Metaverse, building life in a virtual world: promising but also potentially problematic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has become an essential catalyst in radically changing human life activities from offline to online.
Work from home systems, webinars, and online meetings that were difficult has now become a common way of life.
Almost all face-to-face activities such as meetings, school, and entertainment are online. For example, box office films that used to be exclusively in theaters have now switched to streaming releases.
With the pandemic conditions showing no sign of ending, the Metaverse can be a powerful solution for alternative lives other than the physical world. Metaverse was created by combining various technology elements such as video conferencing, social media, entertainment, gaming, education, work, and cryptocurrency.
These advantages will make the metaverse appear as an internet revolution.
Research has shown that the Metaverse provides significant benefits to people’s lives, such as providing unlimited space for Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign activities at Nintendo’s Animal Crossing, UC Berkeley student graduation in Minecraft, and a virtual library developed by Stanford University in Second Life.
Origin of Metaverse
Metaverse is predicted to be a more efficient future lifestyle. A new era that can connect humans in real-time without knowing geographical boundaries.
At that time, the social media that we use today will look like primitive and outdated goods. It’s a world that promises and has the potential for big problems.
The metaverse frenzy began when Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company name had changed from Facebook to Meta in June last year. The whole process changes Facebook’s image from a social media company to a technology company.
Meta will focus on developing the Metaverse with the mission of connecting people, finding communities, and growing businesses.
Meta’s metaverse is called Horizon Worlds. Launched in December 2021, Horizon Worlds offers virtual life by providing a real presence to feel like in the real world.
To access Horizon Worlds, users must wear Oculus glasses and gloves for motion control. Thus, the user seems to be on the internet, not just looking at him through the gadget screen. Like in the animated Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) and Ready Player One (2018).
Besides Meta, the tech giants building their metaverse are Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
They are vying to catch up with the game and entertainment companies that first led the development of the metaverse, such as Fortnite, Roblox, Niantic, and Decentraland.
In the future, it will undoubtedly be more straightforward if each Metaverse service provider provides flexibility so that users can enter and leave various platforms while carrying their avatar accessories.
Metaverse, The Era Of The Future & Life In A Virtual World
The charm of the metaverse then makes many world brands move into it.
Gucci, for example, started using non-fungible tokens (NFT) in its collection. NFTs are digital assets that can take the form of clothing, artwork, video, and audio.
The unique collection of Gucci in the form of an NFT offers the sensation of digital luxury that one can only purchase on the metaverse.
In addition to the NFT business, several metaverse platforms such as Sandbox and Decentraland provide a virtual land trading feature using cryptocurrencies.
People can use virtual land to build virtual properties such as offices and malls that can be resold or rented out.
Cryptocurrencies have had a positive impact on the development of the metaverse. The value of the cryptocurrency Decentraland MANA, for example, jumped by 20 percent from $2.73 to $3.27 when Samsung opened its first virtual store in Decentraland on January 6, 2022.
Not surprisingly, many business people are competing to jump into the Metaverse because it will become the digital business field of the future.
Potential Future Problems
Imagine a virtual world that looks more realistic, practical, and fantastical than what happens in the real world.
Imagine if all banking services, for example, could be accessed effectively. We don’t need to spend time queuing at customer service to just change debit cards and print passbooks because everything can be done in a virtual space without leaving the house.
Metaverse has the potential to be a beneficial technology for humans. One of them is for people with disabilities who have physical limitations to mobility in the real world.
However, the inclusivity of the metaverse is still questionable, especially for the visually impaired and those who do not have access to the internet.
The potential for addiction to the metaverse will be greater than the addiction to social media. Research has shown that addiction to technology and the internet, such as social media, smartphones, and games, can lead to depression.
We need research to find out how it impacts if someone is addicted to living in the metaverse. For example, face-to-face meetings will feel awkward and awkward compared to virtual human interactions.
It is also possible that the inhabitants of the metaverse will be polarized due to the algorithm, which can lead to misinformation, cyberbullying, and division.
Not to mention the issue of cross-border cybercrimes, theft of personal data, and virtual sexual harassment, which will become increasingly complex.
For this reason, the state needs to immediately provide a legal umbrella in the form of the Personal Data Protection Law (PDP) and the Sexual Violence Criminal Act (TPKS), which also accommodates virtual domain arrangements to overcome potential problems that will occur in the metaverse.
What needs to be understood, we need to provide a limit to the extent to which the metaverse needs to be used to support activities and daily life.
Humans can do the logout movement periodically by not forgetting that real life is in the real world. Not in a Metaverse full of fantasy and imagination as a form of escapism from life in the real world.