Technology is advancing at a breakneck pace and continues to reshape our lives every day. Today, we live in or are slowly transitioning to a new digital environment as a result of what is being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is generally the culmination of a ‘technological convergence’ of sorts.
In essence, this convergence refers to the merger, integration, and transformation of technologies that were previously unconnected. Prime examples of these are the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and Virtual Reality (VR).
The Metaverse represents the apex of this technological convergence. This term describes a reality that exists outside of the physical cosmos and we can already get a glimpse of how it will impact various aspects of our lives. Online gaming, as expected, has taken the center stage in demonstrating its potential.
Video Games in Metaverse
Most of the original products that showcased the capabilities of the Metaverse were all gaming-related or tied to gaming in one way or the other. Gaming in the Metaverse is certainly ahead of most other sectors, but it still has a long way to go before mass mainstream adoption. The expectation is for a more immersive playing experience.
Virtual reality or augmented reality are currently the most promising technologies in this regard. They will likely be used by businesses to immerse people in a different environment. Although the technology is still being refined, future-focused companies such as Meta (formerly Facebook) have been developing and upgrading these VR and AR devices that will let us experience the Metaverse.
What’s more interesting is what this could mean for the fast-rising field of eSports. Players will likely shift to playing in a virtual reality environment as the Metaverse develops as the new playing field for internet gaming. Keeping that in mind, eSports participants and fans can look forward to enjoying a gaming experience that is like no other.
The Metaverse and the Casino of the Future
Online gambling has been around for over two decades now and if history is anything to go by, it is going to be one of the pioneering businesses in the Metaverse. This is, in fact, a unique opportunity especially considering how the fusion of the digital and physical worlds has been a key challenge for the sector. The closest the sector has come is live dealer casinos that have tried to bridge the gap between the brick-and-mortar casino and virtual gaming.
Online casino sites especially in the US have shown immense interest in using the Metaverse to create more accessible, immersive, and value-driven gaming environments. Sportsbooks, racebooks, and even esports betting sites have not been left behind. These, like most other sites that work based on payments and payouts, will almost certainly be fully interactive. It could also mean a shift in the way we view existing sports betting laws. Case in point, the Metaverse is not subject to the same regulations as the state-sanctioned betting markets. How exactly will this be handled?
Redefining the Digital Economy
The thrills of immersive video games, esports fandom, and online gaming aside, gamers and users in the Metaverse will be a vital part of a new economic model. This mainly builds on the strides that we have made with regard to the blockchain and digital currencies.
In addition to producing and garnering wealth, they will serve as the support structure of the ecosystem. Aided by the digitization, tokenization, and the proliferation of NFTs we could be able to get much more than we ever thought possible from the technology. As if that is not enough, the usefulness of the Metaverse and this new economic paradigm is likely to transcend beyond the virtual reality. More people will be able to make a meaningful impact in the digital realm and that will be translated to the real world.
Bringing Us Close Together?
Even though the internet is one of the most important innovations of the modern world, many would argue that it has done more to drive us apart rather than bring us together. This can be debated all day but the best we can do is look to the future and try to ensure we do better with emerging technologies.
Many of the Metaverse’s most innovative enterprises plan to build virtual offices, residences, and experiences for people of all ages. It will not just be about entertainment. This is a great way of thinking of inclusion in the modern world and it will be very interesting to see how the companies pursuing such projects implement them.
What About the Risks?
Beyond enhancing and redefining the concept of value, the Metaverse and all its stands for raised some concerns about new hazards. Given our knowledge of how technology can be misused, we will surely need to get back to the drawing board and rethink many of the existing laws and regulations.
Naturally, under this new paradigm, the regulatory frameworks present in both the gaming and gambling sectors need to evolve with the technology. That said, all the stakeholders need to be part of the conversation and be kept in the loop. Industry regulators, for instance, should be given all the necessary support and tools to help them come up with effective governance structures.
Accountability and transparency are key to the success of many of these initiatives. It is thus vital to ensure that the Metaverse is trustworthy by design right from the beginning. Since it is still in its infancy, now would be a great time to start pursuing such things. Otherwise, the rate of development of the sector could outpace our ability to regulate some of its risky aspects.
How Far Along Are We?
Well, despite being in its infancy, the Metaverse is growing at an impressive pace. Supporting technologies such as NFTs, blockchain, digital currencies, AI, VR, and AR are to thank for this. Keeping that in mind, die-hard techies and early adopters would probably be the key participants. More people will, however, come on board as the technology required to experience this new virtual world become more affordable and accessible.