With all of the current buzz about virtual and physical reality – and how the line is starting to blur between the two – it’s no wonder we’re a little confused about some terms. Find out the difference between the multiverse and the metaverse in this post.
Understanding the key differences between the two concepts can not only give us a better understanding of the world we live in; it can also help your company stay competitive in a world of rapidly emerging technologies.
So, what are the basic differences between the metaverse and the multiverse?
The multiverse is an ecosystem of many virtual worlds – each with its own properties, characteristics, and laws.
TechCrunch states that we're currently in the multiverse era of technology, where "the virtual worlds of games expand to become mainstream hubs for social interaction and entertainment." Social media platforms, online games, and MMOs (massive multiplayer online games) are all part of the multiverse.
"The virtual worlds of multiplayer games — still accessed from phones, tablets, PCs and consoles — are our stepping stones during this next phase,” TechCrunch’s Eric Peckham says. “Multiverse virtual worlds will come to function almost like new countries in our society, countries that exist in cyberspace rather than physical locations but have complex economic and political systems that interact with the physical world.”
The metaverse is a shared, persistent digital environment where users can work, play sports, go to concerts, watch movies, hang out – or anything else they want to do.
Tech companies from Microsoft to Meta to Epic Games are putting the technology together to build the metaverse, but we likely won’t see it for another decade or so. The technology will likely combine aspects of social media, cryptocurrencies, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and online gaming so users can act and interact virtually.
“I’m fairly sure at this point that the metaverse is going to be a new economy that is larger than our current economy,” says Jensen Hang, CEO of metaverse investor and computer chip manufacturer NVIDIA.
The entire metaverse will be interconnected or ordered into one universe to provide the best possible experience for users who want to move through the virtual world via their avatar.
Venture capitalists are already jumping on board the metaverse trends, throwing money behind startups like Klang Games, Singularity 6, and Darewise Entertainment that are building toward a virtual future in the metaverse.
So, how do they differ?
- The metaverse is the conceptual idea that one day we will have an entirely connected virtual world that enables users to seamlessly move from one part (e.g., gaming) to another (e.g., dating, shopping, working, or anything else).
- The multiverse is more disconnected, where individual digital ecosystems exist, but they don't offer people the ability to seamlessly move between them or have a unified user experience. This is where we are today, where you can have a virtual work environment, gaming environments like Fortnite or Roblox, and social environments Meta’s Horizon, but they don’t connect.
Whether we will ever get to a unified metaverse is unclear, but I would say it is highly unlikely. What I envisage is a world where we might have multiple environments that we could describe as metaverses but that might be competing with each other. I would describe this as a multi-metaverse world, where companies like Meta might build one metaverse, and others like Tencent build another.
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