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Xmas in the Metaverse

Christmas, that most wonderful time of the year, with parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow. Even if the 25th of December in your home doesn’t include or reflect every lyric of the Andy William’s classic, Christmas dominates most people’s thoughts at this time of the year.

In our final post of 2022, we take a look at how the festive season has evolved over the years, and how the Metaverse might impact our Christmas celebrations. Twenty years from now, how many of us will be spending Christmas Day in the Metaverse?

Christmas is a time to take a well-deserved break from work, and to spend some time with family and friends. The Internet has made the world a much smaller place, providing us with the ability to connect with virtually everyone on the planet, at any time we choose. Whether it’s facetiming relatives in Australia or friends in the USA, technology allows us to keep in touch with people all over the world.

As the next iteration of the Internet, the Metaverse will enhance this connectivity, and make it easier to engage with family and friends, in a more immersive way. In the future, this virtual experience will be indistinguishable from meeting face-to-face in the real-world, providing people the opportunity to catch-up with relatives, reminisce with old friends and play as many rounds of that classic Christmas game, Charades, as they desire.

The Metaverse may lead some to engage in a more reflective, spiritual Christmas, as it allows us to engage with our most distant relatives, including those who may have passed away over the years. Back in April of this year, we reported on virtual reality world, Somnium Space’s Live Forever Mode which allows “Automatic recording mode of yourself on your own property for future AI analysis to bring your avatar to life.” In other words, let Somnium Space record and preserve enough of your in-space data and, after your physical death, your children or distant relatives will be able to interact a virtual copy of you via your Somnium Space avatar.

Shopping for the perfect Christmas gift, whether done well in advance or at the last possible minute, has always been part of annual Christmas endeavours. However, the way in which we shop for these gifts, has changed dramatically since the advent of the Internet. While some of us still brave the crowds and the cold on the high street, most of us choose to shop online, choosing from an almost infinite assortment of gifts at competitive prices. While Google and other search engines have tried to make it easier to shop, there are a multitude of websites to trawl through, and the experience pales in comparison to browsing a real-life department store. The Metaverse will enable the hyperconvergence of the physical and digital worlds, which means browsing an infinite arcade of virtual shops, which hold an infinite selection of Christmas gifts, but combined with an immersive experience that allows you to interact with items, to make sure their just right. There won’t be an ill-fitting Christmas jumper in sight in the Metaverse! Amazon’s Virtual Try-On for Shoes augmented reality feature, which allows customers to visualize how a pair of new shoes will look on themselves using their mobile phone’s camera, is a good example of where the shopping experience is heading.

Getting the home ready for Christmas will take on a whole new meaning in the Metaverse, as people to get both heir physical and virtual residences ready to receive guests. The days of traditional baubles and tinsel will soon be behind us, as the Metaverse lets people live in a part-virtual, part physical hybrid reality, which allows you to peel away layers of the physical world to any degree they desire. Homes will be adorned with all manner of Christmas creations as the Metaverse encourages people’s creative juices to run riot. And it won’t just be decorations. That cupboard under the stairs? That’s now a gateway to the North Pole, or the entrance to a Christmas concert with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Entertaining your guests at Christmas will be elevated to a whole new level in the Metaverse, with all manner of immersive experiences on offer. Take a trip to Lapland with the family, experience Christmas in the Southern hemisphere with a visit to the beach, join the audience of Love Actually’s school nativity scene for a rendition of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You, or engage in a snowball fight with Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf.

A key change this year will be the traditional Royal Christmas Message, which, for the first time since 1951, will be the King’s Christmas Message, as opposed to the Queens Christmas Message, following the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in September this year. The Queen's Christmas Message was broadcast at 3pm every Christmas day and, over Her Majesty's 70-year reign, become a staple part of the day for millions. While the annual speech is expected to continue as the King's Christmas Message under the reign of King Charles, Twitter users have stated they "will never be the same" again. Perhaps, in the future, the Metaverse will usher in a whole new Royal Christmas Message, with monarchs past and present reflecting on how the year has gone.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Don’t forget to leave a comment below. We’ll be back in the New Year with our Metaverse predictions for 2023!

Rodion Kutsaiev/Unsplash

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