A metaverse is a virtual world. The term is regularly used to describe a future version of the Internet where virtual, persistent, and shared spaces are accessible via 3D interaction.
The term “metavers” comes from the contraction of meta (beyond) and universe. The metaverse is therefore a universe that goes beyond the one we know. It is therefore a virtual world.
This concept was first described in the novel Simulacres by Philip K. Dick in 1964 and Simulacron 3 by Daniel Galouye, published in the United States in 1964 (in France in 1968) and brought to the screen by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in 1973 in Le Monde sur le fil, then taken up in The Virtual Samurai, published in 1992, by Neal Stephenson, who coined the term metaverse.
The first major application of the metaverse principle was the massively multiplayer online game Second Life, created in 2003. This free game allowed its users to embody virtual characters in a world created by the residents themselves, and it made the subject of a certain fashion effect between 2003 and 2007, before experiencing a gradual disinvestment by both consumers and the companies that had invested in it.
While massively multiplayer online gaming has remained a thriving category of gaming, no such open “sandbox game” has ever been successful again.
On October 28, 2021, Mark Zuckerberg officially announced that Facebook was renamed Meta, and would dedicate a large part of its activity to the development of a metaverse, called Horizon Worlds. This reorientation cost the company more than 13 billion dollars in fifteen months. Thus, according to the Spanish economist Manuel Hidalgo, interviewed by El Pais, “Previously someone created a technology, like the combustion engine, and once it was viable, products were born, like the car. With the metaverse, the situation is reversed: the idea is promoted and when traders invest in it, it is developed”.
The metaverse represents the future of the Internet.