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Futuristic Future – Metaverse and Web 3.0 Fact or Fiction?
What is the Metaverse and Web 3.0? How do these two concepts affect us and our future?
Some time ago, Facebook decided to change its name to Meta, thus they want to emphasize the importance of this direction and their strategy. Microsoft also claims to be a key player in the metaverse market. Other big and small brands will follow. In parallel, there is also a lot of talk about Web 3.0 and how it will surpass and replace Web 2.0.
All this is great, but what does it all mean? Do the Metaverse and Web 3.0 make sense and promise, or is it just marketing noise and marketing gimmicks? And how will they affect the future and each individual?
Let’s delve into these concepts and try to imagine what it will give to humanity in general and to each of us in particular.
What will the Metaverse look like?
The first thing we will start with is a simple definition of the metaverse given in one article by a distinguished author “Unlike what we usually think of as the Internet, the metaverse is a 3D environment where several (many) users can interact with other people through avatars. The metaverse, using the full power of modern technology, can recreate all the elements of real life: work, relationships, games, etc.
Perhaps you’ve seen Spielberg’s Ready Player One or read Ernest Kline’s book of the same name, so you’ll understand what I’m talking about. The Metaverse has featured in science fiction books and films for decades. The term “metaverse” itself was first coined by Neil Stevenson in his book Snow Crash, published in 1992. Surprisingly, after a very short time, this term has ceased to be a fiction and is getting closer to becoming a reality.
Today, technology has moved closer to making the metaverse a reality. Computing power can finally create the necessary worlds with the required level of detail, and we have advanced sets of virtual reality (VR) or mixed reality (XR). But so far it has not developed to the level of Ready Player One, but there is no doubt that we will be able to achieve this soon.
Or, at least, this is what Facebook, Microsoft and other large corporations are talking about and declaring. Although virtual reality sets still seem strange to the average person, and all these toys are still the prerogative of geeks and gamers, even though their sales reached record levels last year, and some people believe that they will soon become mainstream.
There are already games and programs that are a bit like the metaverse themselves (for example, Fortnite), but they have not yet reached the desired level. To do this, they will need interaction between different systems, because the metaverse is a single universe in which all “citizens” can interact and freely move from one space, program, store or game to other dimensions.
Of course, there are people who believe that the metaverse is a promising and useful product. Some believe that it will open up endless opportunities for people to prosper, meet other people, learn, have fun and earn money, but there are many who think quite the opposite.
Other participants in such discussions think that this universe will increase the influence of big technologies and social networks on the population and increase their ability to spread disinformation, save and accumulate personal data.
Some critics also ask why we need a parallel virtual world. Is the real world not enough?
Is the metaverse a way to escape this terrible world we’ve created and hook the masses? Is she the new opium for the masses?
Let’s try to answer these questions.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 proponents argue that the new web solves some of the problems associated with the metaverse. But first, let’s recall the chronology of events before Web 3.0.
Web 1.0 was one-way and basic: users could basically browse information on websites that looked like online brochures. There was no interaction or social component. It was also decentralized and fragmented, with no one in control.
Web 2.0 added a social element to it with the advent of social media and the ubiquity of smartphones. This was done by centralized third parties such as technology companies that offered free products and applications.
Their business model was based on collecting huge amounts of data and selling it to other corporations. As the saying goes, “if you get something for free, then you are the product.”
Web 3.0 promises to reverse this model by decentralizing the Internet using blockchains.
Blockchains provide true decentralization because consensus in decision making is based on rules written in code rather than on a centralized authority.
Web 3.0 proponents argue that creators and other users will be able to profit and raise funds through crypto technologies without the mediation of large corporations.
As this article argues, Web 2.0 was adversarial because large technology corporations were interested in promoting the wrong set of behaviors: disinformation, cheap gossip, confrontation, surveillance, and so on. The author claims that Web 3.0 – decentralized model without third intermediaries.
Paying millions of dollars for a JPEG or a piece of land that only exists in the virtual world may sound crazy to some, but many believe it’s the future. Who is right? Time will show…
It all sounds crazy and confusing, we know. Things are easier to understand in practice, so let’s try to give an example.
Let’s say Petya has a day job, but he likes to write and share his ideas, so he decided to create a website. It’s a hobby and he doesn’t make any money from it. His only motivation for doing so is the joy that writing gives him and the promotionthe self-esteem he gets when a reader praises his work from time to time.
Petya’s blog is hosted on a third party server for which he pays an annual fee. He promotes his articles on social media and sends out a monthly newsletter to his subscribers. We can conclude that his site is based on centralized
structures, and its editorial orientation and content is entirely focused on one person: Petya. He decides what to write and when to publish.
We can say that each of these centralized nodes represents a single point of failure. The server that hosts the site may go bankrupt and stop working, or it may be censored or the profile blocked altogether. Assumes Web 3.0 bypass this and offer other benefits.
Metaverse, Web 3.0 and the future
The modern corporation as we know it has been around for a long time. This means that hierarchy and centralization were the predominant features of the companies that we use to organize business and structure now. As explained above, centralization has its advantages over decentralization, so it made and will make sense.
Web 3.0 will open up a different economy. Web 2.0 only allowed creators to make a profit.
The lion’s share of production comes from technology companies that own the means of communication (Facebook, Google, Twitter, and so on). Web 3.0 has the potential to break this pyramid.
This will mean that more people will decide to hurry up and try to do it on their own, responding to their calls for creativity. This will create a new version of the economy. Corporate careers in the payroll of large corporations will continue to exist, but they may not attract the best talent.
One obvious improvement that the metaverse will bring will be virtual meetings. Over the past couple of years, we have all suffered from overwork. As more and more people work from home, we need to develop more efficient and less tiring
ways of virtual communication. The Metaverse and improvements in 3D and VR technologies promise to revive the situation in this area. When the technology is implemented, virtual meetings with colleagues will become even more enjoyable. The Metaverse has the potential to vastly improve the tools we have today for collaborating and meeting online.
Some people believe that both the Metaverse and Web 3.0 are marketing ploys that offer nothing new, but we are confident that the Metaverse and Web 3.0 will be revolutionary.
phenomena. We see them as new ways of interacting based on technology. Technology should never be an end, it should be a means to an end. If technology allows us to interact, collaborate, work and have fun in new ways, so be it.
In this sense, the Metaverse and Web 3.0 have the potential to enrich our lives and help us build a better future.
On the other hand, these technologies are used to escape and avoid real life, because it has become a kind of dystopian hell that is not worth living in (like, for example, in the Spielberg movie), then we would fail in building this rich future.
Technology exists to help us and has the potential to do so. We must be able to dive into the metaverse to meet distant or
virtual friends and enrich our work and all other areas of life. Web 3.0 should provide us with new opportunities to create and own the fruits of our creativity. They have great potential in a world that increasingly lives in the virtual space.
However, real life will still be one worth living for.
Time will tell if the Metaverse and Web 3.0 will help us forever. They have the potential to do so, but as always, everything will depend on how we decide to use them. In the end, these are just new opportunities and only we ourselves decide how to use them.