What is the core value of metaverse?

VR Chat

Ludogogy has entered into an agreement with Gamification Journal, based in Seoul, South Korea, for the mutual exchange of articles. This is the seventh of those articles we are publishing and it was in exchange for Beybin Elvin Tunc and Marvin Jammerman’s article about Games as tools for Social Change

All you know about the metaverse is not all there is!

Since the pandemic, there has been increasing interest in the metaverse. Along with this positive interest, comes some more adverse opinions  such as “The Metaverse is just a bubble!” or “The Metaverse has no real things!” The meaning of the metaverse is still hard to define, although the word was created more than thirty years ago.

There are a lot of different opinions about what makes up the metaverse.

Some people define the metaverse as being implemented through devices like HMD (Head Mounted Display) – think of the movie, ‘Ready Player One’. Simply put, they believe that virtual reality is the metaverse.

On the other hand, some think of the metaverse as being made up of the avatars that inhabit it rather than the devices that implement it. If there is an avatar representing another identity in virtual reality, it can be seen as the metaverse. That’s why Roblox and Zepeto can be called the metaverse.

In addition, some people focus on the space itself. If some activities occur, not in reality, but in a digital space, they say it’s happening in the metaverse. So, they say that the actor in the virtual space can be included in the metaverse.

Digital transformation

Metaverse includes many concepts. Beyond simple illusion, it can represent a really big change in daily life. Currently, the metaverse is used not just for games but in various industries such as design, exhibition, transformation, manufacturing, etc. But, most people cannot easily recognize this because it’s a virtual space.

I think that the core value of the metaverse is ‘Digital Transformation’. That means that things which are difficult to realize are moved into the virtual space, and changed and modified. For example, the primary objective of Zepeto and VRchat as social media is to transcend the constraints of real physical space.The goal of industrial simulations like Nvidia omniverse is to overcome cost constraints. Also, the objective of MS Mesh or Spatial is to create virtual office spaces to increase the work efficiency of digital nomads.

Machine learning for autonomous driving or robot walking, and smart factories linked to digital twins are also based in virtual space. In virtual space, an environment that is difficult to realize can be built, and there are no constraints in applying many variables. So, the metaverse is able to make an operating system linked between real information and virtual space.

Although there are many types of ‘metaverse’, one important consideration is that there should be a valid purpose in the space. Through this, it can be widely used and support different business models.

 However, in many recent cases, there is often not enough consideration in the metaverse, before engaging and creating. Without considering the basics, many people can make naive mistakes  – ‘If I create the space, then people will release the need for it?’ This process means that too much money becomes involved and skepticism about the metaverse spreads.

Social networks

Social network platforms like Zepeto or VRchat are well-known to the public in the metaverse . In the past, this kind of application was known as Telepresence, but nowadays that has been replaced by the word metaverse. This is the communication exchange among avatars in virtual spaces.

But, social networking metaverse platforms are B2C (Business-to-Consumer), not B2B(Business-to-Business).  So, from the user’s point of view, retention is important. Many people mistakenly think that ‘making a metaverse is easier than making an online game (** an online game can already be a metaverse)’, but creating a metaverse is much more difficult than developing an online game because it provides users with a variety of content. 

A typical example is the UCC (User Created Contents) system. Social networking platforms should allow users to create their own spaces and avatars and develop their own games. However, there are limits to just providing developer content. Sandbox has improved this. This is a system that creates content among users. Games like Roblox or Minecraft use a sandbox system. 

LGSVL Simulator (LG)
LGSVL Simulator (LG)

MICE (Meetings, Incentives Travel, Conventions, Exhibitions/Events)

Unity Technologies Korea hosts a developer conference every year. In 2020, the conference was held online because of the pandemic. Sessions can be implemented through Youtube or Zoom, but the problem was the exhibition space. Unity Technologies Korea cooperated with Zepeto and moved the real exhibition space into a virtual space.

