Video games have done what the Metaverse promised

last month, New York Times Wrote something that was barely new or newsworthy: a wedding in the Metaverse.

The bride wore a flower crown with a grey button-up dress, perfect for a downtown office. The groom looks a lot like Jeff Bezos. At the reception, there were guests, a stage and a photo slideshow. Everything is familiar except the venue. where are they? As it turns out, the bride’s corporate attire isn’t too fancy. Their wedding was not held in a church or hall, but in the “Metaverse,” specifically an unknown low-fi virtual world called Virbela, the product of real estate firm eXp World Holdings, which hired the pair. The two halves of the couple.

Let’s make one thing clear: there are no virtual world. At least not yet.No one really agrees on what Metaverse is, but on average the more credible Definition produces a persistent social network space that intersects with the IRL economy and integrates with other online platforms. Right now, nothing is doing it on any significant scale.Instead, we have several highly engaged virtual worlds like Second Life, some popular MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, and many tech companies Salivating for a new way to brand their digital products and services. And, of course, there’s Virbela and its ilk of weird, sparsely populated stuff that were snatched from the 2005 iteration of Internet Explorer.

Of course, there is clear cartilage. Tech companies have discovered the benefit of describing the metaverse as a continuation of their own product or service. For example, Meta has decided that virtual reality integration is important to Metaverse. And conveniently, its Horizon Worlds runs on the company’s Oculus Quest headset. Then there is the importance of blockchain companies advertising their own coins to their own cyberspace. Now, after nearly a year of hype, it’s a little easier to separate meat from metaverse fat. What we’re dealing with here is cyberspace — connected, incarnated, and economical. There is still only one question. Everything that is truly desirable in this virtual world resembles a stripped-down version of the online game that millions of people have played for decades.

It’s been 20 years since the wedding bell rang for the first time in Second Life.Game developer Square Enix included the mechanics of sending invitations, writing vows, and exchanging rings in 2002 final fantasy XIOutside of weddings, online games already offer the most compelling features associated with “virtual worlds”—often with higher graphical fidelity, more complex social systems, and significantly larger scale. As professional cyberspace architects and managers, it’s game developers who iterate and master two or three really promising properties of the metaverse, revolving around socializing in virtual worlds.

Furry avatars of players have been around in online games in MMORPGs since 1996 Furcadia32-bit grass. Yet more than two decades later, we’re hearing tech executives here touting what the digital Catwoman was doing at the time. It would be lovely to see those executives doing it with the same bravado that it wasn’t so disturbing.Mark Zuckerberg’s crazy sales pitch the future of work In the virtual world of Meta, early tech journalists make breathless predictions about how corporate culture will migrate to Second Life in the coming Brave New World. We’ll be there, they promise, floating winged Sonic the hedgehog avatars into each other’s cubicles and talking about the Dow. Technologists believe that schools will also be uploaded. “Aaron Delwiche, an assistant professor at Trinity University in San Antonio,” wrote a 2004 WIRED article, “he often gathers students in an unlikely classroom for his online gaming class: the so-called Second Life Metaverse.”

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