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In the space between reality and dreams.

If Father Ted was still going, I expect there would be a whole episode that would deal with the ambiguous and intriguing nature of the metaverse, and much like Dougal struggles to distinguish between dreams and reality you might find yourself struggling to come to any conclusion about what the metaverse is. Which is fair enough, as it doesn’t exist yet.

The metaverse sounds very dramatic and sci-fi, but a more mundane term is extended reality or XR. Or course this being tech related you can expect lots of acronyms, XR can include AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality). AR overlays images on real-life settings, for example, that Snapchat filter that gives you whiskers and cat ears- that is AR, or the ‘see in your living space’ feature on Google that can bring a Red Panda into your living room.

AR can be achieved with your mobile phone, VR that’s a bit more complex you need more equipment, a headset possibly some gloves or body gadgets depending how in-depth you are going. VR is more immersive as it creates a simulation of a physical space where you can wander about frolicking with Red Pandas in the form of your avatar who mimics your real-life movements.  

Of course, the metaverse has the potential for lots of very important uses like training and teaching people safely how to do things that would in reality be very unsafe, like open heart surgery and firefighting. Unfortunately, as the metaverse is really just the next stage of the internet we can probably expect that it will be used for a lot of things the current internet is used for, things like porn, seeing funny cats in an almost real-life setting, and games where you shoot things.

Antonia Forster has coined the phrase metaverse-y, rather than thinking about the metaverse, it might be more useful to view apps and platforms as having metaverse traits.

So to the tune of That’s Amore!

When you have been working with someone for 3 years and have no idea how tall they are…

That’s so metaverse-y

When your kids swap Roblox handles in the playground…

That’s so metaverse-y

When you do your big shop and browse the aisles from your sofa…

That’s so metaverse-y

When your Daughter and your mum are having a video call that makes them look like they are astronauts…

That’s so metaverse-y

When your favourite band launches an nft and cryptocurrency…

That’s so metaverse-y

So, if you feel like you are living somewhere between a dream and reality- you’ve got it! That is the metaverse.