“Ask 50 people what the metaverse means, right now, and you’ll get 50 different answers” - The Guardian
To describe what is “Metaverse” you don’t need any of them, you don’t need Mark Zuckerberg and you don’t need Hodlers. You can do it by yourself just replacing the word “Metaverse” to the word “Cyberspace”. That’s all. And everything you can imagine will be as right as wrong, because metaverse still doesn’t exist. All the talk about it and the media hype about our life in the metaverse is reminiscent of the discourse of the 70s, when the Internet was just upcoming and no one could understand what it would look like.
At first, we have to understand that metaverse is one. We can talk about the theory of multiverses, but just as in physics we are far from it in a practical sense. It is also too early for us to talk about the multiverse (many metaverses). It’s more appropriate to compare a metaverse as a phenomenon with the Internet: Nobody possess the Internet, It’s just an evolution from Web2 to Web3.
Why we are confused?
Because every project tries to get as much attention as possible. And we haven’t got a suitable example of technology, that would show us how it has to look like, but we have many unsolved problems in Web3 realization.
It was especially big hype when Mark Zuckerberg renamed his company from Facebook to META and announced Metaverse-first strategy with huge marketing budgets. Also, one of the important reasons of confuse was that META isn’t decentralized or gaming company. Actually, it’s even one of the most hated brand in XR and blockchain-technology communities. And it’s of the most really centralized company, because Zuckerberg still has a high percentage of company ownership and even the board cannot expel him from the post of CEO. But it’s important that the company has a strong VR direction and the biggest social network in the world.
On/Off chain metaverse
There are a lot of virtual worlds that can’t be called “metaverse”, but people call them so. Also, there is a differentiation of on-chain and off-chain metaverses (worlds that aren’t on blockchain) that is also a mistake, because “metaverse” in its definition means that the project is on a blockchain. It means that Facebook and many others aren’t really metaverses. Balenciaga’s NFT collections and virtual hoodies are also not considered a full-fledged metaverse, don’t trust when business people say that all of them are true metaverses. So there are no decentralization as such, but we call all these virtual worlds using the word “metaverse”. More time is needed so that all of these projects became really decentralized.
So, in conclusion we can say that Metaverse is a developing concept. There is no working and approved technology right now, people need time to make it users-ready. But it’s quite a hype theme, so we have to take account of this hype and understand what does everything really mean.