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Not everything is a Metaverse?! A Practitioners Perspective on Characterizing Metaverse Platforms

2023-01-06 , Schöbel, Sofia , Karatas, Jasmin , Tingelhoff, Fabian , Leimeister, Jan Marco

Organizations claim to host what is called a metaverse – an extended version of our real world. First rudimental realizations of such metaverses can be found throughout the internet, e.g., Epic Game’s Fortnite. At the same time, research and practice struggle to specify what a metaverse truly is and how we can characterize it. With our work, we analyze the proximity of the realization of a holistic metaverse platform and present the results of a qualitative interview study (n=30). The goal of our work is to use the expertise of practitioners to discuss different examples that claim to represent a metaverse, e.g., Second Life and Decentraland. To achieve this goal, we develop a typology we call the Metagon and use it to evaluate existing metaverse platforms. We contribute to theory by clarifying the meaning of metaverse platforms. Practitioners are guided by a demonstration of metaverse characteristics.