screen grab of Fortnite

Back to School: What is the Metaverse

Read Time:1 Minute, 30 Second

So what is the metaverse? It is any three-dimensional digital space in which people can interact with the virtual environment and each other.

Want a history of such spaces? The idea of a 3D virtual space can be traced back to an entertaining optical illusion people experienced when viewing stereographic images that were invented during the early 20th century. The first use of the term “metaverse” to describe such an experience was by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in 1992.

But to fully understand how young designers can use the metaverse now, an online gaming session might be the best teaching tool. In fact, the more advanced the game design, the more types of user interactions—or ways of changing, creating and reacting to the digital space—you’ll be able to test for yourself.

Gaming is a clear entry point to understanding the metaverse. Online games like Fortnite (above) have created a widespread familiarity with virtual interactions among younger users. Image courtesy of Fortnite.

For instance, if you’ve ever logged onto multiplayer game platforms such as Roblox or Epic Games’ Fortnite, then you’ve already practiced how to design an avatar that represents you in a virtual space, and you may even have designed your own room, house, or small world within the metaverse using design tools. In that case, you also know what it’s like to communicate with other gamers’ avatars and invite or follow them into adjacent 3D areas and online “rooms.” If you’ve used digital money to buy, sell and trade items with other gamers, you’ve created unique virtual objects in the form of those digital files, which can have real-world value as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

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Source article at news.google.com

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