Beyond the ‘virtual playground’ of teenagers… Evolving metaverse

2021.09.07

Minjun Son

Image source: SM Entertainment

             Teenagers meet friends in an online virtual space and enjoy fireworks in the night sky. They also buy new products from the luxury brand Gucci. A virtual influencer created by computer graphics also serves as a brand model. All of this is happening in a space called the Metaverse.

             Metaverse is a compound word meaning virtual and transcendent (Meta) and real world (Universe). It can be thought of as a 3D virtual world or augmented reality. It refers to a three-dimensional virtual world where social, economic, and cultural activities like the real world take place. This concept appeared in the 1992 American science fiction writer Neil Stevenson’s novel ‘Snow Crash’. It is a more advanced concept than the existing virtual reality, and it is a form in which the virtual world, such as the web and the Internet, is absorbed into the real world.

             SM Entertainment’s girl group Aespa, who debuted last year, also attracted attention by launching a metaverse concept. It is a unique composition with the addition of 4 existing members and 4 members created as another self in the virtual space.

Metaverse is being used in various fields as well as games and entertainment. In last year’s US presidential election, Candidate Joe Biden held an election camp in a village in a game called Animal Crossing.

The virtual world has come closer to our daily life than we thought, and now we are looking forward to expanding into a larger world that mixes virtual and reality.

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