Collecting stamps is a typical gamification method and was applied in the online exhibition. Users in the virtual space controlled avatars and visited exhibition booths. Through their avatars, users saw games made using the Unity engine. The stamps they had collected in booths could be swapped for items such as clothes or bags for the avatar. Once the event was finished, the Unity souvenir held by the avatar changed to a real physical souvenir and dispatched to the user. This is an example of gamification using the metaverse.

Zepeto(Naver Z) Unite Seoul 2020 ZEPETO Map
Zepeto(Naver Z) Unite Seoul 2020 ZEPETO Map

Employee training

There are many industrial sites that include dangerous and expensive equipment. The manufacturing line in the automotive industry is complex and costly, and one small mistake can lead to a huge losses. At construction sites, there are always risks in operating heavy equipment like tower cranes. Trial and error which will lead to huge accidents are not acceptable.

So, workers in industrial sites need to get sufficient training to prevent loss and accidents. Until now, this kind of training has often been done in another physical space that is the same as real sites. However, there is a space limit, and a  limit to how many people can be trained in each cohorts.  Also, it’s still potentially dangerous.

If this vocational training space is moved into a digital virtual space, physical constraints can be alleviated. Also, it’s safe. If gamification is applied in this process, employees’ attention can be increased. Like taking care of RPG characters, the experience point, level system, and rewards based on training performance can be introduced in various ways. Many manufacturing and construction industries have already introduced training systems using this kind of virtual space.

VR Factory Planning Simulation (Volkswagen)
VR Factory Planning Simulation (Volkswagen)

Coworking spaces

As pandemic restrictions eased, there was a lot of discussion about whether or not to continue working remotely. Traditional industries such as financial services or manufacturing are often skeptical about remote work, whereas the software and content industry have embraced remote and hybrid working. In the case of Unity Technologies Korea, a hybrid structure combining work from home and the office was introduced.

Initially, Zoom has been used for work from home. However, video conferencing often didn’t make for good communication. The verbal portion of communication, such as a person’s voice and accent, makes up less than half of the communication. This means that non-verbal factors such as facial expressions or gestures are very important. So, video conference itself has limitations.

However, if avatars are used in the metaverse, non-verbal issues can be improved. Avatars can implement functions like ‘Emotional expression’ in an online game or ‘Emoji’ in messenger. Mutual communication can be carried out in a much more effective way.

In addition, the Metaverse can overcome the limitations of a simple video conference system. For example a 3D object could be ‘floated’ in a virtual space to validate.



Metaverse is actively used in the marketing sector. A notable case is a ‘Digital Showroom’. Let’s take an example of an auto exhibition. There are many cars in the car store or exhibition. However, customers can only physically check a limited selection of colors and options. They must check other things in the printed catalog. If the customers want to purchase a car, they have to imagine the colors and options after seeing the printed color samples.

If this process is moved into a digital space, the imagination can be directly seen. Customers can directly select manymore colors. In addition to colors, various options such as wheels, sunroof, and interiors can be applied without limitation. It’s works like customization such as painting and wrapping in a racing game. The fact that customers can implement their own preferences without limitations is the character of a metaverse in the marketing sector.

Virtual Motor show (Volkswagen)
Virtual Motor show (Volkswagen)


In addition to these examples, many types of metaverse are utilized in industrial areas. When online gaming was in its early stages, an ecosystem gradually formed based on both successes and failures in the industry. A similar process will happen for metaverses, as successes and failures inform the development of the field.

One thing is certain; that the overall transformation and the need for 3D virtual spaces will increase. Through this transformation, metaverses with more thoughtful and better visions will continue to grow up. I hope that the metaverse ecosystem will eventually settle down into an enlightened and right direction.

Lead Evangelist at Unity Technologies, Korea
John Oh has had varied experience in PC online game development and services, software development, and lecturing at University level, and joined Unity Technologies Korea in the year 2014.

As an evangelist, he introduces the technology and know-how of the Unity software through communication with the developer community, solves difficult problems, and gets feedback and opinion.
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