In the next few years, the metaverse will have real potential to change how businesses operate and even the way people interact. Knowing and, more importantly, understanding its terminology will be essential for companies when evaluating how to implement a metaverse strategy. This metaverse encyclopedia will help you better understand this concept.
From gaming to music to e-commerce, every major industry has begun experimenting with the metaverse. Some have already managed to offer experiences, products and services compatible with 3D virtual worlds. But let’s face it, for most of us that’s a lot of new technology to digest.
Therefore, starting a conversation about the metaverse with friends, family or colleagues can seem a little scary. After all, there are many new terms and words to know. To better understand this evolution of the Internet, here is a glossary of the most important key terms of the metaverse.
About the metaverse
The metaverse is an even more or less vague term. It describes a broader idea of how we will interact with technology in the near future. Simply put, it means a set of shared 3D virtual environments where people can participate in everyday activities such as work and socializing, just as they would in the real world.
This is made possible thanks to a combination of technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. The term metaverse has been around for three decades. But today it has received more attention. Furthermore, more and more technological and cultural trends are converging to create the metaverse. Meta (formerly Facebook), Microsoft and Tencent are just a few of the tech giants leading the race for the metaverse.
It is expected that the metaverse will be one the full development of the internet we have today. It is predicted that it will have the potential to be a multi-trillion dollar economy.
Metaverse glossary: Snow Crash
The term metaverse finds its origin in this 1992 science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson. He describes it as a development of the Internet based on virtual reality. Snow Crash tells about a metaverse where people interact as avatars in a virtual 3D space.
Metaverse glossary: Virtual reality
Also commonly referred to as VR, is virtual reality an immersive experience in an environment generated entirely by computer technology. Users can be immersed in these simulated realities. To do this they need dedicated VR headsets, haptic touch and even environmental feedback. This will allow a 360º view in a virtual world where people can move around and interact.
Metaverse Glossary: Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) superimposing digitally generated images on the real world. Users can use a device such as their mobile phone to overlay graphics and sound onto their real-world surroundings.
Metaverse Glossary: Augmented Reality
Extended Reality (or XR) is an umbrella term for computer generated environments, which combines the physical and virtual world or creates a completely virtual experience for users. Augmented reality is at the intersection of 3 technologies: virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality (MR).
Metaverse Lexicon: The Avatar
An avatar is a digital character that represents you in a computer-generated world, like the metaverse. It can be static or animated. Think of the 2D image you use on your Instagram profile or a 3D character in your favorite game. But traditional avatars are icons that represent a user in a social media or forum profile. They are static and do not interact with their surroundings.
As for the metaverse avatars, they are immersive and interactive. They thus function as an extension of the users. Ithey can talk, dance, move, and perform a variety of activities in the metaverse. In recent years, a number of brands have begun to integrate digital avatars into their campaigns. We are also seeing the rise of virtual influencers, which are avatars that can represent brands and engage with audiences in more compelling ways.
Metaverse Glossary: The Virtual World
A virtual world is a simulated version of the real world or an entirely new environment created using computer rendering technology. It is intended to be inhabited. It also allows interaction between its users through avatars. Related to the concept of metaverse, virtual worlds have several characteristics: they are limitless, persistent, decentralized and immersive.
Metaverse glossary: Web 3.0
Web 3.0 represents the development of the current Web 2.0. It is based on concepts such as decentralization, openness and data protection. With Web 2.0, users generated content. But in Web 3.0 users generate the platform, create the content and derive value from it.
Web 3.0 has been associated with the emergence of technological advances such as blockchain, NFTs, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and the metaverse, heralding a new form of the Internet based on peer-to-peer transactions, transparency and data democracy .
The Lexicon of the Metaverse: Blockchain
A blockchain is a platform that allows a joint registration of information which is maintained and updated by a network of computers rather than a central authority. It can also be described as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). This distributed ledger uses cryptography to confirm, execute and secure transactions.
The very nature of a blockchain is that it is practical secure against piracy and tampering. This is because all copies of data are stored across the network and not in one place. Another advantage comes from the fact that it allows simultaneous sharing and updating (peer-to-peer) of records much faster and more efficient processes. Note that blockchain is the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies.
Metaverse glossary: NFTs
An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a type of digital certificate that authenticates and establishes ownership of a given virtual asset. As a digital information token, an NFT lives on a blockchain, and the data from each NFT can be linked to digital files such as images, music, collectibles, avatars, etc.
NFTs are unique and not interchangeable (“non-fungible”). They have gained popularity for their embedded value in metaverse projects, which many brands such as Nike, Samsung, McDonald’s and Gucci are now investing in.
Metaverse lexicon: DAO
DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. This is a type of digital organization that runs on blockchain through the use of smart contracts. These contracts dictate the rules of a DAO, how governance unfolds, and how decisions are executed. Many metaverse projects have DAOs as a way of permissioning users to have voting rights and take control of the direction of the project. And it makes the metaverse a more engaging and community-driven experience.
Metaverse glossary: Games to earn games
Play-to-earn gaming (also known as P2E) is one innovative version of the traditional gaming industry. They allow players to earn in-game cryptocurrencies. To achieve this, participants must win matches and contests, complete quests, and rent or sell their assets (as NFTs). Additionally, some of the most popular P2E games will let you exchange your assets and cryptocurrency for fiat money.
Games to earn games is an important part of the metaverse. It is a player reward model for their time and investment in a virtual environment. They also allow for real ownership of in-game assets, which is also the basis of the metaverse.
Metaverse Glossary: The Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game (MMORPG)
MMORPGs are interactive games where millions of people play and interact in shared spaces. We mention as an example Minecraft and Fortnite. This type of game combines aspects of two very different video game genres, RPG and MMO. MMOs are normal multiplayer game with many players interacting with each other. RPGs are designed to put players in charge of the character of the story and make decisions based on dialogue.
Metaverse Glossary: Digital Assets
Digital goods refer to anything sold or transferred in intangible digital form. For example, media and music files, video files, e-books, mobile apps, online courses, digital art, etc. Digital goods can also be virtual goods used in online games and communities in their economies.
Metaverse lexicon: The public cloud and the private cloud
A public cloud is a cloud service offered to multiple customers and running on remote servers managed by a provider. It is common for gaming and entertainment services to be offered in a public cloud.
A private cloud is a service that is not shared with another company or organization. Advantages are enhanced security that meet strict regulatory compliance standards. Apart from that, companies or organizations have more control within these clouds.
Metaverse Lexicon: The Metaverse Purse
Also described as a digital walleta metaverse wallet allows users to hold and trade cryptocurrency. In most digital environments, a wallet will be essential for managing crypto and track metaverse transaction history in a secure and transparent environment. Examples of metaverse wallets include MetaMaskCoinbase Wallet and Alpha Wallet.
Metaverse Lexicon: The Metaverse Market
An NFT market is a decentralized platform where metaverse users can buy, sell and trade NFTs. Major NFT markets include OpenSea, Rarible and Nifty Gateway. Most of these platforms are built on the Ethereum or Solana blockchains.