The Metaverse promises a new layer of our economy and society powered by virtual goods and services where millions worldwide gain access to previously impossible and fulfilling experiences in diverse fields, such as sports, education, music, and art, on any device. Society is moving to increasingly powerful interactive experiences, becoming an ever more important part of our lives and an ever more necessary part of how we find meaning, fulfilment and community in a world where automation will likely change the nature of traditional work.
The metaverse is best defined as a network of meaningful worlds, objects, identities and experiences that build on each other and the real world in ways that create economic value or provide fulfilling experiences. Traditional games are an important part of this, but the scope envisioned here transcends that to all aspects of our culture. Imagine thousands of global sports fans in a virtual arena who might never have had the chance to meet in the real world or have their voices heard. The metaverse will unleash innovative businesses offering sophisticated digital assets, creating new jobs and expanding human opportunity. While immersion through new kinds of devices such as VR and XR will eventually be part of this story, we envision this disruption first beginning with new experiences on all kinds of platforms. Especially for communities like sport or music where around the world, there are huge swathes of people without easy access to many real-world events and experiences.
However, all this potential remains largely unrealized due to technical, experiential, and accessibility challenges. In addition, the absence of a functioning technological and economic system that allows builders and creators to support one another's work means we are stuck with either very open and decentralized but non-functional metaverse frameworks that major companies can’t use or popular but fundamentally closed UGC gaming platforms with limited freedom to build major businesses on top of them. A fully realized practical metaverse ecosystem is a network of many actors, all with their own needs and interests, all of whom have to be able to credibly build real businesses. There is currently no system to easily build new and valuable experiences, interconnect them and allow many parties to profit from doing so or providing services to those that do. This is what we hope to change with the M² project.
The initial Bitcoin launch was about more than just technology. It represented a novel economic system and mechanism for different parties to collaborate to do more than they could do alone. Equally, for the web to really take off, we needed the notion of web browsers to establish shared environments for interesting content. Similarly, more than just new technology, we need new ideas on how to establish and incentivise builders, technology providers, metaversal businesses, and consumers to want to participate in a shared system, transforming their collective efforts into an additive force.
M² is an ambitious project encompassing a decade of work by its founders, aiming to create a practical ‘internet of metaverses’ by overcoming technical obstacles and establishing a metaversal economy that fosters shared value for creators, builders, brands, and businesses, a way for all participants to have agency and build real business value.
The project builds on key ingredients from web3 and the gaming industry and takes inspiration from the architecture of the internet and web technologies to realize the potential inherent in an ecosystem of collaborating metaverses. The goal of M² is to incentivise and bootstrap a system much bigger than any one company or individual metaverse. One that is capable of building and operating an infrastructure that solves problems which would not be feasible for one actor, or where the benefits should logically spread to the whole network.
While the roots of our proposal are in technology, new ways to support thousands of concurrent users, ways to create cross-world digital assets and more, the most important idea behind M² is that the metaverse does not have to be a zero-sum game where one platform wins and another loses, the metaverse can and should be based on a digital commons which can let many efforts find success and share value equitably based on contribution.
This project is already in early operation, with multiple metaverses being built for the network, and thousands of people have already enjoyed the unique experiences builders using these tools have created. The network described in this document is already being adopted by some of the biggest brands, sports leagues and companies in the world, and we believe, with time, the network can mature into an important utility for many parties.
This codex provides a brief overview of M², marking the first phase of its full rollout, offering businesses and builders early access to key network technology and allowing consumers to experience initial projects built on the platform by early adopting companies as they launch.
M² was founded by Improbable, which has already built, publicly tested and made available to early adopters the key technical solutions needed for most of the challenges above, described later in the codex. We felt this was an essential step in establishing the credibility of this project before releasing this codex and was the culmination of a decade of effort.
In its next phase, the M² project needs to expand beyond one company and both incentivise and enable the contributions of a wider network of builders, this is the M² community, and over time we hope to establish, decentralize and reward that community to aid in the growth of the network.
This is only the first public version of a document outlining a complex project with many moving parts. We fully anticipate revisions, changes and community-driven modifications to our plans at this early stage, so please bear this in mind when exploring the Codex.