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What is the Metaverse? Is it Safe?

The term “metaverse” gained global prominence after Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook as Meta, and it holds significance beyond its widespread recognition. For those who are still unfamiliar with the concept, let’s delve into it in detail.

Whether you’ve encountered Mark Zuckerberg’s virtual rendition of Facebook rebranded as Meta, attended live concerts in the immersive Fortnite universe, or explored digital virtual exhibitions, you can’t escape the internet’s current buzzword: the metaverse. So, what exactly is the metaverse? What does it entail? Let’s explore the details.


WHAT IS METAVERSE?

The term “metaverse” has been increasingly surfacing over the past few years, steadily gaining prominence. The word was first coined by author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash.” In his book, Stephenson referred to the metaverse as a digital realm that encompasses everything existing parallel to the real world. However, as of 2022, experts are still uncertain whether the metaverse will evolve into something akin to the real world.

In the early days of the Internet and computers, interactions were primarily text-based. Subsequently, the evolution of user interfaces and experiences transitioned to 3D. With the advent of smartphones acting as powerful pocket-sized computers and the widespread availability of the internet, the metaverse is essentially contained within a computer and the online realm.

Experts commonly view the term “metaverse” as a 3D model of the internet. Essentially, it is a parallel digital space to the physical world where individuals, represented by avatars, interact with each other through these digital representations. However, some argue that the metaverse, in the strictest sense of the term, does not yet fully exist.


METAVERSE IS NOT A VIDEO GAME

While the Metaverse extends far beyond the scope of a video game, the gaming realm currently exemplifies its most rudimentary form. Consider games where users have personal avatars for interaction and engagement with other players’ avatars, all while earning virtual currency to unlock outfits for their digital counterparts.

Many individuals identify games like Roblox and Fortnite as representative of the metaverse universe, even though the concept is far more complex.

According to tech experts, the metaverse will elevate the virtual reality experience, enabling users to seamlessly navigate the virtual world for activities ranging from buying virtual land and hosting events to getting married through digital avatars. In essence, movies like “Ready Player One” serve as examples of what the metaverse could become.


IS IT SAFE TO BE ON METAVERSE?

There’s a reason why fictional depictions of a metaverse, such as in “Ready Player One” and “Snow Crash,” are often set in harsh dystopian settings. Another pressing question in discussions about the Metaverse is its safety—Is it safe to be in the Metaverse?

At present, we can say that the metaverse is relatively safe, considering we don’t yet have technology akin to what is depicted in the movie “Ready Player One.” However, it’s essential to recognize that the metaverse also harbors elements as perilous as our current world. For instance, earlier this year, Facebook faced criticism after reporting an incident where a woman experienced sexual harassment within the metaverse.


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