Metaverse can be real game changer for Pakistan’s tech savvy but unemployed youth.
The metaverse is where the physical and digital worlds come together. It is a space where digital representations of people ‘avatars’ interact at work and play, meeting in their office, going to concerts and even trying on clothes.
The term metaverse — a combination of the prefix meta (meaning “beyond”) and universe — was coined in Snow Crash, a novel by American science fiction writer Neal Stephenson.Metaverse is a broad term. It generally refers to shared virtual world environments which people can access via the internet. The term can refer to digital spaces which are made more lifelike by the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).
Some people also use the word metaverse to describe gaming worlds, in which users have a character that can walk around and interact with other players. There is also a specific type of metaverse which uses blockchain technology. In these, users can buy virtual land and other digital assets like NFTs using cryptocurrencies.
Metaverse can be real game changer for Pakistan’s tech savvy but un-employed youth. As of July 2021; the percentage of internet users in Pakistan is 54%, which translates into approximately 118 million citizens having access to internet. The ‘metaverse’ may change the way you earn money, shop or even chill with friends in the future
What should workers expect from the metaverse?
- Unparalleled convenience to workers. There will be no need to commute as all interactions will have digital alternatives that are equal in effectiveness.
- New job opportunities. Jobs that previously required in-person interaction will suddenly have virtual options, meaning that freelancing and remote work will expand. Graphic designers, game developers and digital assets developers will be in demand.
- Monitoring from management might become a worry. Depending on what regulations are in place, higher-ups may have access to just about everything a worker does. Intrusion into worker privacy will need to be regulated, and workers may want to be aware of this as the regulations are in the early stages.
The new type of “play-to-earn” games are already a reality in metaverse. Axie Infinity is one prime example where players can earn an in-game resource which can be later converted into crypto currency or hard cash (fiat currency). This concept of earning money by playing online games with digital cartoon creatures may seem silly, but it can be a real source of income. Play-to-earn games have been life-changing for members of the community in some under-developed countries.
Play-to-earn games allows players to generate a steady stream of crypto income simply by playing the game. Each game’s mechanism can differ, but the rewards typically come from staking, farming a game’s currency, or generating tradeable NFT items. In older blockchain games, users relied mainly on random chances to make profits. Play-to-earn, however, has created in-game economies and business models where players can work for an income.
What’s fascinating about Metaverse is how it can foreshadow future labor structures — structures that will become more common in an increasingly-digital, borderless economy. With metaverse in play and these new technologies — first, the internet and now, blockchain — there’s no reason that economic classes should be stratified into the investing class and the salaried class. Companies will need to transition their marketing strategies to accommodate a shared, virtual economy. Companies will need to do market research on their new customers in the metaverse.
Everyone is an investor. Anyone can trade stocks, buy and sell NFTs on OpenSea, or claim an economic stake in someone’s work on Mirror. At this moment, people in the Philippines are earning 2 times minimum wage by playing an online games. They’re an unlikely place to look to glimpse the future, but they embody a new digital economy — one that’s borderless and one in which labor flows as freely as capital.
They think like investors and they share in the upside. They’re proof of what happens when technology unlocks access and reinvents outdated economic systems. Perhaps Pakistan’s digital economy can follow the same path which can lead to Metaverse in Pakistan.