What Is the Metaverse?

At one point in Christopher Nolan’s 2010 blockbuster film Inception, the main character descends to a dingy basement where a dozen people are hooked to machines offering an escape to a literal dream world. Shocked that a human would rather live in a dream world than reality, one character inquires, “They come here every day to sleep?” 

“No,” the old man running the operation says. “They come to be woken up. The dream has become their reality. Who are you to say otherwise, sir?”

So, is that where the “metaverse” is headed—a dream world that will entice us all to escape reality for hours on end? With the metaverse grabbing more and more headlines, here’s a breakdown of the basics.

Let’s start with what the metaverse is not: one single entity. You can’t just Google “join the metaverse,” find its website and log on. 

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