Everyone is talking about the “metaverse” but few know exactly what it is. Leaders in the tech world explain that the metaverse is a digital world where people work, socialize and play video and online casino games in one virtual space. When we talk about the metaverse we are referring to a broad and speculative look at how we interact with technology.
The metaverse involves different types of technology including virtual reality, augmented reality, a digital economy, decentralization and other types of infrastructure that create virtual worlds that mimic our physical lives. One of the industries that is being changed by the incoming metaverse is casino games like our Vegas casino online real money games and video gaming.
Over the course of the next decade, it’s predicted that Metaverse concepts will add $5 trillion to global economy What are these trends driving these changes?
Large firms like HSBC, JP Morgan, Nike and Gucci are pioneering the way into a metaverse presence and other brands will soon have no choice but to follow. Metaverse is all about one-to-one connections and customer experience which is exactly what consumers are looking for. They are searching for ways to connect with brands and the brands are looking for ways to facilitate that.
While big tech giants like Google and Meta (formerly Facebook) have sewn up search and social networking, many big businesses are positioning themselves to connect in this way, be it through their own platforms or by occupying existing platforms like Decentraland, VR Chat, Fortnite or Meta Horizons.
Microsoft’s Mesh, Meta’s Horizon Workrooms, Arthur and multiple gaming companies use AR to enable workers to discuss, interact and brainstorm as they create more realistic consumer experiences. Everything from art and games to luxury goods and fashion will be marketed online.
Decentralization is a core concept in the world of metaverse gaming. Currently, gaming developers are able to restrict sales of in-game assets on secondary markets, forcing the gaming community to resort to “black markets” which increases the chance of fraud. By making it possible to use blockchain technology to store NFTs and other assets, secondary market trading is enabled which allows for transparency of the assets in circulation.
Players see this development as a positive step which will give it the ability to resell their time (gameplay) to other players. Advantages include:
- Protection against developer abandonment of the game or having the game shut down, rendering the game’s assets less valuable or worthless. If the game is decentralized, the game will continue regardless of whether the original servers are still there. Another investor or a group of players can pick up the game and continue, thus maintaining the value of time and money invested.
- Server Issues/Down Time can cause issues or upsets in the game and result in player loss of assets, death, loss of leadership points or other negative outcomes that are not related to the gameplay. Games that are decentralized and have no centralized servers run fully autonomously with 24/7 uptime.
Additionally, with no servers, there are no backups required and no server maintenance costs since the game world state is computed from the blockchain immutable ledger. In addition, updates to the game logic (forks) are approved by the community which is also seen as beneficial.
- Nerfs and other types of unfair gameplay changes are minimized with decentralization where players aren’t forced to make decisions that they don’t really want to make. Players can choose to reject updates which then forces developers into compromise.
If enough of the community decides not to go along with changes, the community has leverage that the game developers must take into account. The decisions can be made by voting within the game world (based on in-game level, stakes or other methods) as they decide whether to update, restart or leave the game as it is.
- Protection against censorship. With a decentralized game, there’s no third party to prevent you from playing, ban your account or confiscate your assets. Whether or not banning is appropriate at times, given hate speech and harassment issues, is debatable but it’s one of the reasons that people support decentralization of the games.
- Cheating and unfair gameplay by memory and speed hacks, hacking servers, duplicating assets and other methods would be minimized. Much of this type of cheating occurs due to cheating instigated by game developers themselves.
MMORPGs with player driven economies have seen numerous incidents of game developers’ unfairly interfering with the economy. With decentralized games, provably fair gameplay is easier to monitor as each action is verified by all players before the state of the game is updated. The issue applies to most games with player driven economies.
- Trust elimination (or minimization) allows investors and gamers to spend more time and money with less risk. As the value of the player-driven economy increases, issues of trust will become more important as players try to decide whether they need to sell in order to minimize the risk of being cheated, banned or seeing the game shut down.
In a decentralized trustless system, in-game assets can reach their higher (true) potential which leads to a fair, true and open player-driven economy.
In a game, your avatar is the presence that you project as you interact and engage with other gamers. Metaverse avatars include photo-realistic imagery that allows the gamer to look just as s/he does in the real world or build an image according to what s/he would like to look like.
There are new technologies like Zepeto and Ready Player Me that allow you to create an avatar that you can use in any of multiple environments or virtual worlds. In the coming years technologies such as motion capture will enable users to create avatars with body language and unique gestures as well as autonomous avatars that aren’t under the user’s direct control will act in the digital world as the player’s representative.
The metaverse is conceived as a space that offers the most immersive experiences possible and virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are central to that vision. Tech such as the Meta Quest VR headset and other AR/VR and MR (mixed) headsets from Microsoft, Google and Apple mean that the Internet will be more immersive than ever. Additional technologies to look for in gaming and other online activities include full-body haptic suits that simulate extreme environments and tech that introduces smells to the virtual experience.