In previous articles I’ve shared the structure of the metaverse in terms of market dynamics, the companies that occupy the metaverse value chain, and the megatrends that will shape its future.

Here I’m going to get down to the nitty-gritty: what are the experiences you can have in the metaverse — now and in the future?

What does the metaverse do? Jobs performed by the metaverse. Venue for activities.
What does the metaverse do? Jobs performed by the metaverse. Venue for activities.
The jobs performed by the metaverse — image from Facebook Horizon.

I’ll be making the case that the experiences of the metaverse share some common properties:

  • An emphasis on activities
  • …in increasingly immersive places in which the self is present
  • …crafted by an exponential rise in creators
  • …supported by the connective tissue to link and…

In this article, I identify 9 megatrends — exponential shifts that are already underway on a global scale — and how they will shape the future of the metaverse.

Most of the megatrends are a blend of both technology and social change. Here are the megatrends I’ll discuss:

By looking at the 9 megatrends here, we are given a chance to “pull back the camera lens” and see a picture of the wider landscape upon which we’re constructing the metaverse.

Virtual Mainstreaming

People increasingly regard the virtual world to be as real as the physical world.

In the physical world, trust is…

The “creator economy” is about unleashing creativity — enabling anyone to earn a living or build a business around an audience, unconstrained by the high technological barriers that existed in the past.

Evolution of Creator Economies. Pioneer Era, Engineering Era, Creator Era.
Evolution of Creator Economies. Pioneer Era, Engineering Era, Creator Era.

We now have enough history to look back and see a predictable pattern play out: whether it was desktop publishing in the past — or e-commerce and 3D engines more recently — there are several phases within any given creative industry:

  • The Pioneer Era, when first-movers like Amazon or Pixar created their own technologies.
  • The Engineering Era, when bottoms-up tools and middleware emerge to support overwhelmed engineering teams.

In my article on the value-chain of the metaverse, I described the seven layers of the ecosystem. In this article I’m going to focus-in on three of the most important metaverse companies — Unity, Epic Games and Roblox — and describe the commonalities and differences.

Let’s start with where companies (and some open source projects) sit within the market (version 3.0— updated July 29, 2021):

Brief recap of what each of these layers represent:

  • Experience is what we actually engage with: games, social experiences, live music, etc.
  • Discovery is how people learn that an experience exists.
  • The Creator Economy is…

Trillions of dollars: that’s how much private industry is investing into the metaverse.

Seven Layers of the Metaverse: Experience, Discovery, Creator Economy, Spatial Computing, Decentralization, Human Interface, Infrastructure
Seven Layers of the Metaverse: Experience, Discovery, Creator Economy, Spatial Computing, Decentralization, Human Interface, Infrastructure

In this article, I provide a description of the value chain of this market, from the experiences that people seek out to the enabling technologies that make it possible. More importantly, I also provide a prescription — a vision for a future metaverse that is powered by creators and built upon decentralization. …

In this video talk I give an overview of the 7 layers and 160+ companies building the metaverse: the next generation of the Internet, delivering immersive activities and powered by an exponential rise in creators:

Since this is the first of my new video series, I’d love to hear your feedback. What else would you like me to cover?

I plan to give video talks on some of the other topics I’ve been covering here on my medium blog.

Want to read more about the metaverse?

Here are a few links to continue your exploration of the metaverse:

  • If you’re curious about how the term came…

Pop Culture and the Metaverse Part 3

This is part 3 of my series on the pop culture and the metaverse. In part 1, I discussed books about the metaverse, and in part 2 I covered television shows about the metaverse.

Here, I’ll be covering movies that include aspects of virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence or other aspects that are part of the megatrends shaping the metaverse.

Ready Player One

Set in 2045, Ready Player One focuses on the virtual platform of OASIS. While the physical world continues to diminish into ruin, an unlikely Hero Wade Watts is determined in the treasure…

Metaverse Pop Culture Part 2

Previously, I wrote about some of the books that have explored or inspired the metaverse (and you can also find my metaverse movie guide).

This time, I’d like to cover the TV series that touch on similar themes of cybersecurity, AI, virtual beings, simulation, consciousness, AR/VR and other technologies and megatrends shaping the metaverse.

Isn’t it quaint that most people still call these shows TV? Almost all of these come from the post-television era of streaming video on demand (SVOD). Which means you can watch them in the metaverse.

How much more meta can we get? How about watching TV about the metaverse inside the metaverse? (Photo credit: Nicolas J Leclercq)

Black Mirror

Metaverse Pop Culture Part 1

In the first part of Pop Culture and the Metaverse I will be exploring novels and audiobooks that have influenced how we think about the metaverse.

There are things these books frequently got wrong, and in other cases, things I hope will be proven wrong. Some of these stories are outright dystopian (although that can make for a fun read).

Science fiction inspires awe better than most forms of literature. You’ll find it here in abundance. …

Everyone’s talking about the metaverse. Why? And what the heck does “metaverse” mean, anyway?

The word doesn’t have a perfect definition at this point; but that’s OK: the metaverse is a process of becoming, not just being.

When I need to give a concise explanation, I say this:

The metaverse is the internet evolving into a creative space for anyone who wants to craft experiences.

The keywords are experiences, space and creative.

Metaverse by Richard Horvath.

If I need to give a slightly expanded definition, I’ve written that the metaverse is defined by these attributes:

  • An emphasis on activities
  • …in increasingly immersive places in…

Jon Radoff

Adventurer & entrepreneur. I fight for the game-maker. I like startups, digital culture, stories, software, crypto, cooking/wine, games and adventure.

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