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【You’ve already experienced it! What is the Metaverse!?】An easy to understand explanation with concrete examples

Hello! This is Yasshi!

In this article, I’m going to explain the current buzzword “metaverse” in a way that’s easier to understand than anywhere else, with concrete examples!

I hope this will be your first introduction to the metaverse, and that it will help you understand it better in the future, so please stay with me until the end!

The Metaverse around you

Have you ever actually experienced the metaverse?

If you like games, games like “Animal Crossing” and “Fortnite” are typical examples of the metaverse.

Atsumare Animal Crossing is a game for the Nintendo DS that became very popular in the Corona vortex.
In addition to playing in the Atsumare world with friends, a world for graduation ceremonies was created, and 3D models of hakama for graduation ceremonies were distributed.


阪南大学と阪南大学高校は、Nintendo Switch用ソフト『あつまれ どうぶつの森(あつ森)』で「はんなんだいがく…

(It’s also interesting that the university is taking the initiative in opening this up…!)

(This is the Hakama for the graduation ceremony! It’s so stylish!)

Fortnite is a craft-based shooting game that can be played on a variety of devices, including smartphones and Nintendos. (It’s a game where you shoot each other with guns.)

How did this happen in 2020, a live performance by Genji Yonezu took place inside Fortnite!


If we go by what everyone knows, we can say that Zoom is also in the rudimentary stages of the Metaverse.

The number of opportunities to use Zoom has increased dramatically over the past few years.
It can be used for a variety of purposes, from company meetings and school classes to drinking parties, event delivery, and comedy.

I think this is the first stage of the metaverse, where things that used to be done face-to-face, in person, are now being done mainly on the Internet.

Definition of the metaverse

So, what is the definition of the metaverse?

The definition of metaverse, first created in 1992 in the novel Snow Crash, is

A virtual space that extends over a black sphere with a radius of 10,000 kilometers, where one logs in wearing VR goggles. Within the metaverse, people wear avatars that mimic their real-world selves, and enjoy communicating with each other.

In short, it is a virtual space on the Internet.

In short, it is a virtual three-dimensional space on the Internet where people wear avatars and interact with each other.

The current metaverse is often used in a broader sense, but if we go back to the basic idea, I think the essence lies in the fact that it is “3D” and “alter ego”.

Based on these axes, 3D or 2D, real or alter ego, I have tried to organize them in the following diagram.

What we spend most of our time now (especially before Corona) is the “real world interaction” on the upper left.
Going to school, going to the office, going to a real music concert, going to an amusement park, etc. We live as our real selves in the 3D real world.

With the popularity of Corona, there has been a major shift to “interaction via videophone,” shown in the bottom left corner.
Zoom and online lessons are the best examples of this, where you are living in the 2D world with your real self.

The next wave is “interaction with avatars via 2D screens,” shown in the lower right.
This is the case with Animal Crossing and Fortnite that I mentioned earlier.

The younger generation is using their avatars to interact with friends in real life as well as friends they don’t know.

The ideal metaverse proposed by Snow Crash is the one shown in the upper right, where people interact with avatars through a virtual 3D world.

This is a world where people can interact with each other in a virtual world that is real itself, wearing avatars that are different from their real selves.
This is exactly the world view of Sword Art Online or Ready Player.

In short, the ideal metaverse (“3D” and “alter ego”) is not yet mainstream, but we are in the early stages of it.

The Expanding Metaverse

Here are a few services that I think are currently realizing or close to realizing the metaverse.

The first is VRChat, the first social VR platform in the US.

VRChat is a combination of VR and social networking using VR technology, and is a new service that can be started for free with the purpose of communicating with people around the world.
Social interaction is taking place in virtual space, with multiple users talking to each other through avatars and creating their own objects.

As of July 2021, it appears that 430,000 players worldwide are playing.
Most of the users who use VR on a daily basis are for VRChat, (laughs).

Although it’s called a VR platform, you can also play it on a PC!
You should definitely give it a try!

Next is The Sandbox, a metaverse version of Minecraft.

The Sandbox is a very interesting game where economic activities are born in the virtual space, such as buying and selling land, building and selling buildings, and creating and selling 3D objects in the metaverse space.

The game has not been officially released yet, and is still in alpha (for testers and developers), but the land in The Sandbox is already being traded at a high price.

As you can see here, this very small plot of land is worth 3.7 Ether (Ether is a unit of crypto-assets. Think of it as a virtual version of the yen or the dollar.
In Japanese yen, that’s about 1.4 million yen. Shocking, isn’t it?

I think it is very important to create a mechanism for economic activities to occur in the virtual space as an important element for the realization of the Metaverse.

It’s said that people spend money where they spend the most time.
The reverse is also true. If the virtual world evolves into a place where people can make and spend money, it will attract many people.

Recently, many games have been created that allow people to earn money.
One such game is “Axie Infinity,” where you can earn money by raising characters and letting them fight, just like Pokemon.

According to my friends, it’s not very fun (laughs), but I heard that some people in the Philippines built a house with the money they earned from Axie Infinity.

When the metaverse, which is mainly a virtual space, is joined by a mechanism for economic activities (the underlying technology is called blockchain), people will truly live in a world where the virtual world is the main and the real world is the sub.

To learn more about the world of the Metaverse, it would be interesting to study blockchain technology, which is the basis for economic activities within the Metaverse, and the “cryptographic assets” (digital currency) created by the blockchain.

How to experience the metaverse

Whatever you do, I think you should try every bit of the current metaverse!

I myself have been playing VRChat and buying crypto assets, and I feel that the future of the metaverse is becoming clearer to me.

Please give it a try first!

There’s a whole world out there that’s a lot of fun!

See you soon!