Metaverse: Getting ahead on the US$800bil space

THE metaverse, currently gaining traction in one of the fastest-growing technologies in Malaysia, is a concept that brings together both the real and virtual world together. However, many people are still unsure of what, or how, the metaverse will impact their lives.

With hopes that it will fundamentally give the readers a better understanding and perspective of the metaverse which is still in its infancy stage, Virtualtech Frontier Sdn Bhd co-founder and CEO Jason Low had recently launched his book “Metaverse” at BORDERS Bookstore at The Curve in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

“I wanted to write this book for the Asian market as the other metaverse books available are currently written through a western context,” Low explained.

“It is important for the local metaverse industry to thrive, and this book allows the local enterprises to understand the metaverse as they would be the first buy-ins in the region.”

Low further elaborated that one of the key responsibilities as a metaverse company is to build the fundamentals of education on the metaverse and share it with the local community.

“Even though there are many online articles about the metaverse, this book will provide an all-in-one information that is more relatable to the local audience,” he added.

As such, Virtualtech Frontier decided to take the initiative to work with Kanyin Publications Sdn Bhd and publish this book to educate people about the metaverse.

What is the metaverse?

Jason Low with his book “Metaverse”

The metaverse has been given many definitions by multiple personalities and media publications alike.

“The metaverse, put simply, is just a 3D virtual world accessible by everyone for social and commerce activities,” Low noted.

“I believe that in the future, people will have a digital twin life inside the metaverse, where people are able to communicate and socialise with anyone across the world in the metaverse, and also make a living within the metaverse which is sustained by the huge corporations of the world.”

The term “metaverse” was first coined in a dystopian science fiction novel titled Snow Crash, written by Neal Stephenson and published in 1992.

The concept took off after a huge influx of interest some years ago. This can mean a potential US$800 billion market in the next 10 years and to Low and his team members, this is an opportunity not to be missed, especially when they are avid gamers themselves.

“I was born in the 90s, and I grew up experiencing role-playing games (RPG). A little of that childhood element has not left me yet, and since the team and I have a background in game development, we have been consistently pushing for immersive technology in our line of work,” Low said.

Kanyin Publications Sdn Bhd CEO and founder Adrian Kok with Jason Low

Metaverse and its impact on everyone

While the metaverse may still be in its infancy stage, its potential impact on people’s livelihoods is evident. For Low, it will be an opportunity for both corporate companies as well as everyday users to experience a world like no other.

“We are working towards providing virtual spaces in the metaverse for companies to build a new engagement platform beyond just the social media, and that itself will see companies interacting with the customers more virtually,” he related.

“At the same time, everyday users will be given a choice to engage and interact better with each other through an elevated virtual experience.”

Then, a question remains, “Will the world turn into a world like the movie ‘Ready Player One’?”

For context, the 2018 American science fiction action flick is based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name. directed by Steven Spielberg, the firm is set in 2045, where much of humanity uses the OASIS – a virtual reality simulation – to escape the real world.

According to Low, there is a possibility of that happening within the next decade, especially with big players like Meta (formerly known as Facebook) coupled with a strong developer community announcing better and more powerful VR devices.

Fundamentally, even though the metaverse is defined as “just a 3D virtual space”, it is what we do within the space that matters.

“Imagine that you can create virtually anything within the 3D space! Building an amazing fantasy world or even simulating life on mars is just the tip of the iceberg on what we can do,” Low shared.

“The essence of the metaverse in the end lies within the co-creation and co-engagement process between the companies and their customers.

“We have to allow creative juices to flow massively into the ecosystem, as this will then allow us to develop different levels of connectivity with users.

“Through various strategies to enhance engagements and interactions, this may hopefully impact the lives of many in the future.”

Metaverse by Jason Low

Jason with his sister & parents

To understand the metaverse, think of online games like Roblox, Fortnite, Minecraft and Secondlife

What these games have in common with the metaverse is that they bring people into a digital space that allows them to have experiences that go beyond their current reality.

The metaverse is shifting businesses into a futuristic world like The Jetsons

As businesses can build their own virtual spaces in the metaverse, a person can set up a virtual store where users can use haptic feedback gloves to “touch” the products without leaving their locations.

NFTs are not just artwork, it’s a proof of trade

As there are no boundaries on the internet, people and businesses need a way to prove asset ownership, property rights and identity. Tamper-proof and unable to virtually counterfeit, NFTs can provide this authentication.

Metaverse projects thrives on community

In this virtual space that brings people together from all over the world, the metaverse is a great place to build a community. Especially if you are working on an NFT project.

Starts with social media

These are free platforms are used by metaverse businesses and users alike to access and build communities. These platforms have features that let a person host live chats, share news and stay in touch with their community.

Always “Give, give, give, and then ask”

A useful piece of advice from Gary Vee’s on building a community. Always focus on giving value to your community members without always asking for something in return.

To know what the future is like with metaverse, watch “Ready Player One”

This book references the movie “Ready Player One” to illustrate how the metaverse will shape the world. Specifically, in the areas of gamification, socialisation, education, work and commerce.

Books Availability

“Metaverse” is currently available at Borders, Kinokuniya and MPH bookstores.

The book will also be sold at Popular Malaysia, KL Commercial Books, GoldenHouse (online book retailer) in Malaysia, Kinokuniya Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia soon. – Dec 1, 2022

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