Preface: Why Are We Here?

No one really knows yet what the Metaverse is. And fair enough – it's a loose concept, drawn from literary inspiration rather than a specific technical definition. It's something about the Internet, something about 3D digital worlds, something about avatars, something about Blockchain and NFTs, something about shopping, something about gaming – right?

Well, kind of. As it turns out, the lack of a widely agreed‐upon Metaverse definition creates the opportunity for those who get there first to be the ones who define it, which is why we see so many players from so many different industries rushing to embrace this space. Companies from the worlds of tech, fashion, Web3, manufacturing, education, telecommunications, and plenty of other industries, plus a host of new startups, are all planting their flags on Planet Metaverse.

That so many companies are jumping on the Metaverse concept, surprisingly so, indicates two main things: (1) a general feeling that there is something in here that is genuinely worth participating in, and (2) determination by those who were left behind by recent mobile/cloud/Internet disruptions to not get left behind again.

Facebook, one of the major movers of the Metaverse concept, is a case in point. They originally acquired Oculus, a virtual reality headset maker, because they had missed the opportunity to lead the mobile hardware space and found themselves repeatedly at the business mercy of Apple and Google. In 2014, while looking ...

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