The best way to really understand the benefits of the Metaverse is to experience it, right? That’s exactly what we did with the MiM Class of 2022.
As chance would have it, talking about NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens), cryptocurrencies and the Metaverse was the main topic of the Fintech course closing session in June 2022. Professor Miguel Anton (Financial Management) had the idea to run this class WITHIN the Metaverse. And so we did. IESE prepared a basic experience for the MiM Students that was simple and enjoyable.
But the first question is…How do you get into a Metaverse?
Follow 3 easy steps:
- Decide which Metaverse you want to participate in: Horizon, AltSpace, Roblox…
- Find – for now – an OCULUS set
- Create your own avatar
First, you need to understand if you want to participate in a flat (2D) Metaverse, or – even better – have a more “immersive experience” in 3D or Virtual Reality (VR). Of course, we decided to go for VR. The 2D experience – Virbela for instance – is accessible to everyone with access to a Windows OS but the experience is flat and reminiscent of a video game. The VR experience, including a 360º view with 3D sound and video, is really different and difficult to forget for first-timers.
There are many platforms ready for you to experience the metaverse: Decentraland, Sandbox, Cryptopunks, Axie Infinity, Open Sea, among others. But not all of these are immersive! For a full immersive experience in a professional setting, we worked with META (Horizon and its WorkRoom platform) and AltSpace (Microsoft).
Before you know it, you are in… don’t forget to book a workroom, and invite other users to join. Easy! As a last step, you decide where you want to be: choose among different landscapes (ocean, city, lakes) and settings (round table, presentation…). One limitation is that as per today, Horizon does not support more than 16 users in the same workroom, interacting among them, due to the amount of data each user exchanges with one another and the platform itself.
And now: the experience starts. All of a sudden, you are in a different virtual space with a bunch of avatars surrounded by 3D images and 3D sound. Your avatar replicates you – since it is basically designed by yourself – and follows your movements: it imitates the exact gestures of your hands and also transfers basic facial expressions such as smiling. You will miss your legs during the time you are at Horizon, but you won’t realize that easily since you will be absorbed looking around and meeting your friends there. You can even shake hands with the one beside you or give a virtual high five… a funny detail that our MiM students enjoyed a lot.
The avatar of Professor Anton can address the audience from the podium or the blackboard, which can turn into a screen that mirrors your laptop, allowing for powerpoint presentations, videos, etc. Students participate by raising their hands, or can join the professor at the blackboard to sketch with chalk using VR-controllers. The students were fascinated to see how writing in the air (in the real world with a controller) fills the blackboard with their own handwriting in the virtual world! You can view more highlights of the IESE MiMs’ Metaverse experience in this video here.
The Metaverse indeed feels like a different world. You can see and hear what happens there, while only the feeling of your real hands and feet remind you that the real world is another one. At some point you will leave to drink, eat, or rest, but you will want to come back. You will come back because there is a lot to discover and explore. At this point you realize that a new universe has opened up in front of your Oculus glasses. The possibilities are endless.
Written by Prof. Miguel Anton, MiM Academic Director and Chabela Estalella, MiM Executive Director
We are planning to run more events in the metaverse in the coming year, stay tuned!
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