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With three billion active players worldwide, this is a good bet for… Metaverse Initially by playing. Are the game makers ready to get it together? That was the description of a metaverse panel – about games leading the way to the metaverse – that I moderated recently CES 2023 Technology Trade Show in Las Vegas.
I’ve been amazed at how widely the idea of the metaverse has spread across CES 2023 content this year. LG said it will use the flat screen TVs to display metaverse content such as online concerts in partnership with LG Orbit. HTC And Sony Show your high quality VR headset. Magic Leap was on hand to demonstrate its efforts to use Mixed Reality to penetrate organizations through AR glasses.
Nvidia talked about the Omniverse Enable factory digital twins, or virtual factories that can inform the design of factories equipped with real-world sensors that can generate lots of digital data to improve virtual factory designs. It predicts the generative artificial intelligence that creates a lot of content for the metaverse.
And so it seemed fitting that our panel was one of many panels across CES — which drew 115,000 people to see 3,000 exhibitors across more than two million square feet of space — that focused on the metaverse.
Panelists generally agreed that the games would lead the way into the metaverse. I remembered Jason Rubin from Meta had concluded that the metaverse with its 3D animation would be built using game engines. And game developers know how to use game engines. It follows that game developers will lead the way into the metaverse. That argument made sense to me.
“From my background in game design, working for video game companies, I’m a firm believer that games really drive a lot of technology,” said Jeri Ellsworth, CEO of augmented reality glasses maker Tilt Five. “Part of it is that it’s easier to keep people happy with fun than to make a productivity tool. When I learned to design games, I learned, when it’s fun, it’s fun. It doesn’t matter what the technology is behind it. And so my point is about what we did at Tilt Five.”
Essentially doing a tabletop metaverse, Tilt Five lets you experience augmented reality, connect with people who are in remote locations, and play board games with them.
Holoride CEO Nils Walney was there to show off virtual reality games and apps designed for use in cars. He was excited to give backseat passengers something exciting to do while they were traveling. That was reminded, Woolney said Homo lodensa 1938 book about the importance of play to human society.
“You can play for every free minute you have on your mobile device, or in every situation. You may need a little distraction. It frees your mind a little bit from your obligations during the day. Play has a huge impact on society in general. From the point of view of gaming, Walney said, I think this will lead us to ways of making the world a slightly better place, hopefully not a metaverse of a dystopia.”
And Dirk Lueth, economist and co-founder of Upland, entered the metaverse with his company that allows players to acquire virtual real estate superimposed in the real world. He believes that Web3 will help create player ownership and enable users to create their own metaverse applications to escape the walled gardens of large platforms which can inhibit free and open metaverse growth.
He said that if you brought together user-centric technologies like Web3 to help people play and socialize and then take their identities and origins across worlds, it would be more like a metaverse.
Mark Stutzman, CTO of District 15, is responsible for technology for something I think is Burning Man in Las Vegas. Tucked away in a warehouse, District 15 is a psychedelic explosion of light and art shows, using a wide range of technologies and projectors to deliver an off-the-beaten path experience. His company wants to bring metaverse-like experiences to actual, real-world locations.
“I imagine this superimposition of all kinds of different worlds on top of a physical world where we can still interact, and certainly be directed,” Stutzman said. “But I think the thing that’s been missing during this product development cycle of the metaverse is that adoption is driving it. What sticks, right? Changing behavior is really hard. I think what the worlds, platforms, and final product will be will depend entirely on what the consumer actually embraces and enjoys.” .
Interestingly, not all game developers believe in metaverses, according to a survey from Game Developers Conference. Maybe they’re losing faith because it’s been overplayed after the Meta embraces the metaverse in an overzealous way.
by contrast, Accenture reported In a survey, more than half (55%) of the nearly 9,000 consumers surveyed see the metaverse as a business opportunity for content creation and monetization. Most C-suite executives (89%) also believe that the metaverse will have an important role in the future growth of their organization, according to Accenture.
Hopefully someone is excited to bring metaverse experiences to all consumers and businesses.
But the question that generated more fun answers was, “What’s your favorite mutant fantasy?”
Ellsworth said her paradoxical fantasy is that walled gardens or companies seeking to create their own moats around metaverse content will not be dominated by walled gardens or companies seeking to build their own moats around metaverse content and take a significant cut of the revenue. She believes these companies need not be so aggressive about having an experience that everyone should share.
“Let it evolve,” she said, “and let the customers tell us what it is.”
This led us to a discussion about what it takes for game companies to control their own destiny in the metaverse.
Lueth believes that pets will be a huge problem in the metaverse. He believes that people will want to take pets with them at all times, whether they are at home, at work, or traveling. They can play with pets and be around them all the time.
Walney said he wanted to see “Engine Reversal,” where we take the Metaverse inside the car and on the road with us.
Star Trek Holodeck
Maybe I can see beyond just those who only focus on the gaming industry. The metaverse has you covered across a lot of industries. And so I think many industries, from retail brands to manufacturing companies, are preparing for the change that is coming. Part of my metaverse
The other part of my Metaverdi fiction concerns skepticism. I laugh when I hear others say the metaverse has already been done via VR and Second Life – and those people say both examples are proof of the metaverse’s failure. But I think this reflects a lack of imagination. And while Second Life was innovative, it’s fair to say its potential was limited because it came ahead of its time.
These skeptics believe the metaverse will never come to pass. But it’s like saying that the internet on smartphones failed because 3G phones were a failure. We all know that better technology comes together to deliver a much better real-time experience. By the time better technology introduced speeds like 5G and Wi-Fi, internet on smartphones was a huge hit.
I think when we get something like the Star Trek Holodeck, which can create a fantastical, visually immersive world for me right away, I’m going to feel that’s what it means.
The other part of my online fantasy was about interoperability and asset reuse. If Nvidia creates an accurate model of the entire United States in the Omniverse so it can test its AI chips for self-driving cars, great. They can simulate those cars in a safe environment where no one gets injured in car accidents. But it is better to reuse this model than the United States, its streets and its traffic.
Maybe Rockstar Games can take New York City and design a new Grand Theft Auto game around the hyper-realistic buildings and streets someone else bothered to create. And maybe in their next game they can trade New York City for Ubisoft, which Rockstar can give Paris. When the objects in the virtual worlds become infinitely reusable and the users themselves are able to bring their worlds to life with these pre-existing assets, then I will feel like the metaverse is here.
Stutzman agreed that he believes the ultimate tech dream is the Holodeck. Area 15 contains a 360-degree projection map room where the lighting can be changed, transforming the room into all kinds of visual experiences.
“We can change it in all the crazy ways,” he said. “But I want to change it like a Holodeck. And I want you to be able to choose your own story. And I want the projection maps and augmented reality and soundscapes and all that stuff to change based on who you are and how you interact with that environment. I mean, that’s when shit gets crazy, right? And I don’t think so.” It’s too far away.”
Steve Koenig, vice president of research for the Consumer Technology Association, predicted that the metaverse would span many industries and infiltrate many services and applications, which he called the “metaverse of Things” or the “metaverse as a service.”
Perhaps this is wishful thinking. But I have to believe that on the other side of this slump, the metaverse will still be a dream that’s still very much alive.
I’ve included a video of the board here. Please check it out. We will have a lot of content like this on our site GamesBeat Summit 2023 The event, which will take place in Los Angeles on May 22-23. We hope to see you there.
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