The spotlight is firmly on the metaverse, with Facebook now rebranding itself as Meta. The social media giant aims to, by the end of the decade, attract one billion users to the metaverse, a digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, AR, VR, and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually.
The metaverse, first mentioned in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash, is basically an online 3D universe that combines various virtual spaces and allows users across the globe to meet, chat, work, and play games together.
Closer home, Loco, a homegrown game streaming platform, which has been a pioneer in the live game streaming and esports sector in India, is already paving its way to be at the forefront of the game streaming revolution in India and creating a metaverse.
Can it happen or is it happening in India?
Speaking at the 12th edition of YourStory’s TechSparks 2021, India's most influential startup-tech conference, Loco Founder Anirudh Pandita said the metaverse is here and “is very exciting”. He said a metaverse was no longer a far-fetched thought for India, and that it was all about shared experiences.
“Just like the internet is a connection on different devices where all of us contribute, similarly, for creating a metaverse, it's not just one person or one platform, it's a shared set of experiences virtually with enabling technologies like blockchain technology,” Anirudh said.
Anirudh said gaming is the easiest example of the entry point of the metaverse.
At Loco, users can play any game, and can watch others playing, and with this they can share their experiences.
“Today you can watch games,l tomorrow you can even stream games or contribute to them in the sense that you can actually make a part of the game. It all can become another level of experience that can get unlocked,” Anirudh said.
He said it's not an expensive experience as even a phone can become a VR set today. “The metaverse is about empowering experiences.”
Stating that the gaming universe was already a metaverse, he shared examples of how users on Loco connect with each other on chat, or support favourite streamers. After the connect, they can play other games like PUBG or Battleground later, become friends. “”They run a squad and soon have a clan so the experience doesn't have to be VR.”