Science-Technology, 74TH UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2019

Metaverse will be digitalization of life offering unlimited possibilities, says CEO

Metaverse key to gamification, mass blockchain adoption; NFTs, GameFi match made in heaven, says Andrius Miron

Övünç Kutlu   | 05.11.2021
Metaverse will be digitalization of life offering unlimited possibilities, says CEO

ANKARA

The metaverse will become a digitalization of life offering users unlimited possibilities, Gamestarter CEO Andrius Miron told Anadolu Agency.

"I personally think that the metaverse will be the next big platform for fan art, moviemaking as well. It really offers unlimited possibilities," he said in an email.

Combining “meta,” or beyond, and “universe,” “metaverse” recently become a buzzword as Facebook rebranded itself Meta, with co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg steering the company toward this new reality.

While the younger generation moves away from Facebook to other platforms like TikTok, Facebook has faced controversies over charges that it exacerbates teen anxiety and depression as well as spreads misinformation.

"Facebook's basic user experience hasn't changed from its inception, it's still pretty much the same as I remember in 2008," said Miron, who runs the world’s largest NFT gaming marketplace and fundraising platform.

"Also, there's a number of shortcomings that make people move away from the platform, like heavy censorship and morality. Zuckerberg's metaverse will not be the leader,” he predicted.

“I personally think it will experience the same fate as Google's social network," he added, referring to Google+, which found itself unable to compete with WhatsApp and other competitors

Andrius Miron
(Andrius Miron)

Gamification key to metaverse

Metaverse, the digital concept of shared 3D spaces linked into a virtual universe, was first mentioned by American novelist Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, in which humans as avatars interact along with other software in a virtual 3D space.

In popular culture, movies and video games also have their universes to which many fans are accustomed.

From Star Wars and the Matrix to the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, popular video games such as Second Life, Minecraft, Fortnite and World of Warcraft have built their own realities and even economies, where millions of users interact by using coins and tokens as currency.

"The key to the metaverse is gamification. Games are also the key to mass blockchain adoption. So metaverse, NFTs (nonfungible tokens), digital ownership, and GameFi is a match made in heaven," said Miron.

"Metaverse economy and lifeblood will be based on games and game economy. Play-to-earn is shifting to play-to-own, which will evolve to play-to-live," he added.

Arguably the best contemporary depiction of a metaverse came in the 2018 Hollywood science fiction film Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline's novel of the same name, and directed by Steven Spielberg.

In the film, a majority of the world’s population in the year 2045 are wired in the OASIS, a virtual reality simulation. As people spend most of their everyday lives in the OASIS to escape real-world problems, there were also dangers of sinking into debt when players "zero out," losing all their tokens in that digital world.

"The winners in the metaverse, in terms of projects, will be original players, so the market has to mature to bring originality, not the copycat projects we see now,” said Miron, adding that community-directed decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) projects are needed as well.


Metaverse to integrate AI

With coronavirus pandemic-led quarantine measures paving the way for a large volume of online meetings and activities, there has never been a better time for tech companies to leap into the metaverse.

The metaverse, touted as the next step in the evolution of the internet, aims to offer virtual universes for meetings, movies, entertainment, concerts, and especially gaming.

It will be a global digital platform where users can interact via their avatars, or digital projections of their true selves, by using virtual reality (VR) headsets, augmented reality (AR) glasses, new software and applications and even smart clothes and gloves that are yet to be invented.

But the biggest contribution to metaverse will be the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), according to Miron.

"The metaverse will integrate AI which will be a breakthrough in this space. The AI will be kind of a glue that holds the metaverse together. Eventually 'connection' with other players will be indistinguishable from AI within the metaverse. Also, the metaverse will be the catalyst for various 'brain chips' or 'neural links'," he said.

"With the help of AI, people will have their own reality bubbles within the metaverse. Most likely most metaverses will be highly censored in terms of information freedom, as the internet is generally moving to heavy censorship. So most likely some new form of underground decentralized social media will emerge," he said.

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