The phrase “Metaverse” was coined 30 years ago by an author named Neal Stephenson in his Science Fiction novel, Snow Crash. In his book, the metaverse depicts how humans could explore and interact with a virtual world to escape a dystopian reality.
While the metaverse was not a commonly known concept for 29 years, Facebook’s parent company’s name change in October of last year prompted the metaverse to become the buzz of our world: and what Zuckerberg envisions with Meta seems close to what Stephenson had in mind.
With NFTs blowing up and reports of over 470 million monthly users on metaverse platforms, it is becoming increasingly evident that the metaverse will be a vital part of our everyday lives.
Currently, around 160 companies are developing a metaverse of their own, and Mckinsey is reporting that corporations poured over 120 billion USD into creating metaverse platforms in the first five months of 2022.
With this much money going into the metaverse, companies are looking to hire the aptest candidates to bring their metaverse projects forward. Currently, there are around 3,850 job posts related to the metaverse on Linkedin, with notable companies such as Apple and Meta looking to hire.
When looking at a potential job they want, a candidate first looks at the qualifications list. Within the metaverse world, programming is one of the basic skill sets to work a metaverse-related job, and many companies require a sound knowledge of C# and C++ languages.
However, things get tricky when it comes to companies requiring gaming industry experience. Along with programming, game industry experience is one of the essential qualifications when hiring for the metaverse. Yet, ironically, when it comes to the descriptions of gaming industry experience, they are very vague on what types of game experience candidates need. For example, on Apple’s job qualifications list, they state “experience in the film or game industries” for their AR/VR Pipeline Software Engineer job, and Meta vaguely says, “Background working on real-time gameplay mechanics or games systems” for the metaverse business engineer job.
Companies not specifying what type of game experience a candidate best needs can be a problem for the candidate and the company. Candidates may become hesitant to apply for specific jobs if they are unsure whether their experience is relevant to what the company is looking for. Further, if the companies do not know what type of experience they are looking for, mishiring could become very prevalent.
The vague and nonspecific job qualifications Apple and Meta provide may have to do with the lack of a universal concept for the metaverse. The current metaverse platforms we see do not align with Zuckerberg’s visions he laid out during the Meta announcement.
Take Decentralland, for example. Decentralland has come to be known as one of the most popular metaverse platforms. Most notably, the Australian Open, one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world, has created its virtual world on Decenttraland, allowing tennis fans to experience the Australian open whenever and wherever they please, either through a VR headset or computer screen. However, Mark Zuckerberg would not describe this as a Metaverse.
In the words of the man himself, Zuckerberg stated, “A lot of people assume the metaverse is about a location, but one description of it is a period when immersive digital worlds become the primary way we live our lives and spend our time.”
According to Zuckerberg’s definition of the Metaverse, Decentralland is far from what the metaverse is, as companies such as the Australian Open have created virtual lands in Decentralland to allow people to access the Australian Open from any location. Therefore, if the Australian Open followed Zuckerberg’s vision, we would expect the player to play the tournament in the virtual world as a complete replacement for the physical Australian Open.
With so much money and trust going into the metaverse, companies seem to have trouble agreeing on the metaverse, and many still seem uncertain about the metaverse concept, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
In an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Schmidt stated that “there isn’t an agreement on what the metaverse is.” Further, in a recent Axios survey, two-thirds of the respondents did not know the metaverse. So who would if the former CEO of Google and two-thirds of individuals do not grasp the metaverse?
For companies to be sure of what qualifications a candidate needs, there needs to be a universal aligning belief of what the metaverse will be. Before that is the case, we may have to look at the same old vague qualifications that large corporations currently provide for us.