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By definition, a metaverse is a virtual reality space and a manifestation of actual reality. It is an interconnected world that exists online, allowing users to connect virtually through games or other forms of entertainment. Essentially a gaming metaverse is a fully immersive online world built upon the premise of interconnectivity through games.
Movies such as Ready Player One and the Matrix have made the idea of a gaming metaverse popular. Thus, paving the way for companies such as Oculus and Epic Games to create experiences that lean into the concept of a gaming metaverse.
As gaming becomes more popular and technology improves, the notion of a metaverse is becoming more like reality than just science fiction. It raises many questions regarding the politics of a metaverse. Who controls the metaverse? Is it safe? How financially and legally viable is it? To understand these questions better, it is worth understanding how we got to this point in the first place.
From Globalisation to Virtual Globalisation
A metaverse is intricately tied to the notion of globalisation. We can define globalisation as the growing interconnectivity of society on a global scale. It is a process of global change. Over time, the world has become more connected through three systems of globalisation.
- Economic globalisation-Nation-states become more connected through financial means such as lowering trade barriers.
- Digital globalisation- Nations have become more intertwined due to the proliferation of technology such as mobile phones and social media.
- Political globalisation- Governments engage and interact more globally, forming international organisations, signing trade agreements and alliances.
Although it is easy to look at each part of globalisation as a separate entity, it would be wrong. Each process of globalisation work in conjunction with one another, shaping the world as it becomes more interconnected. Currently, we are experiencing one of the most rapid global transformations in history.
However, globalisation hasn’t just emerged as a phenomenon. The world has undergone several golden eras of globalisation, such as during the industrial revolution in Europe. Thus, humanity has always been getting more connected, but the rate of connectivity has varied.
To understand the gaming metaverse, an understanding of globalisation is critical. Globalisation will create the metaverse through more connectivity but will change itself in the process. The idea of political, economic and digital globalisation will change fundamentally in a metaverse to create a virtual means of globalisation that is unknown to us.
The Economics of a Metaverse
Popular culture and entertainment have portrayed the metaverse as having an online currency system, much like today’s in-game currency. Currency is tied to individual players and used to level up your player avatar in a so-called metaverse. This currency may come in game-specific NFT’s such as those used in the SandBox and other cryptocurrencies.
As a metaverse starts to develop, with more users using online currency to buy goods, the global economic system and globalisation will change fundamentally due to a shift toward NFT’s and crypto.
How governments trade, purchase assets and store our earnings will change as metaverses become more prominent. Similarly, how our wealth is protected will also change. As a result, systems will need to be put in place to ensure our finances are adequately protected and the world economic system is stable.
The Politics of a Metaverse
Political globalisation will also be shaped enormously by the emergence of a gaming metaverse. While governments carry our policy decisions through international organisations and political agreements, the power may rapidly change as companies build gaming metaverses. The policy will be shaped by ensuring these new metaverses are safe and legally viable globally and within nation-states themselves.
The power of companies creating a metaverse will also have to be checked, with companies such as Facebook having to be legally accountable for creating virtual universes. Similarly, how much influence governments can have in a gaming metaverse also raises interesting questions.
How will authoritarian regimes such as China control the metaverse? Will they create their own? Will governments have no control? Questions will need to be raised about who holds power in the gaming metaverse and how accountable these people are.
An Expanding Digital Metaverse
As technology evolves and the metaverse becomes a reality, digital globalisation will be at its peak. The near-seamless interconnected world of a metaverse will see digital expansion at a rate never seen before as the gaming metaverse takes shape. Social media, mobile connectivity, and everything digital will gradually coalesce in a perfect blend of fully immersive connectivity.
Gone are the days of bad internet connectivity and latency, and in with the days of seamless global connectivity. The world will become heavily shaped by digital globalisation which will realise the birth of the gaming metaverse towards a new form of virtual globalisation.
The gaming metaverse will bring about a new wave of globalisation, called virtual globalisation. Virtual globalisation will fundamentally change how the world will work with the emergence of a metaverse.
The world will change politically, economically and digitally as a new world is created through a metaverse, shaping power relations, economic ties and digital advancement. Thus, virtual means of globalisation will change the world.
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