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Matthew Ball gives a State of the Metaverse

Matthew Ball // Illustration by Kate Walker

Matthew Ball gives a State of the Metaverse


The Future. Venture capitalist and metaverse expert Matthew Ball, believes that the metaverse will revolutionize how people interact digitally and engage with interactive content. Even though the seeds of the space are already being planted (RobloxMinecraft, The Sandbox, Decentraland, etc.) Ball doesn’t believe the average person will be “integrated” into the metaverse for at least 15 years. So, the true potential of a metaverse, for the time being, may be found in more offshoot creative experiences than in one unified platform.

Speaking with Insider, Matthew Ball has some predictions about how an interconnected virtual world will change several aspects of our lives.

  • Education. Users will be able to try out fields that “may be physically impossible or too costly in the real world” for “little-to-no marginal cost in a virtual environment,” such as being able to “shrink down into the Magic School Bus and travel the circulatory system.
  • Dating. Considering how nervous some people are about going out on dates with strangers in the physical world, people could have their first couple of dates in a virtual environment to become more comfortable with each other.
  • Gaming. Titles that focus on socialization and creation, such as Animal Crossing and The Sims, are already extremely popular, so metaverse platforms may focus on crafting like-minded “pleasant experiences” to keep users engaged and happy.

Entertainment entropy

In an interview with Puck’s Matthew Belloni, Ball also shared where entertainment conglomerates sit on the spectrum of metaverse adoption, with Disney, WarnerMedia, and Netflix all making inroads in cloud gaming and hiring key execs to eventually enter the space. But while every studio wants to be in the metaverse business, Ball’s sentiment is that they need to spend a lot more money if they really want to plant their flag… but it may already be too late.

Ball did point out that a recent gaming experience on Facebook Watch, The Walking Dead: Last Mile is a great example of the possibilities in entertainment. He said, “users were able to produce their own avatars or zombies, place them into a living, persistent world, and while you don’t run the game, you aren’t the star, you can shape what everyone does.”

TWD creator Robert Kirkman said that whatever happens in the game becomes “canonical to the comic book franchise,” making it the first “bidirectional environment,” in Ball’s words. Very cool.

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