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'Metaverse' Amongst Top Three Contenders For Oxford's Word Of The Year For 2022

'Metaverse' Amongst Top Three Contenders For Oxford's Word Of The Year For 2022
The term "metaverse" is amongst of top three contenders for the title of Oxford "Word of the Year" (WOTY) within a competition conducted by Oxford University Press (OUP), the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary.
On November 22, OUP officially announced the launch of the competition and its three finalist words for 2022, with this year marking the first time the public can vote for the WOTY.
The competition of “metaverse” is against the terms “#IStandWith” and “Goblin Mode”.
A video pitch for the Metaverse created for the competition explained the term as “a hypothetical virtual reality environment in which users interact with one another’s avatars and their surroundings in an immersive way.”
“The term dates back to the 1990s, with the first recorded use in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1992 in the science fiction novel Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson,” the video stated.
According to Oxford, the term "Metaverse" has quadrupled in usage in October 2022 compared to October 2021. According to the video, more lifestyle and work-related activities in virtual reality environments may lead to "more debates over the ethics and feasibility of an entirely online future."
In terms of the other two WOTY candidates, "#IStandWith" has become a popular political activism hashtag, while "Goblin Mode" emerged as a post-COVID-19 lockdown concept in which one rejects "returning back to normal" and instead does what they want.
In terms of how the three phrases were chosen, OUP stated that they conducted an analysis on a language data system to narrow the candidates down to three.
Voters must cast their votes on the Oxford Languages website to officially vote for "Metaverse" or the other two candidates.
So far, over 237,000 votes have been cast, with voting set to end on December 2.
Oxford did not specify when the winning word would be revealed.
What is the blockchain metaverse? A primer on an internet-enabled virtual world.
At the time of writing, a Twitter poll conducted by OUP found that 63% of 929 voters preferred "Goblin Mode," followed by "Metaverse" at 22% and "#IStandWith" at 15%:
Whatever the outcome of the poll, the Metaverse is expected to be a significant industry in the near future, according to a recent report by international consulting firm McKinsey, which estimates Metaverse-related technologies to be worth $5 trillion by 2030.
Citi increased its forecast, predicting that the total addressable market for the Metaverse economy will be in the $8-13 trillion range over the same time period.
The blockchain and cryptocurrency industries, as well as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg's rebranding of Facebook to Meta in October 2021 and its recent developments on its Metaverse products through its Reality Labs business, have all had a significant impact on our understanding of the Metaverse.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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