Metaversal, part 1

According to Tim Sweeney (founder and CEO of Epic, which makes Fortnite), the “Metaverse” is essentially maintaining your persistent self across different digital places. In one sense this is already our reality.

For example, Google knows who you are, and persistently retains your preferences across different Websites. Amazon does as well, as do other providers of various on-line services.

What Sweeney is referring to is the way that our persistent identity will expand into other realms as more and more people find it convenient to represent themselves as digital avatars. When you walk through a digital “door”, say from an on-line museum to an on-line chat room, you will still be perceived by others as yourself, and you will have the same general capabilities.

This is the way things work in the physical world. When I go to a movie or to a grocery store, or enter a municipal courtroom, people can still identify me as myself, although I my behavior will likely change because each kind of place has its own social conventions.

In all of those cases, I have my smartphone and my wallet in my pocket, and I am easily able to verify that I am still me, with all of my various rights and obligations. The way Sweeney describes it, the “Metaverse” is the extension of that transactional reality into 3D on-line worlds.

Just what this means, in a practical sense, will change over time. More tomorrow.

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