It started with Meta wanting to colonise the metaverse (so much so, they rebranded from Facebook to do so), devoted an enormous amount of time and resource to do so and founded its much vaunted “Reality Labs” unit. This was launched to lead its quest into augmented reality tech, but in the last year alone it has lost $13.7bn.
Numerous barriers have been cited as reasons why a mass take up of the metaverse won’t happen: genuine need for social interaction, the thrill of physical experiences and headset issues are three of the main ones.
However, it’s for these very reasons that explains why it works so well for video game users.
Videogames and social interaction
Firstly, it’s the very nature of video gaming that it is very much a solo experience. Sure, some might play with others either over the ether or be watched by others in the same room, but it’s still very much one person, taking on the computer.
Secondly, who needs physical experiences when you’re physically sitting on a gaming chair and blowing the living crap out of a CPU’s best rendering of an enemy under a volley of laser blasts and heat seeking missiles while jumping from a helicopter or rappelling down the sheer face of a 42 level office block.
Thirdly, headset issues. If there’s one section of society that definitely doesn’t have issues with tech, it’s the videogame community. This tribe will drop serious buck on apparatus and tools that will enable them to play better and faster, with an increased aspect of experience. They live for it, and it helps to explain why they find it more immersive and rewarding than those who would rather consider The Chase as an intellectual sharpener.
Videogames and the metaverse
It’s an undeniable fact that the metaverse is a neutral extension of the video games POV.
First-person shooters are one of the most established platforms that have seen the greatest crossover. After all, it’s difficult to traverse from FIFA 2023 on a PC to the metaverse version. It also reflects
Instead, Resident Evil Village, Gran Turismo 7 and No Man’s Sky have been well received by gamers on the PSVR. Meanwhile the Meta ‘s Quest 2 Headset has been popular with Meta gamers, despite its £400 price tag. The 38 best-selling experiences for the Quest 2 headset are all video games (as opposed to live sport streams, concerts and er, nature walks).
Particular attention has been paid to Half-Life Alyx – one of the most popular games on there, with its room-like in-world gameplay (as long as it’s connected via a PC, of course).
While Meta waits anxiously for Apple’s own virtual reality headset to the fore, it still holds the VR highground for now at least.
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