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Silicon Valley is Racing to Build the Next Version of the Internet. Fortnite Might Get There First.


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Facebook, Google and Samsung have all invested in cloud computing and virtual reality companies in anticipation of a Metaverse.

The next version of the Internet, often called the Metaverse, is inevitable, many believe, and the Silicon Valley C-suite has been obsessed with the idea, as has a video game company in Cary, NC.

Credit: Glenn Harvey/The Washington Post

The next version of the Internet is often described as the Metaverse, a term borne from science fiction, describing a shared, virtual space that's persistently online and active, even without people logging in. It will have its own economy, complete with jobs, shopping areas and media to consume. The Metaverse is inevitable, many believe, and the Silicon Valley C-suite has been obsessed with the idea — as has a video game company in Cary, NC.

In recent years, there's been serious talk about how to build the Metaverse, and who will build it first. One only needs to witness Facebook and Google's Internet success today, given how both companies dominate digital business, to understand the eagerness with which companies hurry to populate this next frontier. In observing that pursuit, there's the very real possibility that Fortnite, the video game that became a global phenomenon that turned celebrities into players and players into celebrities, has been building the foundations of the Internet's future right before our glazed eyes.

Fortnite's creators at Epic Games have not been shy about this ambition. Its CEO, Tim Sweeney, wants this conversation in public, and has made overt references in the last few years in establishing Fortnite as something more than a game. He's even hinted that this transformation could begin by the end of this year.

"Fortnite is a game," Sweeney tweeted in December 2019. "But ask that question again in 12 months."

 

From The Washington Post
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