HomeWhat Happens If You Die in the Metaverse?

What Happens If You Die in the Metaverse?

Many people wonder what happens when you die in the Metaverse. Does it affect the real world significantly?

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Mark
Updated: January 21, 2023
Can you die in the metaverse

Ever since Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook and claimed that Meta will inevitably connect the real and digital worlds, one question has been asked by many users about the Metaverse. 

“What happens if you die in the Metaverse?”

The thing is – the Metaverse is still a very young technology. So many things remain uncertain, no matter what people like Zuckerberg claim. Aside from the basic premise, which you can see from virtual world games, not a lot about the digital realm has been confirmed. 

On a humorous note, Zuckerberg’s outrageous claims regarding the Metaverse resulted in a meme that attributes the following statement to him: “If you die in the Metaverse, you die in real life!”  

However, while funny, it did contribute to the confusion over how a death in the virtual world affects the person’s life in the real world.

If you die in the metaverse meme

How Does One Navigate the Metaverse?

Before attempting to understand how one’s death in the Metaverse can affect the real world, we should first discuss how users can navigate the virtual space. Open-world gamers are intimately familiar with the basic concept of the Metaverse. However, the regular Joe and Tom might need this walkthrough.

The Metaverse is simply defined as a digital space that one can log in to and explore using special access devices. Open-world games currently use only a person’s personal computer, or a gaming console like the PlayStation or Xbox, as an access portal to their worlds. 

With an account (usually free), the user can enter the virtual world anytime they desire.

The Avatar 

The avatar, in this case, brings to mind the blue-skinned creature from James Cameron’s film of the same title. Look at how Sam Worthington’s character accesses the consciousness of his humanoid body. This is somewhat similar to how Zuckerberg and other tech moguls envision people logging in to the Metaverse.

The avatar, in other words, is your digital body. It is your Metaverse representation. Through the avatar, you can interface with the elements and features of the open world.

Of course, as a computerised extension of yourself, you can fully customize its appearance. 

You have total freedom in personalizing your avatar. You can make it look like you or create a totally new look. While exploring the Metaverse, you could also purchase in-world items and accessories that your avatar can wear.

Just like the real world, nobody wants to see a nude avatar walking around.

Avatar 2

Can This Avatar Die in the Metaverse?

You’d have to look at the various virtual world games to understand how avatars and their lives could work in the Metaverse. 

However, to make the long story short – yes, there’s a chance that your avatar could die while exploring the virtual worlds of games like Roblox, Second Life, Fortnite, World of Warcraft and many others. 

These games have mechanics that involve avatar versus avatar combat as well as avatar versus non-playable character fighting. Any of these activities can result in avatars suffering physical damage and, eventually, death. That, however, should not be a cause for concern.

What Happens If an Avatar Dies?

There is nothing to worry about when your avatar experiences death in any popular virtual worlds. 

Each game treats avatar death differently. For instance, first-shooter games like Valorant and Counter-Strike halt the player’s activity for several minutes, during which a ghost can walk through walls and spy on the other players.

After the end of each match, the player respawns, and their avatar can join the game again.

In virtual worlds like Second Life, the avatar only experiences damage in certain sections. Once the avatar’s Hit Points or HP are depleted, it dies and is taken back to the player’s home location to instantly respawn.

They can then go back to that location and try their luck again.

Does This Death Affect the Real World?

Simply put, an avatar’s death does not have material consequences in the real world. These digital personas are basically immortals. They can recover health near instantaneously, and it’s business as usual for the players.

Perhaps the most significant effect a virtual death would have on the real world is the amount of ridicule the player gets from his teammates!

Second Life death

Should you be worried about dying in the Metaverse?

If the Metaverse remains faithful to the tents of virtual world gaming, then an avatar death should not be a cause for concern. True, it could be a source of inconvenience for the user. However, that inconvenience could only span a few minutes and everything’s back to normal again for the online citizen.

However, with Metaverse stakeholders expressing intent to make the universe an extension of the real world, the account owner’s death bears more weight than the passing of his avatar. 

The Avatar in the Metaverse Signifies Ownership

In the Metaverse, the avatar is more than just a gamer’s representation of himself/herself. It is the focal point of a person’s existence in this digital world. Thus, the avatar can be associated with many other things, including ownership of digital assets like Non-Fungible Tokens.

Thus, the death of an account owner raises several questions. Who will inherit the person’s account and take ownership of any assets that they have accumulated on the Metaverse? Will the account be automatically closed and access no longer granted, even to the person’s closest relations?

The administrative team at Linden Labs, the developer of Second Life, has preempted that concern and developed a comprehensive protocol governing owner deaths.

One of its tenets require the owner to specify in his will what should happen to his Second Life account and assets, should he meet an untimely end.

Conclusion

There’s no indication that dying on the Metaverse will have any serious impact on your real life. All information indicates that a virtual death is but a temporary inconvenience to any user of the digital space. 

Even if the Metaverse is just an infant technology, it appears improbable that users would have to worry about losing their digital lives and having the effects spill over to the real world.

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