A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection. In futurism and science fiction, it is often described as a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets.
The term "metaverse" has its origins in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash as a portmanteau of "meta" and "universe." Various metaverses have been developed for popular use such as virtual world platforms like Second Life.
Some metaverse iterations involve integration between virtual and physical spaces and virtual economies, often including a significant interest in advancing virtual reality technology.
Information privacy, user addiction, and user safety are some of the concerns within metaverses, stemming from challenges facing the social media and video game industries as a whole.