Virtual worlds

Top 5 mistaken beliefs about virtual worlds

Metaverse Misconceptions: Are you considering going into the Metaverse with your business? First, let’s separate the reality from the hype, says Thibault Launayco-founder and CEO of Exclusive.

What is the Metaverse? Its definition can be radically different for each person. For the older generation, even a Zoom meeting could be considered “the metaverse”.

The most common answer to this question is something along the lines of a virtual reality wonderland being the next big thing. It’s the new dream that Meta/Facebook spent $10 billion to rebrand their company and conceptualize their own metaverse. But companies clearly have misconceptions about this nascent digital space, right down to its definition.

After investigating over 100 different metaverses currently on the market, I’ve narrowed it down to four concrete misconceptions newcomers need to know about the metaverse.

Like many new frontiers, the metaverse infrastructure is still under construction. The Metaverse is truly a work in progress. It’s mostly accessible only to early adopters – mostly tech people and gamers. Even the hardware needed to have a smooth experience is held back by accessibility hurdles. These include the requirement for high-end graphics cards and computer processors. All of these are further held back by the disrupted global supply chain.

The First-Ever Fashion Week in the Metaverse Has Debuted with fanfare but not without flaws. Some users have reported the experience to be “very slow, confusing, or not working at all.”

The average person is not necessarily equipped with a gaming computer configuration or even the minimum processing bandwidth required to run these virtual worlds. Therefore, most people are limited in their ability to truly enjoy the metaverse as it currently stands.

Let’s take a look at some other monumental changes on the internet. It wasn’t until smartphone ownership trumped traditional mobile phone ownership that social media usage really took off. Nor could it have happened without the built-in cameras that rivaled digital point-and-shoots, as well as the expansion of the mobile data network. Of course, the metaverse is here and getting better every day. But it just doesn’t exist in a meaningful way that affects the general public.

Metaverse Misconceptions 2: Every Business Is Missing Something By Not Joining The Metaverse

For starters, there’s no doubt that companies can fail to take their place in the metaverse by not acting quickly. However, the extent to which Sectors should join and begin marketing their wares on Metaverse bulletin boards is limited. These sectors, at least currently, include technology, gaming, the entertainment industry, and crypto spaces. Remember, these are the demographics that would even have the gear to access most of these metaverses.

The companies that have approached us that are interested in metaverse marketing really run the gamut, from fashion houses to insurance companies. We cannot guarantee that the current demographics of active Metaverse users are looking for great rates on their auto insurance. But industries like fashion are uniquely suited to enter this space, as avatars need clothes and accessories to express themselves.

As we continue to build metaverses, new use cases will open doors for others. But at this point, you can safely leave it to “fun” industries like gaming, art and fashion, or real estate to dominate the space. Companies hesitant to join the metaverse may be open but skeptical. There is no need to join until there is a clear path forward, with tangible goals that can achieve business goals.

Metaverse Misconceptions 3: The Metaverse is a 4D video game

For starters, there are currently hundreds of metaverses that appeal to different people. Many current metaverses have game-like elements. But that doesn’t mean that metaverses are developed with players in mind only. For example, The Sandbox has more traditional game mechanics with a pixel art style. It clearly appeals to people familiar with video games. On the other hand, Spatial is more graphically advanced and aesthetically focused. It is perfect for digital art galleries and other events requiring high quality graphics.

For more gamified metaverses, the main difference between traditional video games and the metaverse is ownership. In a video game with in-game currency, everything you buy and own is locked into the game. And for online games, if one day the developer decides to shut down the servers, the game items you “ had” formerly disappear with the servers.

This is contrary to the idea of ​​true digital ownership. Digital assets are meant to stay with you forever as recorded on the blockchain, which is enshrined in Web3’s core ethos. This remains a real problem for the metaverse and could cause problems for companies trying to sell a product.

Bear Market: Those waiting for the crypto winter to thaw to build the Metaverse will be late in the game.

Metaverse Misconceptions 4: The metaverse is trying to replace reality and will ruin our future

As with any new technology that emerges in the cultural zeitgeist, there’s a lot to be said for media alarmism about what the metaverse means for our children’s future. The idea is that they will be sucked into digital worlds at the expense of their real lives and withdraw from the world around them.

That’s not to say that excessive Internet use isn’t a problem. Young people are more depressed than ever and screen time can only exacerbate the problem. However, this can confuse the forest with the trees. Generation Z lives its formative years against a backdrop of historical extremes. These include weather events due to climate change, the revocation of human rights, world wars, worsening income inequality, the housing crisis and pandemic after pandemic. Is it any wonder that escaping to the internet helps them cope?

Ultimately, the Metaverse is not built as a new iteration, but as an upgrade to the current Internet. It’s a bit like social media and other facets that the Internet allows everyone to express themselves. Participation in the metaverse is just an extension of our reality.

As seen in a recent VRchat documentary, there are already use cases of how the metaverse improves the lives of its users. Even in its most primitive form, the key to the metaverse is giving people another way to connect with each other.

It may seem like a wild, wild west right now. It will be up to the developers and its users to ensure that we form our ideal metaverses with rules and a culture that protects and uplifts its users and future generations.

Rethinking the Metaverse

Web3 startups continue to build on existing metaverse experiences. There is no doubt that both progressive and traditional companies want to capitalize on this new venture and get a head start by joining the metaverse. But to truly tap into the full potential, companies need to reassess their strategy and dig deeper into why they’re joining the metaverse. Are you looking to meet users where they are and improve their virtual experience, or are you simply joining because of the hype?

About the Author

Thibault Launay is co-founder and CEO of Exclusive, the luxury industry’s go-to platform for metaverse and NFT activations. He is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor in various industries. He is a member of the NFT Blackpool hedge fund, an advisor to OVR.ai and a well-known collector of NFT and physical vintage watches. Thibault is an alumnus of Paris Dauphine University, Harvard Business School and Forbes 30 Under 30.

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