advanced Internet of persistent three-dimensional virtual spaces connected to a perceived virtual world”.
The first person to use the concept of Metaverse is known as Neal Stephenson, an American science fiction novelist. He first used the concept of Metaverse in his 1992 novel Snow Crash.
The novel features a fictional character named Avatar in the main setting of the fictional world of Metaverse.
He entered a virtual world where computers created and continued to supply his goggles and earphones. In computer terms, it was a world called Metaverse…(omit)…They built buildings, made parks, and built billboards. Not only that, but it has also created things that are impossible in reality.Snow Crash : Neal Stephenson
Metaverse in the movie.
Metaverse can also be found in movies. In particular, Steven Spielberg’s film “Ready Player One” is highly regarded for its good implementation of Metaverse.
Steven Spielberg’s 2018 film “Ready Player One” is based on a novel of the same name written by Ernest Christy Klein and set in the future of 2045 dominated by a virtual reality game called Oasis.
From the 1980s to the present, many characters were gathered in a space called Oasis, encompassing all pop culture contents. Oasis, a virtual world in the movie, is said to have visually expressed the concept of Metaverse as a space where avatars can be made from various games and movie characters.
In an oasis, each avatar moves in the same way as the individual’s free will, rather than as a character in a regular game. Even though it is virtual reality, it is a space that is similar to real reality, where various jobs exist, a company creates a large enough force to exert great influence on the virtual world, and each has its own secret space, and in it, it buys and produces its own materials.
Of course, you can exchange and trade various items in the Oasis space.
The characters in the film perceive Oasis as another reality, not just a space for games, and share their experiences in both reality and the digital world. Although it is sometimes ridiculous for the characters in the movie to wear AR devices, the film is considered one of the best expressions of Metaverse.
Why are you interested in Metaverse?
The biggest reason for interest in Metaverse is that it will become a virtual world that connects and fuses with the real world.
And Metaverse is also a new version of the Internet that we’ve experienced. It is a different dimension from the Internet so far, a virtual space with continuity without being disconnected from reality.
It can complement reality, make it convenient, and try things that cannot be achieved in the real world, as well as have social, economic and political connections to the real world.
Since the introduction of the concept of a fully interconnected worldwide network in 1982, the Internet has had a huge impact on our lives since the mid-1990s.
The Internet has changed our way of life in a wide variety of areas, ranging from e-mail and messengers, Internet calls and video calls, blogs, and online shopping.
Then, the spread of smartphones, which emerged with 4G services in 2007, once again caused a wave of change. In the process, companies such as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Facebook accounted for the top market capitalization group.
Metaverse is expected to make a difference once again in the world after the advent of smartphones.
Although the concept of Metaverse is not new, technological advances in hardware and software and content that has increased user satisfaction have been highlighted as the connection between the real world and the virtual world is strengthened. If Metaverse in the past was the second concept to fill the shortcomings of the real world, it is now established as the “first” concept that fuses with reality and interacts with it, which is equivalent to reality.
Metaverse in the past
One of the contents that played an important role in Metabus’ attention was “Second Life,” released by Linden Lab in 2003.
Second Life provided an experience of living a “second life” by interacting with others through avatars in a virtual space called the Internet.
Users enjoy parties, drive cars, etc. in a virtual world. It was an early sandbox-type service that preceded Roblox and Minecraft, which have recently become popular, and it was the prototype of Metaverse business models.
Metabuses in the present
Roblox is said to have joined 60% of Generation Z in the U.S.
In the U.S., parents with young children are so popular that they worry that their children may fall into a virtual world and neglect their studies.
Roblox is a platform for communicating with other participants in the virtual world, making friends and creating communities while directly manipulating characters that may appear in Lego.
You can raise pets with other users or do various hobbies together. You can also experience superheroes like Superman. Users can purchase items through a virtual currency called Robux.
