What is Metaverse? #
Every few years, a term that just a few people know about, becomes a popular technology. Internet, 5G, bitcoin, NFT… are just a few of them. And lately, another one has been added to these: Metaverse. What is it? Actually, the definition is hidden in the name. Meta: conveys the idea of transcending reality. Verse: comes from the universe. We carry our real-life activities to a virtual world, thanks to Metaverse. In this universe that is still under construction (and will likely continue constructing for a period of time), there will not just be gaming; we will be able to work, socialize, buy land, visit museums etc. Some of the “universes” where we can perform these and many other activities have already been implemented. In fact, one of the events that we have managed to bring to the virtual universe is concerts.
Digital concerts #
With the impact of the COVID epidemic, fun activities have also been moved to online platforms and concerts are just one of the events that are trapped in the screen. The journey that started with the “online concerts” that the artists broadcasted in their homes accompanied by a camera has now evolved into the Metaverse concerts held with millions of participants in a digital world. Thus, physical limitations were off the table. With the Metaverse concerts given by big names such as Marshmello, Ariana Grande, and The Weeknd, millions were gathered around the screens.
Travis Scott, in collaboration with Fortnite, managed to bring 12 million people to his virtual concert which was a visual feast. They watched his giant avatar dance, and travel around in the virtual world while listening to his songs. But how many of those 12 million people jumped up and down, danced, sang like in a real concert, and felt wholesome with thousands of other people? Don’t you think there is a big difference between a real-life concert that we enjoy and feel with our 5 senses and a concert we watch on a computer screen?
On the other hand, Travis Scott who earned 20 million dollars from this virtual concert alone, had 50,000 people in another concert that took place in the real world and earned 1.7 million dollars. And the area where that concert was held plus the large number of people combined, violated the physical limitations I mentioned earlier, and as a result, a terrible stampede occurred which caused 300 injuries and 10 deaths. And this brings up a new question:
Are the advantages of the digital world worth losing the sense of reality? #
Metaverse vs. reality #
When we think of concerts, there are other things that come to mind besides having fun: the traffic on the way out, the high ticket prices, the dangerous scenarios that can be experienced during the concert (such as getting robbed in a big crowd while singing your favorite song or worst case scenario dying under that big crowd). These are all the dangers that disappear with a digital concert. But along with these dangers, the sense of the reality of the concert disappears either.
Maybe technology will improve enough to bring this feeling back in the future, but for now, we have to follow the artist’s avatar on a screen as he/she wanders around in space, underwater, or among the clouds, while listening to the studio recording songs, which I don’t think falls into the definition of a concert.