Wikipedia defines the metaverse as “a concept denoting the next generation of the internet, describing an immersive, multi-sensory experience in the applied use of various devices and technological developments on the internet.” And we see many brands using it spontaneously, but at Zapiens, we believe that metaverses (if there is more than one) are here to stay. Or rather, they came several years ago, and many of us live daily living metaverses, whether we realize it or not.
Here’s the thing: thinking of a metaverse that brings everything together on a single platform is like the idea of shopping malls, the AOL of the 80s or the FB of 10 years ago. The ambition to centralize all social, recreational and informative activities on a single platform is (from the users’ point of view) a pipe dream. And it always ends badly, either because new actors come out or because the Cyclops rests on his laurels, then Ulysses comes and leaves him useless.
The agility and connection capacity today make such a centralization/dependency unnecessary. The new generations of “metanauts” choose the right platform for each activity and change according to their needs. Having all their metaverse life occurring within a single platform is not for them. They are in different social universes that, moreover, they don’t want to mix with others.
This reflection comes from what we see in our own homes with our children: a boy flying on a PC with his SU27 on a mission with eight other real players with DCS, a hyper-realistic flight simulator. Connected on Discord, from time to time, they all stop by to watch a video to learn manoeuvres or just to have a laugh with the latest crappy video on YouTube.
Meanwhile, his sister plays Genshin Impact on PS4 with three friends in multiplayer mode. At the same time, they’re on the phone or even on Snapchat to talk, organize, and laugh as they explore the game’s sandbox together.
They can spend hours like this: talking and interacting, socialising using the game as a transversal scenario, while they differentiate and take advantage of their IRL and its quirks (real physical sensations, unpredictability, opportunities for new interactions, lack of control by a father figure- be it an actual father or a brand).
Evens so, it looks pretty likely that many proposals around this metaverse idea will come again through the standardization of interfaces and interactions. And eventually through the capacity of a transversal platform of transactions or currencies, too. But what will always attract a critical mass will be a new game or new entertainment ideas (the end) far beyond the metaverse concept (the channel).
PS: No, the metaverse is not necessarily immersive 3D VR. It is neither requested nor needed. In fact, a lot of control capacity is lost, in addition to the fact that you almost always get dizzy.
Trainers as a cultural icon
What is it about sneakers that we all love?