Roblox grew rapidly as children in the U.S., who were unable to go to school due to Covid-19, were spotlighted as a channel where they could connect with their friends, and as Covid-19 increased their use of games. There are now more than 1.6 billion users. Several games have also been released within Roblox.
More than 10 million users are active every month, and more than 5,000 games have been played more than 100 times. Roblox is designed to allow users to create their own games and play them by using its own game engine, Roblox Studio.
In this situation, the job of a creator who creates and sells content within Roblox is also emerging. Creators can create content and sell it to Roblox. Roblox reportedly paid more than $200 million to creators last year alone.
Fortnite is a third-person shooter video game released by Epic Games in 2018.
The genre is Battle Royale, which is enjoyed with 100 players. In 2020, the number of users worldwide exceeded 3.5 billion and American celebrities and sports players who are enthusiastic fans of Fortnite games are enjoying popularity to the extent that they follow important moves in the game on air or on the field.
In April 2020, famous American rapper Travis Scott held a concert at Fortnite Virtual Space. It attracted 12.3 million people and earned 21.6 billion won on the same day.
It is considered one of Metaverse’s most successful examples of creating economic added value beyond physical time and space. As such, a concert is held in Fortnite’s virtual space, Party Royal, and trailers of new movies are screened. BTS also unveiled the choreography of their new song Dynamite for the first time here last year. It also sells character products such as Nike and Marvel.
Minecraft is mentioned as a representative example of Metaverse as Roblox and Fortnite. Mojang Studios, which developed Minecraft, was acquired by Microsoft for about 3 trillion won in September 2014.
Minecraft is a game where you build your own world by building up square blocks like Lego. As a kind of sandbox game, you can think of it as a form in which children can play with it by putting sand in a large box made of wood. With a high degree of freedom, avatar in the game is given the ability to create a new environment on their own in addition to free action.
By giving them the maximum freedom to do whatever they want in the game, game users can freely change the environment in the game. They build buildings and create a city. Users can also be said to be true creators of the world.
Naver is a platform company that has more than 35 million MAU (Monthly Active Users) and has unique competitiveness in advertising, commerce, content and fintech.
Based on the advantages of having a large number of users and many other people using Naver’s services, Naver believes that it can lead the related market in the Metaverse era in the future. Naver has already succeeded in Metaverse, called life-logging, through services such as Naver CAFE and BAND, and operates services such as ZEPETO, SNOW, and V Live.
In addition, Naver Maps containing real-time local information, IDC and Cloud, which can handle big data, will also be highlighted on Metaverse. For example, ITZY, a girl group affiliated with JYP Ent, not only filmed a music video for “Not Shy” using Geppetto, but also held a fan meeting.
YG Entertainment girl group BLACKPINK also held a fan meeting using ZEPETO. With face-to-face events impossible due to Covid-19, fan meetings using ZEPETO have become part of fan service, and it is meaningful that it can be a means of fan service that transcends physical limitations even at the end of Covid-19. In the case of online concerts, rather than through avatars, the actual artist’s performance video is being streamed, but effects that are difficult to implement in reality are replaced by AR/VR.
Metaverse, which seemed to be in a science fiction movie, and was thought to be possible in the distant future, is creeping into our lives. Even if you don’t have a device like a VR headset, you can spend time online through your avatar and social life.
It is clear that it is an attractive market in that it is highly popular in Generation Z, which will be the mainstay of the future, and it is possible for various companies to enter and expand the market by combining Metaverse.
Metaverse related companies are moving.
The Metaverse market is growing rapidly, such as the development of new technologies such as AR, VR, and 5G. Not only Roblox, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, but also Mesh, a mixed reality platform introduced by Microsoft, NVDIA Omniverse, a 3D collaboration platform released by NVDIA, and NAVERZ, which has more than 100 million users by releasing ZEPETO service in 2018.
The market has been formed mainly by game companies, but now leading global companies are newly entering the market as it is highlighted that it can expand to other industries, marketing aimed at Generation Z, future potential customers, and scalability.
Recently, fashion companies are releasing clothes and accessories for avatars.