29 May 2022

In futurism and science fiction, the metaverse is a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal and immersive virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets.[1][2] In colloquial use, a metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection.[2][3][4]

Avatars socialising in the 2003 virtual world Second Life
The term "metaverse" originated in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash as a portmanteau of "meta" and "universe." Metaverse development is often linked to advancing virtual reality technology due to increasing demands for immersion.[5][6][7] Recent interest in metaverse development is influenced by Web3,[8][9] a concept for a decentralized iteration of the internet. Web3 and The Metaverse have been used as buzzwords[1][10] to exaggerate development progress of various related technologies and projects for public relations purposes.[11] Information privacy, user addiction, and user safety are concerns within the metaverse, stemming from challenges facing the social media and video game industries as a whole.[12][1][13]

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