Many people believe the metaverse should be decentralised and open, but the reality is that it’s being created in the same monopolistic way that the Internet 2.0 has been built. This means that there will be “walled gardens” where you can only use certain experiences within certain platforms. Imagine not being able to talk to your friend on Instagram because they are on iOs and you’re on Android… it’s kind of the same. A bad experience right?
Much the same as the internet we use now (Web 2), there is not one place to go. We use WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat etc. It will be the same in the metaverse. We’re already seeing platforms growing from Meta to Roblox - and there’s bound to be more. But the key difference with the metaverse is that you experience it virtually, and you become an active player. The likelihood is you’ll have an avatar and digital goods that you want to wear or use whilst playing or living in the metaverse, and if you bought a digital asset in one platform you’ll want to take it with you to another. The problems arise when these avatars or digital goods are locked behind walled gardens, instead of having one virtual closet (imagine you buy a Gucci hoodie in Fortnite but you can’t wear that Gucci hoodie to your office party in Decentraland - you have to buy something else to wear in that platform).
Some of the crucial elements of Web2 are its openness, interoperability and connectivity - something these early metaverse-like experiences are unable to mirror. There are currently no shared standards or frameworks for building or connecting the virtual worlds. This means we run the risk of not having a ‘metaverse’ or ‘virtual world’ at all - but just a bunch of 3D siloed spaces where you have to re-create yourself, your fashion, your assets and surroundings each time.
The truth is, if you build for the user - you’ll create a better experience. The best way to get the most out of the metaverse for both brands and users is for their to be interoperability of virtual goods between games and other houses of the metaverse. To know more listen to this incredible podcast by Social Minds.