Saturday, December 10, 2022

The Metaverse and Why You Don’t Have to Worry About Your Future House

by Mikhailangelo Panzo | January 28, 2022

The great millennial problem: your first house. If you’re not familiar with this, know that years ago you could save for a house while in your early 20s. But now? Not anymore. It’s a common scene for young Filipinos to argue about land rights with their families. I could talk about the situation of real estate right now, but I don’t have enough knowledge about them nor do I want to talk about them. Instead, let’s talk about the metaverse.

So, why in a world of sugar honey iced teas is the metaverse related to the housing problem? Well, this is because you won’t worry about where you live if virtual life is more important. But wait, what exactly is the metaverse? If you’re not one of us keeping up with what Mark Zuckerberg is plotting again, then this is what the Facebook man is basically up to. It’s a separate world where you would have your character, home, and spaces to use and interact with, all using virtual reality technology. It seems like the fever dream for rich people, but with our progress in technology, the metaverse could solve what the internet is becoming. 

Online shopping is becoming more popular every day, thanks to our new normal of staying at home. But browsing through items seems to be more difficult and less trustworthy than just going to a store physically. Online classes became a necessity, but we more or less don’t like it. Cryptocurrency is the new fancy term to throw around, but using them to pay for common stuff we use is not viable.  The edgier term “non-fungible tokens” (NFTs) is creeping into mainstream online platforms such as Twitter and Youtube, but they are trying too hard to make them work. It’s like the internet is getting too big for what the current technological media can handle. Thus, a solution is needed, and perhaps a bit of a sacrifice.

The metaverse is inevitable. This is not just some fanatic article about Facebook’s world domination, but rather, a “new” world that is coming regardless of who brings it in. It’s a world where people can live. This is not just a stereotype of people being glued on their phones, but actually having your entire life’s meaning attached to said world. Get cut off from this world and you’d feel like your life has ended (just a thousand times more real than losing internet connection on this day). It’s a huge deal, although most people do not realize this, or rather, get the wrong idea.

Most people think this is within the virtual reality niche — an environment for when virtual reality (VR) headsets are commonplace. There are already many posts or videos showing how bad wearing VR headsets for a long time can be, and I kind of agree with them seeing how depressing they look. However, this is not what the metaverse is just all about. The definition around this word is “the virtual world that will usher in the next phase of the internet.”

Think about the internet as a separate world. First, it was just some simple text forums between connected computers. It was just a one-dimensional world. But then, interactive pages became a thing, and then they ballooned into social platforms and many other internet stuff. It was massive enough that Filipinos on average stay four hours every day on just social media alone. With the metaverse, more interactivity will be included. It’s not just by using VR headsets, but whatever comes after it and other forms such as augmented reality technology. You can have your physical room be virtually connected, or hack your own brain to transport you virtually to this world. This would make the online world look very similar to the physical world, or perhaps even much better to live in that we would never imagine a world without it.

That last sentence seems like I’m implying something, not because I needed to, but because it will inevitably happen. Cryptocurrencies and NFTs would only solidify their existence.  Having a digital space to store them makes them indistinguishable from physical currencies and personal belongings. Businesses and education are going online, and they’ll become more efficient, easy, and comfortable. You won’t just be in a Zoom meeting with your colleagues, but you will all be at a virtual round table as though you are all physical there. You can even have whatever hologram floats in the middle of the table like some science fiction film. You can walk around a virtual mall, enter a clothing store, and try out clothes in a virtual dressing room like you’re in some harmless game. You won’t ever complain about online classes anymore. You can be with your friends and classmates on a level similar to a face-to-face experience and still blame the internet connection for disconnecting while your teacher asks you to recite. 

Finally, as for your first house problem, you can just find a bland cheap apartment, set up the virtual world, and live a very comfortable virtual life with all your authentic, virtual status and belongings.

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