Eric D. Tidwell

3 min read

"We constantly strive to lift Dr. King from the history books and place his legacy directly into the lives of future generations," Eric D. Tidwell, general counsel and managing director of the King Estate, said in a statement. "Presenting his most well-known speech in such an interactive format can help us in achieving that goal."

Why Silicon Valley is betting on making this dystopian sci-fi idea into a reality

It's the latest instance of Fortnite bringing experiences that go beyond normal gaming, as it attempts to make itself appear as a metaverse rather than just a video game. Last year, it hosted musical performances by artists such as Marshmello and Travis Scott, as well as three films by director Christopher Nolan.

The metaverse was initially thought of as a setting for dystopian science fiction books, where virtual universes provide an escape from crumbling societies, but the tech industry has painted a far brighter picture of the concept in recent months. The idea is to create a space similar to the internet, but one that users (via avatars created by digital technology) can explore of and interact with each other in real time.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney took great pains to present Fortnite as an alternate reality and a "social experience" when he took the stand in the high-profile lawsuit filed by his company against Apple earlier this year, involving the commissions the iPhone maker collects from app developers. Sweeney's arguments were meant to prove that Fortnite is more than just a game. It also undermined Apple's claim that Fortnite is not a monopoly because Fortnite players can play on other devices, not just iPhones or iPads.

Epic On the other hand, Epic, tried to present itself as one the millions of apps in Apple's App store that are subject to draconian restrictions and commissions for in-app purchases. (A decision in this case is waiting to be decided.

Fortnite isn't just the most popular game that is heavily influenced by the concept of the metaverse.

One of the most well-known examples is Roblox that has games within games made by users. It has also branched out into concerts and TV shows in recent months. Minecraft is owned by Microsoft (MSFT) has also worked to expand its own metaverse, with the organization Reporters Without Borders recently creating a virtual library within the game featuring articles that have been censored across the globe.

Roblox will rule the metaverse.

Big Tech is also increasingly adopting the metaverse, as the word being mentioned nearly two dozen times during Facebook's most recent earnings call. The social media giant has been testing for years virtual reality services and features - including in the workplace as it tries to move beyond the world of two-dimensional video calls.

A fully-fledged metaverse is likely to be a few years away due to a variety of reasons but the gaming industry is the main force behind the revolution.

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