Such is its importance that the comparator Hellosafe estimates that, once these virtual environments take off completely, especially those based on blockchain and in the games market, it will quickly reach three billion users worldwide. The reason is that the metaverse is becoming one of the most promising technologies of recent years, and to enjoy the opportunities and experiences it offers, users need an avatar.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a shared three-dimensional virtual space, encompassing multiple virtual worlds and interconnected digital experiences, accessed through devices such as VR glasses. It is a term that has gained popularity in the field of technology and video games, but also extends to other areas such as healthcare, education and commerce. It also goes hand in hand with the momentum of fields such as virtual reality, augmented reality and online social interaction.
So what is an avatar in the metaverse? It is the virtual representation of the users themselves through which it is possible to explore diverse digital scenarios, ranging from cities to fantastic landscapes. It also allows interaction, which takes place in real time, and facilitates socialising, collaborating, playing, communicating, and performing leisure or work activities.
In terms of the inspiration for the concept, the basic idea is to create a shared, persistent and coherent space. For those who are not very familiar with these environments, one could say that it is something similar to that found in works of fiction such as Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash or the film Ready Player One.
Major technology and video game companies have long been exploring the construction of metaverses and the integration of more immersive virtual experiences into their platforms. With the success of some of the most famous metaverses such as Decentraland or The Sanbox, the results are expected to have a significant impact on the way we interact with the metaverse and each other in the future, as it has the potential to redefine the traditional concept of the Internet and open up new opportunities for creativity, innovation and collaboration, in addition to the expected good economic results.
Why is it necessary to create an avatar in the metaverse?
It is essential, as it is the projection of each user in the virtual world, and its existence is necessary to realise and live the wide variety of experiences it offers, since in these simulation environments the use of keyboard and mouse is not necessary. Moreover, it is easy and fun.
First of all, avatars are the key to interact and participate in the metaverse in an immersive way. With them, users see themselves as part of the environment and thus experience a sense of presence in that shared three-dimensional space.
Secondly, they provide a form of personal and creative expression. The avatar in the metaverse does not have to be a realistic image. Its appearance can be customised to reflect the identity, style and preferences of each user. This gives the freedom to be whatever one wants to be in the virtual world, without the appearance restrictions of physical reality.
Thirdly, they facilitate communication and social interaction in the metaverse. Each user is identified in a personalised way, and establishes a basis for connection and collaboration between people.
In addition, avatars provide a layer of privacy and security. There is a degree of anonymity and control over the personal information that is shared, making problems such as cyber-scamming and impersonation more difficult.
Steps to creating an avatar
The creation of an avatar in the metaverse involves following a series of steps to personalise and define its appearance. A process where imagination and creativity can be key.
- Platform selection. The first step is to select the metaverse application in which you are going to interact, and then create your own account to access it. This can be a video game, an online social network or a virtual reality world.
- Basic personalisation and advanced features. It is possible to indicate face shape, skin colour, eye colour, hair and clothing style. Some platforms offer more detailed options to customise the avatar, such as adjustments to height, weight, body structure and specific facial details. The avatar does not have to be a realistic representation, it can be an animal or a fictional character.
- Choice of skills. In certain metaverses it is possible to assign skills, abilities or aptitudes that affect the avatar’s performance or behaviour within the virtual environment.
- Preview and adjustments. Before finalising, it is advisable to review and adjust all details. Some platforms offer real-time previews to see how the avatar will look in different situations.
Working, making friends or travelling in the metaverse will be possible through the digital alternative identity, i.e. the new virtual reality will be experienced through an avatar.