If a decentralized, immersive virtual world populated with 3D replicas of human avatars and objects sounds novel, then the metaverse might just be for you.
A (virtual) cash cow
Companies are jumping aboard the metaverse bandwagon by the dozen.
Even big tech is switching gears. Facebook renames itself Meta, Microsoft acquires a gaming studio, and Google reignites its Google Glass aspirations. Corporations and investors are pouring in billions of dollars into the world of make-believe.
In fact, the snake oil sellers at McKinsey & Company expect the metaverse industry to be valued at staggering $8 trillion by 2030. A steep price for a badly-rendered version of reality, if you ask me.
Value in the ‘verse
Many folks actively diss on the metaverse, citing its lack of real-world uses and how virtual experiences don’t compare to real world ones. Imagine creating one-dimensional value in a 3-dimensional world 🤷♂️
While they’re not entirely wrong, these skeptics have their thesis upside-down.
The metaverse is not an extension of the real world. It does not exist to replace, or be an alternative to IRL experiences. Rather, it aims to be an exit; a respite from the perils of the real world. The metaverse is the Average Guy’s rabbit hole to Wonderland.
Image source: The Matrix, 1999.
Let’s be honest: apart for a select few, the world is not a nice place to be in. Jobs are scarce, inflation is at an all-time high, and the next recession is right around the corner. People are tired, and are on the look-out for an escape.
Alcohol. Gaming. Recreational drugs. Adventure sports.
All of these are extremely valuable industries catering to human whims. The marijuana industry alone is worth over $20B. The others, even more.
The metaverse aims to capture value here — in the market of escapism. The technology is nascent, but the metaverse is not just a technology. It is the start of a revolution.
A revolution of the rejection of reality.