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  • Writer's pictureVejeps Ephi Kingsly

What is the Metaverse? The significance of the gaming industry in this new virtual world.

What is the metaverse?

Metaverse is part of the next phase of internet evolution which is defined by its immersive interaction in or between ecosystems being built on the internet. Users can interact with each other, act , experience and participate together using customised digital avatars. This is not limited to the virtual, mixed, augmented reality experiences but also within an interactive simulated environment like a game play.

Virtual Reality vs Augmented reality vs Mixed Reality!

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality uses HMD( Head Mounted Devices) transporting users into a computer generated 3D world. It's a completely immersive experience transcending the users into a virtual reality which is unreal from the physical environment. The HMDs uses sensors and cameras to determine the surrounding of a user to orient a virtual world through the displays in the HMD.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality enhances real world environments through digitally planted overlays . This is achieved on multiple interfaces like screen devices, glasses etc. The device primarily uses the camera and sensors to determine and augment overlays for the user.

Mixed reality

Mixed reality is a hybrid between Virtual and Augmented reality. It allows you to have digital reality blend with the real world and also allows you to augment and interact with the overlay. Mixed Reality uses HMDs( Head mounted displays) that primarily use the real world environment with a combination of virtual display masks and interactive augmentations that can be manipulated by a user.

In my Opinion

Virtual reality would be more used in entertainment and social interaction and content consumption. Augmented reality would be adopted for functional uses like maps, photography, e-commerce etc. Mixed reality would be useful in more serious endeavours like healthcare, architecture, sports, engineering design etc.

The Significance of the Gaming Industry to the Metaverse

Metaverse is being built on the foundation of interactivity of users beyond image, text & video into a digitally created parallel reality.

Games have existed for years in players interacting on a similar interface. With multiplayer games, the communication of users transcended into virtual characters consorting with each other. That forms the base and foundation from where metaverse would evolve from.

Let us take an example of the game - Flight Simulator

A digital world of aviation has existed for many years where users could fly planes between airports around the world in a simulated virtual world. The experience is close enough to actually flying a plane in a simulator.

The game interactivity and design forms an integral part of how interactions would happen in the metaverse replacing computer driven characters by avatars of users.

Role of platforms like Unreal Engine and Unity

The gaming engines is the architecture or frame on which games are built. These engines combine audio, visual rendering and can integrate graphics and AI into the game design.

These augment engines are so capable now that they are used for media design and other functional virtual testing environments.

For example, Unreal Engine integrated within games like Fortnite allows players to create virtual designs with no code or development needs. Unreal engine is also used for designing and conducting virtual music concerts and festivals.

Unity is used by Waymo to function its self driving cars by simulating data from camera and sensors for self drive technology

These capabilities can be enhanced to form a backbone to help create virtual worlds, user generated content and interactions in real time.

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