Meta-What? Short-lived trend, or consequent step into the future?
For understanding and for all newcomers in the field of Metaverse: The current metaverse includes all virtual and 3-dimensional experienceable spaces on the internet. In addition, the term also describes a future conception of the Internet, which intends to be understood as a coherent universe - which also explains the play on words in the name (Meta & Universe). Basically, we are talking about Web 3.0. Similar to Web 2.0, the metaverse is designed by its users, but with one more decisive dimension, namely the third. The possibilities seem (at first glance) virtually limitless.
What do we actually talk about when we enter parts of the metaverse – programs, websites, spaces, countries, universes? The fact that one has to use, misuse, or even invent new words can already be read as an indicator that we are on to something bigger here than a minor gimmick, like Second-Life was back in the day (or was it just misused at the time?).
In any case, looking down on the endless Metaverse topography from above, the word platform popped into our heads, and we’ll stick with that for now.
For example, there are platforms called “Decentraland” or “The Sandbox” that offer virtual spaces or virtual areas for purchase as NFT. This purchasable digital “land” is limited, so prices skyrocketed straight away. The demand is astronomical, cryptocurrencies have arrived both in the business world, as well as the mainstream of society, everyone wants to be part of the next big thing. However, skeptics already smell a bubble here that could burst in the future, as this digital space is only artificially scarce by the operators.
As far as functionality is concerned, users are completely free to design in all three dimensions on their surfaces. For example, from simple residential buildings to galleries (to exhibit and sell NFT artworks), entire adventure parks are also created. It is self-explanatory that all kinds of industries want to make a profit and get in on the action: In the meantime, companies such as H&M, Dept and Journee, to name just a few, are placing themselves in the metaverse with virtual showrooms, and there are more every day.
Next level Fashion Week 2022:
This year, for the first time, part of Fashion Week was held in the Metaverse. Virtual fashion for avatars, buying real fashion, free NFTs, limited NFTs, parties, talks, exhibitions and cat walks became an unprecedented experience.
Districts were built in “Decentraland” e.g. the Luxury District where luxury brands like Dolce & Gabbana or Etro presented themselves. A good example for the boundless creativity of the users is the Cat Walk of the luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana: The new collection was worn and presented by cats. Everything that is not possible in the real world becomes feasible in the metaverse: “The crazier, the better!” seems to be the prevailing motto at the moment.
One thing is clear: the metaverse is still in its infancy. The potential is enormous, but as with any change, many questions remain unanswered for the time being:
Is metaverse the future or merely a passing trend? How can I position and present myself as a company, but also as an individual in the Metaverse? What happens to the physical, real society if I can spend my entire life in the Metaverse? And what added value can be drawn from the Metaverse?
Or does the whole metaverse only make sense to everyone when everyone without exception walks through the world with AR glasses and both realities become indistinguishable?
We will see!