When Neil Stephenson coined the word “metaverse” in 1992, he wasn’t thinking of immersive learning experiences but of people exploring virtual worlds to escape a dystopic reality.
Second Life, launched in 2003, gave us the first taste of what a virtual world might look and feel like. The gaming industry is replete with virtual worlds–also metaverses, so to speak.
In 2021, Microsoft released a limited preview of its mixed reality platform, Microsoft Mesh. In a bold move that surprised the world, Facebook rebranded as Meta, formally announcing the company’s focus on the metaverse. In the same year, Bloomberg Intelligence published an analysis that predicted that the metaverse could be a nearly $800 billion market opportunity.
Since then, investments have poured in, and serious efforts are underway to make a massive network of interconnected virtual worlds a reality. Over the last two years, one has heard the word mentioned everywhere, in every other context.
The workforce learning and development circles have also sat up and taken notice.
What is the metaverse, really? What do we need for the metaverse to take off? Is the metaverse the future of learning? How are things likely to change? What are some of the use cases of workforce learning in the metaverse?
This whitepaper closely examines the metaverse from the perspective of learning and development professionals. It helps you wrap your mind around the current state of play and decide what to look out for in the space.