Your Metaverse Glossary

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Your Metaverse Glossary
Key Takeaways:
— The Metaverse is an immersive digital space where people from all over the planet can connect, curate a life, and experience things together in real-time: this exciting space makes new ways of human interaction possible, and is set to usher in a new way of living

— The Metaverse will be absolutely essential to businesses as they bring their experience to a global audience, and is set to create an incredible host of new jobs, social experiences and opportunities for community building.

— With this new ecosystem comes a lot of new terms and jargon, which might make it hard for you  to get involved with discussions about the space – or understand how it might benefit you

— Here we break down the key terms you might encounter so you can start exploring the space for yourself.

The Metaverse. A fully immersive technological world, a new way of experiencing life and a new place for doing business.

It might sound like a technical term, but the future of the metaverse presents opportunities for everybody – yes, including you.

What’s the Metaverse – and why should you care?

At the heart of it, the Metaverse is a public space for people across the globe to connect, collaborate, and communicate digitally. 

Sounds a bit like the internet? It’s not. What sets it apart from the status is the type of experience users can have there. The hyper-real platforms offer more visceral, immersive social experiences than anything we’ve seen before. This is not just about socializing, but means HUGE potential for businesses to connect and build relationships with their users, and even offer a new generation of virtual products and experiences within the platform itself, all of which give birth to a new kind of creator economy. 

The potential is huge and it’s absolutely not just for devs and techies – more or less every sector will have opportunities with the Metaverse. Whether your business is art, real estate,  music, events, fashion, film, culture, sports, tourism or even therapy, this is a space you need to know about, because it’s where our next generation of consumers will be hanging out.

More on that can be found here!

But there are multiple Metaverses; each one with its own flavor, metrics and ideas. Not to mention some important terms that apply to the space as a whole that you might not be familiar with. 

So here, we give you the ultimate Metaverse glossary, so that you can benefit from this exploding space yourself.

User Experience and Visual Identity

Visual experience is a defining feature in the Metaverse, and a huge factor in how projects define themselves. Here are some of the key terms that will help you understand what each platform is offering.

Immersive

Immersive is a word you’ll see everywhere in descriptions of the Metaverse and it refers to the idea that the experience “surrounds” you, rather than being simply an image on a screen. It means users can dive into their digital surroundings, bridging one of the major gaps between gaming and the real world.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Computer generation that makes you feel like you’re really walking through the digital landscape with scenes and objects that seem tangible – that’s virtual reality. It’s an environment that is perceived as real, created through a VR headset or helmet.

Photorealistic art

If you’ve ever seen a painting that looks just like a photograph (with the “What?! That’s not a photo?!”) then you’ve seen photorealistic art. Photorealism is a genre that encompasses media from painting, drawing, and digital rendering to produce a piece as close to a photograph as possible. 

Voxelized

If we’re not familiar with the term voxel, we can’t blame you. Voxelized images are 3D images based on cubes, giving the character or item an old-school, pixelated feel. Voxies is a good example – the game’s aesthetic and characters are all voxelized, making for a fun user experience and a well-defined style.

Alpha/Beta

These terms refer to the stage of development a platform is at and give insight into how fast a project is moving and what the overall vision is for its release The alpha phase is a non-public testing stage where bugs and problems are identified before public release. Beta testing is sort of a soft release, where the final version is played by real users in a real environment with a view to iterating and improving further before launch.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a delightful union of real-world context and digital assets. Games like Pokémon Go are a great example – they impose digital characters and assets against your real-world background, transforming real life into a gaming universe by subtly merging it with digital elements. And it can all be done through the camera of your device.

Assessing your Opportunities

If you’re deciding which project to buy into, understanding some key terms will help you assess your opportunities and understand how to make the purchase. While there is a business side involved, the tech terminology doesn’t need to be a concern.

Native token

Each metaverse projects has its own currency (fungible tokens) to power its platform economy – these are what you’ll use to pay for goods, services and experiences within the platform and, as with real-world currencies, the better the platform does, the more its native tokens will be worth.

Market cap

The market capitalization refers to the total value of the platform. The market cap is calculated by multiplying the number of tokens that are in circulation by the current value of a single token.

Land drop

If you’re trying to buy land in the Metaverse, knowing exactly where and when to look can be tricky. A land drop is when new plots of land are made available by the platform itself, and means you can buy the newly released land directly on the platform. NB) some projects have already released all of their land, meaning they won’t have any more land drops.

Primary sale

If a person buys a virtual asset directly from a project (via a land drop), it’s called the primary sale.

Secondary sale/Secondary market

A secondary sale  is when you purchase land or collectibles from another user, rather than directly from the project itself. This is pretty common especially on Metaverse projects where all land parcels are already released. You can normally do this on NFT marketplaces (such as Rarible or Opensea), or the marketplace of the project itself.

Floor price

The floor price refers to the lowest price at which an NFT or asset in a project or collection can be bought. Although it only speaks for one asset, monitoring the floor price of a project’s land can be a good short-hand metric for understanding the value movement of the project as a whole. 

Fractional Ownership

Fractional ownership happens when several people pool their funds to buy an asset together. Together, they own the asset and share the costs.

