A lot has been said about the metaverse over the last year. It has been touted as the next revolutionary step along our journey to merge the outside world with cyberspace, with articles galore written about how it could provide benefits to just about every area of our lives.
So far, at least, these promises have been empty and little progress has been made in building a digital universe where people want to hang out.
In fact, it has been such a struggle that the biggest advocate of the metaverse, Meta, has had to make a large number of redundancies as it seeks to streamline its operations.
Where the metaverse has seen some success has been in the gaming space, where virtual reality has proven to be an exciting new way to experience and interact with content. There have been some very different ideas brought to life in this new three-dimensional space.
But not all of these games have worked, sometimes due to technical limitations, or due to the idea itself having a limited shelf life, or even basic human biology getting in the way.
So what games do have more of a chance of surviving in the metaverse?
In the motorsport community, there has been a drive in recent years to bridge the gap between real cars and race tracks and what is possible in games and simulators. Some incredibly expensive and impressive technology has been created to achieve this aim.
But for petrolheads who don’t have an entire spare room and tens of thousands to blow on a top-of-the-line racing sim, virtual reality could be the way to go. While you won’t get all of the haptic feedback you’d get from a seat that can move, full 360-degree vision in VR can do a good job
Several leading titles now support VR, either natively or through third-party add-ons, including DiRT Rally 2.0, F1 2X, Gran Turismo, iRacing, and Project CARS.
However, racing games may struggle to achieve mainstream adoption due to a problem that will require a different approach to most technical issues – the human body.
Motion sickness is a serious problem with the metaverse in general, especially for games where there is a lot of movement like racing titles, which are more likely to cause it because the eyes are sending different signals to what the brain is getting from other senses. At the moment, it can be uncomfortable.
If this can be overcome, then VR and the metaverse could take racing simulation to a whole new level.
Casino games are another incredibly popular category among players. This has been helped by the fact that most online casinos have developed several variants of traditional titles to cater to different types of player. For example, rather than just one standard blackjack game, PokerStars Casino also has classic and premium options that offer different features.
These types of casino game have also made their way into the metaverse in recent years.
VR casinos help to recreate some of the physical experiences offered on land-based gaming floors, allowing the player to look around, see other people, and engage with other goings on that happen in a casino.
This is done without the motion sickness problems that racing games face because card and table games can be enjoyed from a sedentary position.
The Nintendo Wii helped to pioneer fitness games in which players would use their own physical movement to control what happens on screen. Its demonstration game, Wii Sports has become one of the best-selling titles of all time, helped by the fact that it came included with every console sold.
But the concept lives on today, and is taking on a new dimension in the metaverse.
Fitness games come in different flavors. For example, Beat Saber is designed primarily as a music game but, as a happy side effect, it provides players with a workout. Others, like FitXR and LITEBOXER, are very much focused on the fitness element. They include trainers who will talk you through the exercises and cheer you on in a similar way to how Peleton’s classes operate.
Given that these games are both fun and an alternative to a gym membership, this is a category that could be a hit in the metaverse.
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Read More: What Games Will Work Best in the Metaverse?