What is the Metaverse, Exactly?

Decoding the future of, well, the future. The future of the internet, at least. Let’s answer a question everyone is asking: What is the Metaverse?

Let’s face it: the future is online. Whether you love having the world at your fingertips or detest the undeniable draw of the web and all things virtual, the internet is here to stay. And it is changing the way we do all the things. From shopping to working and socializing to learning, the internet enables us to do so much.

But the new buzzword around the internet is Metaverse. Metaverse is, essentially, a catch-all term that can basically replace cyberspace to refer to all things online. But in the Metaverse, you can do more than just browse shopping websites or message your friends. Although it remains to be seen what the Metaverse will truly entail as the years roll on, it is safe to say that we are just getting started in learning about the capabilities of the virtual world.

Decoding the Metaverse: what is it?

According to the New York Times, the Metaverse is “the convergence of two ideas that have been around for many years: virtual reality and a second, digital life.”

Eventually, many companies think you’ll be able to conduct most of your life inside the Metaverse. You might one day be able to on-board new hires at your company in a virtual training room and then conduct team calls and work sessions within a virtual office space. You might be able to try on clothing virtually to see how something will look before paying for the clothes you are buying inside the Metaverse. You will be able to completely emmerse yourself in your gaming world and much much more. Truly, the sky is the limit as to what we may eventually be able to do from our couches or office chairs.

Although exactly what this virtual reality and digital life blend looks like remains to be seen, Facebook recently changed its name to Meta, signifying a deep-seeded belief in this future of the internet. Microsoft just acquired video game giant Activision Blizzard, a video game giant, because they believe that the future of the internet is in the virtual realm called Metaverse.

Online gaming and the Metaverse

If you’re thinking that the Metaverse sounds a lot like the online games your kids are already playing, well, you’re not wrong. My kids already spend a lot of time in the popular game Roblox, building virtual houses and collecting virtual pets. They chat with their friends and conduct virtual playdates with them from the comfort of our couch. They do their chores, in real life, in a timely manner in exchange for Robux, an in-app currency they can use to upgrade their virtual digs. So they can already buy and sell things online using a digital currency with real-life ties. Real world, meet the virtual world.

Fortnite is another popular video game with kids that has some elements of the Metaverse already embedded in its programming. In Fortnite, you create an avatar that is your online persona. You interact, as your avatar, with other players in pursuit of a victory within the game. You can also purchase V-Bucks, Fornite’s in-app currency, to enhance the look of your avatar as well as purchase weapons and other items that will help strengthen your virtual presence. Many gamers bond over their love of this, and other, video games.

Preparing for the digital future

Only time will tell what exactly the internet of the future looks like. It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come as a society, digitally-speaking. I recently saw a meme of a girl holding a delicious-looking ice cream cone and taking a picture of it with her phone, obviously intending to post the photo to Instagram. The caption said “Explain this photo to someone in 1998.” I had to laugh. What would you even say?

Even though 1998 was *a little more* than 20 years ago now, the point is, it’s hard to imagine what the internet- no, the Metaverse- will look like in 20 years (that’s 2042, y’all!). What will we be able to do virtually in 20 years that we haven’t even thought of yet?

So, circling back to my opening lines of this article, love the internet or loathe it, it is the future. Prepare your kids for the virtual future by encouraging them to learn to code now. Teach them about internet safety and how to protect themselves online. Encourage their love of gaming but teach boundaries. And most of all, prepared to be amazed by the awesomeness we have yet to uncover in the Metaverse.

Stay protected in the Metaverse. Start with ProtectMe.