What is the metaverse? A Grid No Dumb Question Video

Get the context and find out the "why" behind the stories shaping our world


‘No Dumb Questions’: What is the metaverse?

Since we launched the “No Dumb Questions” video series, the questions we’ve tackled have fallen largely in the category of things people may know a little bit about but feel they ought to know or understand better. To take some recent examples: “What is monkeypox?” “What is the filibuster?” and “How does China choose its leader?” In each case, viewers and readers may have some idea of the answers; the series is meant to provide a deeper understanding.

This week’s question may be in a different class — in that we suspect few people really know what the metaverse is. Even our technology reporter, Benjamin Powers, who does the work of answering this week’s question, acknowledges just how bizarre and poorly understood the concept is. But Powers does a fine job explaining the metaverse in general terms — “a digital world that we live in, as opposed to this real life” — before taking us on a deeper dive to some of its more mind-bending facets. Clearly we are talking (or at least Powers is) about a world that involves much more than video games and virtual reality headsets. Powers also looks at the future — and where the metaverse might lead us — while acknowledging that there are certain things about it that no one really knows or understands.

All that said, it’s good to have some clarity. Here, then, is Benjamin Powers, with answers to what is certainly not a dumb question: What is the metaverse?

We’d love to hear from you with other ideas for the series. We like to think there are no “dumb questions”; or, put differently, that there’s almost nothing out there in the world of news and information that couldn’t use a little more clarity and context in terms of the answers. We also know that we have really smart readers, and that even the smartest among them can’t be expected to have every shred of important context or background on all the events that are roiling the world at any given moment. Send your ideas and questions to tips@grid.news.

More ‘No Dumb Questions’ videos

Thanks to Lillian Barkley for copy editing this article.

  • Benjamin Powers
    Benjamin Powers

    Technology Reporter

    Benjamin Powers is a technology reporter for Grid where he explores the interconnection of technology and privacy within major stories.

  • Jake Garcia
    Jake Garcia

    Associate Producer, Multimedia

    Jake Garcia is a documentary filmmaker and multimedia producer for Grid.

  • Tom Nagorski
    Tom Nagorski

    Global Editor

    Tom Nagorski is the global editor at Grid, where he oversees our coverage of global security, U.S.-China relations, migration trends, global economics and U.S. foreign policy.