Creator economy

The creator economy refers to people who make money from their digital content, and the sector is set to explode in tandem with the Metaverse. As an experiential, social and immersive digital space built on blockchain, it is a perfect arena for creators to present their content in interesting new formats, connect with a larger audience than ever – and be able to monetize the relationship directly

Platform Utility and Management

The framework and the way technology is used both determine the future direction of a Metaverse and what it can offer you. Here are some key terms used to discuss this so you can grasp the possibilities.

Interoperability

If systems can talk to each other and exchange information seamlessly, they’re interoperable with each other. This is an essential feature of the Metaverse because it means you’ll be able to travel seamlessly between different platforms with the same avatar (and all of the goodies and virtual assets that come with it).

Open source

An open-source platform (of any variety) is one that publishes its underlying source code, allowing others to create new things from the same underlying technology. This is important for the Metaverse because it enables interoperability between multiple platforms, and allows you to use your collectibles across any of them. It’s really about freedom for you, the user. 

Closed Source

As you might have guessed, closed source platforms do not publish their underlying code or allow others to build on their existing base. This gives core developers control over where the project goes, how it develops and who can monetize the technology. Facebook’s Meta is a good example of a closed source platform.

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)

The goal for many Metaverse platforms is to become a DAO, in other words a space entirely governed by its own community of users – like a real life electorate. For you, the user, a DAO-based Metaverse means you’ll have a say in the future of the project. And while different projects have different degrees of decentralized governance, it’s one vector to bear in mind where you’re figuring out which one interests you.

Governance Tokens

You might be wondering how community members vote within a DAO? This is the utility of governance tokens. Anyone holding any governance tokens for a project has the right to vote on key decisions and the token itself communicates the vote to the blockchain. 

Play2Earn

Play2earn is a term you’ll see a lot of, and rightly so – it’s an idea that turned traditional gaming on its head. Gaming has traditionally meant users paying for the privilege of playing – instead, play2earn rewards you each time you play. Axie Infinity is a great example: more gaming means more Axies, and these assets have real world value. Play2earn removes the cost of entry for players, and incentivizes them to play instead.

Curating your Metaverse

From your digital persona to your digital house, possessions and fashion, the Metaverse is a place where you curate your own existence via NFT collectibles. But what sort of thing does that include?

Avatar

Your avatar is you, but digital. It’s a graphical representation of a person’s digital identity. An avatar can be a 2D representation – kind of like a profile picture like you might see on Twitter, Discord or Reddit – or it can be 3D to represent you in more immersive experiences like in digital social Metaverse interactions and blockchain-based games.

NFT

An NFT (non-fungible token) represents the ownership assigned to digital assets living in the Metaverse. Like in the real world, if you buy something a piece of art, it comes with a certificate of authenticity, your NFT is the proof on the blockchain that you own an authentic, unique digital asset.

Collectibles

Like their IRL counterpart, digital collectibles are unique items whose value stems from their rarity. We’re talking about NFTs of course; but with the backdrop and context offered by the Metaverse, these items take on new meaning. Wilder World hosts some great examples: their native NFT collections include Wilder Wheels (their custom designed, gravity defying vehicles) Wilder Crafts and even Wilder Pets. And unlike physical collectibles, they never wear or tear. 

Avatar

Your avatar is you, but digital. It’s a graphical representation of a person’s digital identity. An avatar can be a 2D representation – kind of like a profile picture like you might see on Twitter, Discord or Reddit – or it can be 3D to represent you in more immersive experiences like in digital social Metaverse interactions and blockchain-based games.

Direct-to-Avatar (D2A)

Direct-to-Avatar (D2A) refers to the channel of businesses selling a digital product directly to an avatar, effectively avoiding any logistics related to the sale of a physical product. D2A products are sold so that a person’s online identity has more choice in how they project themselves in the Metaverse. Products like designer skins, experiences, and land assets are D2A products.

Security in the Metaverse

You wouldn’t leave your car running with the keys inside, right? With people buying entire digital homes – as well as assets, collectibles and avatars – in the metaverse, the first thing you should be thinking about is how to secure them properly.

Private Keys

Private keys are at the very center of your Metaverse experience because they determine your ownership of anything you buy there.

Hot Wallet

A hot wallet is a software-based wallet that enables you to store your private keys within an interface that is always connected to the internet. While they provide users with convenience and an easy way to access their digital assets, they’re not considered the safest storage method without other protection. 

Cold Storage

So why take any risks? Cold storage is offline storage of your private keys, and mitigates a lot of the risk faced by hot wallets. Ledger’s hardware wallet is a perfect example – it boasts the benefits of offline storage and maintains ease of use for you. If you’re serious about securing your virtual assets, cols storage using a hardware wallet is non-negotiable.

The more you know, the further you’ll go

There you have it – your crash course in Metaverse terminology. If you’ve made it this far, you are now equipped to start exploring the Metaverse with confidence – and more importantly, to assess what it might offer you.

Maybe you’re looking to pick up your first digital home, perhaps you’re a gamer looking for a thrilling photorealistic escape from reality, or maybe you just want to find your next job. Whatever your motivation, this is an arena that is absolutely worth knowing – so keep learning, because knowledge is power, and we’re here to make sure you have it.

Knowledge is Power.

The Metaverse is set to change the way we live – are you ready for what’s coming? School of Block is here to give you the lowdown on this digital revolution.


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