Welcome to the metaverse
It’s a term our industry has become obsessed with — it’s one we’re all familiar with too. It’s the metaverse. But what is it? Well, if we’re to take the literal meaning, it simply translates to “beyond the universe”. It means much more than this though.
Trying to pigeonhole the metaverse into one box is tough, the vast amount of games on offer alone makes it a virtually impossible task.
And while much is made of trying to distinguish between our day-to-day world and the world we experience in-game, we believe that their roles are actually pretty interchangeable. The metaverse is much more than a place players go to escape their reality. For many like us — it’s a reality we know to be the best.
Our journey as Lockwood began in 2009 — and since then — we’ve dedicated our craft to create the most authentically true-to-life experience possible. And we wouldn’t have it any other way either!
Where worlds collide
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that both of these worlds are taking the best bits from each other to apply to their own. The freedom and creativity of the metaverse limitlessly allows players to discover (or rediscover) themselves — the narrative is whatever we want it to be.
As for the “real world”, whilst some of our favourite games may seem otherworldly, they’re all influenced by what’s around us. It’s an influence that undoubtedly works both ways.
We saw this recently when FIFA creators EA made the decision to include the promising young footballer Kiyan Prince in the game, 15 years on from his tragic death. This marked a much-welcomed, yet different approach from the franchise’s creators.
They moved from simply reflecting the current pool of professional footballing talent to using it to celebrate, mourn and immortalise a lost talent. It’s a powerful statement and one we couldn’t be more supportive of.
It’s a testament to the unwavering influence that these pockets of digital realities now represent. Where even games that have had a successful, but rigid formula for so long are now beginning to realise that the boundaries in a game should always be adaptable — much like the boundaries we encounter in life.
The great enabler
Now we’ve established what the metaverse is, we need to unpick what it does. The impact of feeling like we belong somewhere can never be underestimated. But for too many unfortunately, it can be a feeling that’s hard to come by at times. In last week’s piece, we discussed the importance of creating a long-lasting safe space for our LGBTQ+ gamers.
There are countless examples of the metaverse being the first place gay or trans gamers feel they can come out in freely. We saw in a recent article the role Roblox played in helping a young, trans gamer Hannah, come to terms with her new identity. Without the game, Hannah wouldn’t have been able to explore and develop the most authentic parts of herself to the non-gaming aspects of her life.
It’s something we feel everyone should be able to do. After all, the games we play and the worlds we join are just an extension of ourselves anyway, right?
This is a sentiment our entire community is behind — rightly so too. The astronomical rise of the digital world has pushed the importance of the user experience to the forefront of designers’ thinking, not to mention the depth in opportunities created for potential game developers. The metaverse simply marks the next milestone in the relationship between humankind and technology.
Past, present, and the metaverse
The beauty of the metaverse is that it means different things to different people. Even within the same game, we expect players to play for many different reasons, that’s why the end results are always so varied and creative.
As a community, Avakin Life has over 200 million members. That’s over 200 million different reasons for wanting to join our world. Each of the 26,000 looks that are available in-game are based on all of you — for all of you.
This is perhaps the most exciting period in our industry’s existence. Creativity is at an all-time high, popularity is soaring and most importantly — we can all be involved in the process! Strap in — it’s going to be an exciting ride.