By Mónica Cordero | Investigate Midwest
This idea of a virtual world where people can do ordinary things such as work, shop, parties, and interact with others — called the metaverse — is not new. But almost three decades after that idea came about, the things that people imagined they could do or experience in the metaverse are becoming a reality.
This is driven by the development of and access to devices such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) and a broader opportunity for interactivity, which can include games, according to Dan Pacheco, a professor at Syracuse University.
“People can join a virtual space in multiple ways, so if you don’t have a headset, that’s fine. You use your computer. You use a browser. You can use your phone. If you have one, you put a VR headset on. You’re in the same space as others,” said Pacheco. The other change, he added, is the investment companies make in the metaverse.
Pacheco pointed out that under a more conservative view of journalism, someone might think that we are not producing serious news by using games to tell stories. “I can tell you when you interact with things with information, you understand it better, and you remember it better. There’s study, after study, after study that shows that when you add immersion into that and social interaction, it really solidifies things,” he said.
Pacheco said that thinking about how a story changes when it is explored with others is a guide to venture into developing this type of project. It is also important to be clear about what kind of understanding can result only through group exploring and experiencing.
Among the new technologies is photogrammetry, the process of building 3D models from multiple 2D photos of an object or space.