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Graduation Day in the Metaverse

When author Neal Stephenson coined the term “metaverse” in the 1990s, it was unthinkable for the concept to go this far. At the time, the word indicated the possibility to exist in a three-dimensional way through the internet, but the revitalization of the idea by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has drastically widened the potential use of this powerful tool.

In simple terms, the Metaverse today encompasses both the real and the virtual worlds. The two are deeply interconnected, with the latter being a vehicle to improve interactions with the former. Though it is unclear what Zuckerberg has in mind for his company, many others have already started working on projects to actualize in the Metaverse. Right now, the crypto-currency sector is going as far as building stores in the virtual world where you can pay using crypto-currencies. It is the case of the Decentraland platform, in which MANA currency is widely used. Users can create parks, homes, events, and festivals in the Metaverse and gain money by having others pay in MANA.

Others have explored this new world in other ways. Italian university student, Edoardo Di Pietro was fascinated by the Metaverse and embarked on a groundbreaking project with his professor. In the upcoming weeks, Di Pietro will discuss his master’s thesis both in the classroom of his Alma Mater, the University of Turin, and inside the Metaverse. The idea was first born when the 2020 Christmas party of the TEMBO company was famously held on Minecraft due to COVID-19 restrictions in Italy. After learning of this new application of the Metaverse, Professor Michele Cornetto started exploring it himself to discover its potential and possible applications.

Lastly, Cornetto began proposing this exploration as a research project for his master’s students. It was then that Di Pietro responded, and the two began working together on the project. As a student in the degree program in Communication, ICTs, and Media, Di Pietro had always been passionate about the wonders of new technologies. This last project is but the culmination of this curiosity. His thesis subject is entirely devolved to an investigation of the impact of the Metaverse on modern society starting from the TEMBO case.

As of today, the Metaverse has already found applications in entertainment and commerce, but its potential is still largely undiscovered. Whether it is a visit to a museum or an apartment, a work meeting or a lecture, the possibilities are truly endless. Cornetto, however, warns of the dangers of virtual reality. He reiterates it is crucial to learn how to separate the digital from the real world, encouraging the development of a better conscience as well as professional figures to protect humans from alienation and other dangers of virtual life. For the time being, the Metaverse projects are still few and not easily accessible by the general public. The impact remains unclear on our lives when these instruments will be readily available to all. 

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Tags: #technology #italy #cryptocurrency #metaverse #graduation #innovation


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