The Biggest Misconceptions About The Metaverse

Think you understand what’s going on in the metaverse? Think again. 

The general idea of the metaverse doesn’t seem complicated. It’s a virtual world where people can hang out and enjoy themselves. What is complicated is the way people keep talking about it. 

Is it for gaming? Is it for online shopping? Is it going to take over our lives and have us wasting away in cheap office chairs? 

The way we’ve been talking about the metaverse makes it sound like a giant replica of the world we have today. Games, economy, digital infrastructure, and even Walmart have now taken their first steps into the metaverse in a collaboration with Roblox creating both Walmart Land and the Walmart Universe of Play

Countries like Japan have announced intentions of investing in the metaverse. The Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, said in his speech to Japan’s parliament that the country will “promote efforts to expand the use of web3 services that utilize the metaverse and NFTs.” 

While it can be easy to get wrapped up in the buzz and excitement of a digital ether where all things are possible, there are a few things we need to settle first. What does it all mean? 

Here are the four biggest misconceptions about the metaverse… so far. 

There is only one metaverse 

The term metaverse was coined by sci-fi writer Neil Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash. The book was originally published in 1992, making it thirty years old. 

When someone outside of the tech world hears the term metaverse for the first time they might imagine one digital world where everything is happening all at once. 

When we talk about “the” metaverse, we’re usually talking about the technology and the multiple worlds that will make up the digital realms where individuals can participate. In truth, we are still developing what the metaverse will be and nothing has been made permanent. 

What we call the metaverse is ever-evolving and what we consider it to be now will inevitably change over time. The myth that can be debunked, however, is that there isn’t just one singular metaverse, it is not just one digital place. 

The metaverse is made up of many individual metaverses, all virtual worlds where people gather to collaborate, play games, hang out with friends, shop, work, and so on. 

The real world economy will be replicated

Large corporations and brands have been making their way into Web3 and the metaverse with the same old habits. 

“Businesses are naive in thinking they’ll just open up a shop in Decentraland or Roblox and people will come and visit their virtual store and buy things. This would make the virtual interaction the same as in the physical world,” said Theo Priestley, CEO of Metanomics “You have a shop, and you’re forced to go and pick up items off the shelf and put them in a digital basket, and that’s not really what we want to replicate. We actually want to create brand new experiences and we have a blank template in the metaverse to be able to do that.” 

It is true that the metaverse economy is fuelled by the real-world economy, if people have the funds to spend on digital assets then the virtual world we dream of expands. And because the metaverse is also creating demand for jobs like 3D digital artists, UX/UI designers, community managers, moderators, developers, and more, it’s safe to say the metaverse itself has an impact on the lives we live economically. 

But to think that the virtual economy will be an exact replica of the real-world economy is missing the point entirely. Even those who understand the enterprise metaverse, a metaverse that enables business growth opportunities for an enterprise, understand that the experience needs to be different. NikeLand may be doing it right by allowing users to create their own avatar and dress it in Nike gear. Users can play sports in teams where anything is possible. 

It’s a video game 

There’s this idea that the metaverse itself is just one giant video game and projects have started to gamify every aspect of their metaverse world experience in hopes of grabbing investors by the shirts while they still can. 

The issue with this is that most people when thinking about the metaverse want something different. Sure, if you’re already a gamer then a gamified metaverse world sounds pretty cool. But, what about if you’re not a gamer? What if you’ve never been a gamer? 

The metaverse is more than just a game and not every project needs to be gamified. It can be just a place to hang out and connect with people on a more intimate level. It could be the chance to use digital assets while immersed in a sci-fi scene. It could even be the option to try on a new wardrobe before buying it. 

If we are going to build an immersive and inclusive metaverse, we need to think outside the box that is gaming. 

It will be monopolized 

Companies like Meta and Microsoft are creating metaverses and the wearables to go with them. Will these companies be the only option when it comes to hanging out with your friends or experiencing a virtual workout?  

The short answer is no. Just like the ability to create new websites, discord communities, and youtube channels today, people will have the ability to create their own metaverses and invite their friends. You will have the option to use Meta,  Microsoft, Decentraland, Roblox, Voxels, and more, but they won’t be the only options and they might not even be the best for your needs. 

In an interview with The New York Times, Jaron Lanier said he was looking forward to “a hundred micro-entrepreneurs doing their little thing here and there – there wouldn’t be some overlord.” 

The good news is we can create the future we want to see. We don’t have to sway to a monopoly on the metaverse. Right now Web3 creators have the chance to come together to ensure everyone gets a chance to build something awesome. The more diverse your own metaverse experience is, the more diverse the metaverse will be as a whole. 

It’s easy to excuse the metaverse as some far-away virtual abyss that just sucks up your time. The more practical and world-changing effects of the metaverse are starting to show. Lacey Kelani, the founder of  MetaIntro, a resume wallet for Web3 that uses NFTs and blockchain technology, shares Web3 job openings daily with the community she is building. 

“There are a TON of new Web3 legal/contract opportunities being posted in our discord every single day,” Lacey writes,  

And that’s just one category. Web3 and the metaverse are opening up jobs for developers, social media managers, community builders, project leads, data analysts, content writers, and more. It’s a builders’ paradise and the rest of us are sitting beachside in it. 

 As the waves of a new digital sea start to rise, you can expect the waters to be a little choppy. Change is almost always a bumpy ride. The metaverse brings many fresh challenges just waiting to be overcome. Once you begin to break through the misconceptions it all seems a little less daunting and becomes more exciting. Here’s to the next big evolution, the fourth industrial revolution. 


This article and all the information in it does not constitute financial advice. If you don’t want to invest money or time in Web3, you don’t have to. As always: Do your own research.

Carlee is a comic book and sci-fi fiction nerd with a strong affinity for the character of Doctor Doom. She is a content writer and copywriter focusing on Web3. Connect with her on Twitter @carlee_writes 

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