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The Future Our Young Students Will Experience Through Metaverse2021 Essay Contest 3rd Place

Since the dawn of the smartphone, everything on Earth has changed. We no longer need tangible maps, MP3 players, or digital cameras. The era of smartphones began around 2010, and only ten years have passed. Therefore, the next decade will also be different from the past. The era of smartphones has come to an end, and new concepts are emerging. The new concept is the “metaverse”.

Metaverse refers to a space where people communicate, trade, and live online. It is a mixture of social media and the real world. Jobs in the metaverse can make real money so that it is possible to live only in the metaverse space. However, there are many opinions that the metaverse is just a new term for elements that already exist in Internet games. They claim that the metaverse is nothing new, but there is something different. That’s what people are interested in. Smartphones have been in a similar situation before. “What is the difference between a personal digital assistant (PDA) and a smartphone?” However, people perceived that PDAs and smartphones are different, and that perception eventually made them different. Likewise, the difference between the metaverse and existing internet games comes from people’s perceptions. No matter how old a concept is, if it is perceived as being different, it becomes something else.

There are already many opinions that the metaverse will take a new lead in the next world, but what I question is whether this will ever be a space for students. My answer to that is yes. Sungkyunkwan University successfully held a job fair based on gather.town. Through this job fair, many students were able to efficiently obtain high-quality information from incumbents. In addition, various idol groups are performing on Big Hit’s ongoing metaverse project “Weverse”, being the main axis to build a business model that creates a connection between fans and singers. Many of these metaverse platforms are operated by other companies as well as Big Hit. Other domestic platforms include ZEPETO and ifland, and overseas platforms include gather.town, Roblox, and VRChat. In addition, Facebook is planning to invest in the metaverse business to the extent of changing its name to Meta. As such, the interest in the metaverse of various companies continues unabated.

However, these investments do not always lead to success. Sustained attention and the number of customers who accept it are important to success. Currently, the metaverse is focusing only on the Business to Customer (B2C) industry. It is a good strategy to start with a B2C industry targeting the general public and expand the industry, but there is a possibility that it will be limited to B2C. Smartphones also started within the B2C industry as a multimedia device called the iPhone, but eventually expanded to the Business to Business (B2B) industry by expanding to corporate smartphones and military smartphones. It has even succeeded in scaling up to use iPads in airplanes. The metaverse should also have this extensibility. If the metaverse is successfully established in the education industry, used as a telecommuting platform, and used in financial transactions, it will serve as a successful B2B platform. If the metaverse grows like this, just as we now form a community in online games, future students will be able to listen to classes and play activities in a community on the metaverse.

I have discussed the meaning of the metaverse, how to use it, and how to break through it. I have looked at cases of successful job fairs through metaverse and cases where popular music and platform companies expanded the field of entertainment through a metaverse. In addition to these cases, if the metaverse is introduced in B2B industries such as education and financial transactions, services for students will be created in ways that have not been considered before. Just as smartphones dominated students in the 2010s, I am sure that the 2020s will be dominated by the metaverse.

Kim Hyo-yeol  (Advanced Materials Sciences and Engineering)

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