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The Metaverse: A Revolutionary Way to Experience the World

Everybody with even the slightest interest in tech is talking about the metaverse. But what exactly is the metaverse? 

Many people are still unsure. Only 14% of U.S. adults are familiar with the metaverse.

However, that’s going to change because the metaverse is more than a tech buzzword – it’s the future of the internet. 

But even if you have heard of the metaverse before, you may be wondering how to enter the metaverse. 

Either way, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn what the metaverse is, and how to access the metaverse for yourself.

What Is the Metaverse?

The term metaverse is often used vaguely, and by many different companies in different ways. Hence the confusion around the term. 

Let’s start with the origin of the word. The term metaverse originated way back in 1992 when sci-fi author Neil Stephenson used it to describe a virtual world in his novel, Snow Crash. That was a work of fiction, but Stephenson’s description of an ever-present virtual world captured the imagination of many who are

For starters, there is no one metaverse. Instead, there are many different metaverses. There is no single owner of the metaverse. 

There can also be several different shared virtual worlds within one larger virtual world. So a single metaverse can act as a hub for other virtual worlds. 

With the metaverse, you are represented virtually by your avatar. Your avatar is simply the embodiment of yourself in the virtual world. Avatars can be realistic representations of users, but they don’t have to be.

Who Owns the Metaverse?

As previously mentioned, there is no singular metaverse or metaverse owner. Several major players are building their own metaverse. 

This includes Google, Microsoft, Epic Games, Decentraland, Tencent, and The Sandbox. However, the most notable of these is Horizon Worlds, a metaverse built by its parent company Meta Platforms, Inc. 

Meta Platforms, Inc. is a rebranding of Facebook, Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is very interested in the metaverse. Facebook’s rebranding, and their spending – to the tune of $10 billion a year in Reality Labs (the Meta division building their metaverse) indicates a serious investment in the future of the metaverse. 

What Can You Do In the Metaverse?

So what can you do in the metaverse? Since a metaverse is a virtual world, it aims to emulate many of the functions of the real world and provide an immersive experience.

Generally speaking, a metaverse will allow you to:

  • Purchase virtual land
  • Buy virtual goods (even luxury brands like Gucci)
  • Play games
  • Socialize and connect with other metaverse users
  • Create and customize your avatar
  • Collaborate with others, either for fun or for work
  • Attend virtual events such as concerts and trade shows
  • Invest in digital artwork via NFTs
  • Sell assets, including your own creations

The possibilities are endless. Since the metaverse is still evolving and being built, even greater functionality will happen in the future.

How to Enter the Metaverse

So let’s say you want to try the metaverse out for yourself. How do you access the metaverse? 

The Cost of the Metaverse

First, let’s talk about the cost of accessing the metaverse. The metaverse itself is free. However, it does require a data connection.

Since the metaverse requires an internet connection, you will need to pay for a stable and fast internet connection. So in a way, even base access to the metaverse will require some ongoing costs.

Then there is the hardware cost. There’s a reason why so many images of users in the metaverse show them wearing a headset; full metaverse immersion is best experienced through a headset.

While consumer-level VR headsets have been getting more affordable, these can still be expensive. Low-end VR headsets will still run you a few hundred dollars. 

There are a few different VR headsets. Some, like the Valve Index, are clearly geared more towards VR gaming. Others such as the HRC Vive Pro 2 and the Meta Quest 2 (formerly called the Oculus Quest 2) are more mainstream. 

However, VR headsets are optional for accessing the metaverse. So if you want to try the metaverse out for yourself and already have a good PC, you can start there. Later, if you want additional immersion you can purchase a VR headset.

Finally, there are additional optional expenses related to the metaverse. Depending on the metaverse, you may need to exchange real-world money for virtual currency, which can be used to buy items in the metaverse. Otherwise, your experiences in the metaverse may be limited.

Entering the Metaverse

Since there is no singular metaverse, how you access each metaverse will depend on the specific metaverse.  

In general, you will want to make sure your desktop computer is hooked up to the internet, then navigate to each metaverse’s website. From there, it’s as simple as creating an account, then logging in. Then create your avatar, and you’re ready to explore.

Some metaverses have additional requirements, such as Web3 wallets. A Web3 wallet allows you to access the latest interaction of the internet, including cryptocurrency (or simply crypto) applications. By having a Web3 wallet, you can use digital currencies to buy virtual items.

This includes NFTs or nonfungible tokens. NFTs are essentially unique digital art pieces. For a more detailed explanation, check out our article on NFT marketplaces

Aside from those additional requirements, and possibly using a VR headset, it really is that easy to access the metaverse. 

Ready to Build the Metaverse?

Now that you know how to enter the metaverse, it’s time to explore it for yourself.

Experiencing it for yourself is the best way to see its potential. You may even want to become a builder of the metaverse, helping shape it. Both individuals and studios can be builders.

Or you may be looking to bring your brand into the metaverse. Partner with a builder, and bring your brand to life.

For more metaverse tips, check out the rest of our blog and our FAQ page. When you’re ready to begin working in the metaverse, create your marketplace profile