If a decentralised, immersive virtual world populated with 3D replicas of human avatars and objects sounds novel, then the metaverse might just be for you.
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.
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.