The word metaverse was first used in 1992 by writer Neil Stephenson in his science fiction novel Snow Crash. He describes the successor to the Internet, which is based on a shared virtual space. He probably didn’t even know at the time that three decades later the world’s leading tech company would actually be working on something similar.
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The 2018 film Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name, does a great job of how this all works. It is a gripping adventure thriller that is set in the near future, where almost the whole world spends all its free time in virtual reality, in a game called OASIS. It’s a place where people can escape from their daily worries, have fun, race, travel, study, fall in love… In short, do whatever they can think of.
Facebook, for example, wants to use virtual reality in this way for its own virtual world needs. Last year, they launched a massive recruitment campaign of 10,000 people in European Union countries who will work in the metaverse.
At least ten years
The head of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, believes in the whole project so much that he even renamed his company Facebook to Meta last year – precisely after the virtual universe model. The creators of the most famous social networks believe that people will meet in the metaverse, even if they are on the other side of the planet. The new virtual space is also intended to be used to present products and services or to play games.
However, Zuckerberg admits that Meta will probably take more than ten years to fully create its own metaverse. However, the first part of the virtual universe can already be seen, for example, we are talking about the Horizon Workrooms service, which is basically a workplace for meeting people in the virtual world.
At the same time, other companies, such as game studio Epic Games, already have the same ambitions as Meta. His boss, Tim Sweeney, had previously announced that his vision was “very different from Facebook’s vision.” And this despite the fact that the virtual universe presented by Epic will also be built on a virtual reality system. Sweeney makes no secret that games and entertainment play a key role in relation to the metaverse.
Therefore, it is unlikely that the two companies will work together to complete it in the coming years. The current situation is more like a race, like when the world powers competed in the conquest of space in the last century.
Microsoft spent 1.5 trillion
Microsoft America also has its own plans for the metaverse, though it’s trying to hide all the details for now. However, cyber work was confirmed in mid-January, when Microsoft announced its acquisition of game studio Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion (about CZK 1.5 trillion).
As a result, the American software giant will now own a number of well-known names in the gaming world – at least Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Candy Crush, Tony Hawk, Diablo, Overwatch, Spyro, Hearthstone, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot and StarCraft. .
However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella admits that gaming isn’t the only thing the American company will gain from the acquisition. “Games are the most dynamic and engaging category of entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the evolution of platforms for the metaverse,” said Nadella.
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Games and game system
Virtual vs. augmented reality
The terms virtual and augmented reality are very often confused, but the two technologies work on different principles.
Virtual reality glasses try to draw the user into a simulated world and completely disconnect their senses from the real world. The eyes are usually completely covered by the screen and the headphones are placed in the ears, which are often part of the whole system.
Augmented reality systems usually look like ordinary glasses through which the user can see everything that is happening around him. The dedicated view or camera then simply drags the virtual object into the real space. They actually connect the virtual world with the real world.
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