Who Created the Metaverse: A Journey into Its Origins

Answering the question “who created the metaverse?” is not simple and requires taking a big leap into the past.

The metaverse has been a hot topic for the past few years, capturing the imagination of technologists, investors, and users alike. This ever-evolving virtual world, where people can interact with digital environments and each other in real-time, has already begun transforming our online experiences. But who created the metaverse? To answer this question, we must dive into the history of virtual worlds and the visionaries who laid the foundation for this groundbreaking concept.

who created the metaverse
© freepik – Official website

Early Beginnings: The Concept of Virtual Worlds

The idea of a digital space where people could interact with one another and their environment has its roots in science fiction. In 1984, William Gibson’s novel “Neuromancer” introduced the concept of a “consensual hallucination,” a shared virtual reality. This idea captured the imagination of many, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the first virtual worlds emerged as online multiplayer games.

The Pioneers: Virtual Worlds Take Shape

In the early 1990s, the first virtual worlds took shape as Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs). Games like Ultima Online, EverQuest, and World of Warcraft allowed players to interact with each other in shared digital spaces, complete with their own economies, social structures, and political systems. However, these virtual worlds were limited by the technology of the time, and the term “metaverse” had yet to be coined. These games weren’t comparable to current metaverse games.

The metaverse, as we understand it today, can be traced back to Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel “Snow Crash”. In the book, Stephenson describes a fully immersive virtual world called the “Metaverse,” where users interact through avatars and experience a digital universe with its own rules and properties. While the novel was a work of fiction, it inspired countless technologists to bring the concept of the metaverse to life.

The Emergence of Second Life

One of the first attempts to create a metaverse-like environment was Second Life, launched in 2003 by Linden Lab. Founded by Philip Rosedale, Second Life provided users with a 3D digital space where they could create and customize avatars, build structures, and interact with other users. Although Second Life was groundbreaking for its time, its limitations in terms of graphics and user experience meant that it never quite reached the level of a true metaverse.

In Second Life it was possible to earn real money by selling virtual goods, a bit like today with Non-Fungible-Tokens (also known as NFTs).

Second Life
© Second Life – Official website

Social Media Giants Enter the Scene

Fast forward to the 2010s, and the rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram began to change the way people interacted online. While these platforms were not virtual worlds in the traditional sense, they laid the groundwork for more immersive digital experiences. It was during this time that a new generation of technologists began to explore the potential of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies.

The Birth of Modern Metaverse Platforms

In recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of platforms that aim to create a true metaverse experience. Companies like Roblox, Fortnite, and VRChat have created virtual environments where users can interact with each other and participate in a wide range of activities, from gaming to attending virtual concerts. Many metaverse companies are emerging in recent years.

However, one of the most ambitious projects in the metaverse space is the brainchild of Facebook, now known as Meta. In 2014, the company acquired Oculus VR, a leading virtual reality technology company, and began developing its own metaverse platform, known as Horizon Workrooms. While still in its infancy, the project aims to create a truly immersive and interconnected digital universe, blurring the lines between the physical and virtual worlds.

The Role of Open Source in the Metaverse

The open-source movement has played a crucial role in the development of the metaverse, fostering collaboration and innovation across the industry.

Open-source platforms, such as Mozilla Hubs and High Fidelity, have enabled developers, researchers, and enthusiasts to contribute to the metaverse’s growth and evolution. By encouraging the sharing of ideas, tools, and resources, the open-source community has accelerated the development of virtual worlds, paving the way for a more interconnected and immersive metaverse experience. As we look to the future, open-source projects will continue to shape the metaverse, driving innovation and ensuring that this digital frontier remains accessible and inclusive for all.

How metaverse makes money
© freepik – Official website

The Future of the Metaverse: A Collective Effort

As we look towards the future of the metaverse, it is important to recognize that no single person or company can claim to have created it. The metaverse is a culmination of the efforts of countless visionaries, developers, and entrepreneurs who have contributed to the evolution of digital spaces and the technologies that enable them.

In the coming years, we can expect the metaverse to continue to expand and evolve, driven by advancements in VR, AR, and artificial intelligence. Blockchain technology is also expected to play a significant role in shaping the metaverse’s future, as it can provide decentralized ownership of digital assets, secure transactions, and transparent governance systems. As time goes on, there will be more and more things you can do in the metaverse.

Collaboration between companies, developers, and users will be crucial in determining the direction the metaverse takes. As we stand at the threshold of a new era in digital interaction, the possibilities are seemingly endless. From fully immersive workspaces and virtual tourism to interactive entertainment and social experiences, the metaverse holds the potential to revolutionize the way we live, work, and play.

Who created the metaverse: conclusion

So, who created the metaverse? The answer is not a single individual or entity but rather a collective of visionaries, pioneers, and innovators who have pushed the boundaries of technology and digital interaction. From the early days of virtual worlds in MMORPGs to the ambitious projects of today’s tech giants, the metaverse has been shaped by a multitude of influences and ideas.

As we continue to explore this brave new digital frontier, we must remember that the metaverse’s future is still being written. The collaboration between companies, developers, and users, along with the integration of emerging technologies, will determine the shape and potential of the metaverse for generations to come.