In 1942, the famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once put forward the famous three laws of robots in his book “Circle”:
- First Law: A robot must not harm an individual human being, or stand idly by witnessing that an individual human being would be endangered
- Second Law: A robot must obey orders given to it by humans, except when the order conflicts with the first law
- Third Law: Robots must protect their own survival as much as possible without violating the first and second laws
These three laws have shined brightly in the sci-fi world in the future. They have not only been used for reference by many sci-fi works, but have even given birth to a new discipline—mechanical ethics, which mainly studies the relationship between humans and machines. With the popularity of artificial intelligence and robotics applications, this discipline is now beginning to come to the forefront.
If it is said that in the real world, universal gravitation is the universal law of the operation of the universe, and in the field of robotics, the three laws of robotics are the code of conduct for intelligent robots, is there a similar “metaverse rule” in the metaverse world? Who, if any, are these guidelines aimed at?
Before defining the object, we need to answer a question, is there a “chicken” or an “egg” first in the metaverse world?
The chicken here can be regarded as a Crypto identity, but this identity is in a broad sense. It can be a piece of equipment, a Crypto person or even a Crypto pet and other different species. The most important thing is that it needs to be bound by the underlying public chain. , which only defines basic and core properties, and does not frame all information. The egg is the environment in which this species lives, which can be in different metaverses or different scenes in one metaverse.
After the definition is clear, the question of which came first, the egg or the chicken, is easy to answer. Because the variables of the external environment of the metaverse are endless, and this chicken, we only need to define a few basic properties of it, and then it can move freely in the metaverse. Therefore, the chicken comes first and then the egg. At the same time, under this setting, the principles that the metaverse design needs to follow will be simplified a lot. We call this “basic attribute” metadata, and the most typical representative is Loot, which is a fire throughout the year.
Metadata is originally a computer term that describes the data of data, such as data type and structure information, whose purpose is to identify data, evaluate data, search and track data. Metaverse metadata is similar, it defines basic properties of species/identities such as gender, height, vitality, attack, defense, etc. Once metadata is created, it can be shared. Therefore, metadata must be stored on the blockchain and can be called by smart contracts, rather than stored on the game server, which can only be called by the platform-approved interface.
Metadata is first and foremost a coding system. Its most important feature and function is to establish a machine-understandable framework for species attributes, which affects the whole situation. Therefore, it must be unmodifiable, even by the publisher of the protocol. Cannot have super administrator privileges to modify it. But the Metaverse can, through the community DAO, allow metadata to be modified with community votes, so we get the first law of the Metaverse: Metadata cannot be modified unless voted by the DAO.
If we regard the metaverse as a game world, then this game has an open world view, not like traditional Internet games, each game is a closed world inside, the props in game A do not exist in game B, It also cannot be used, which means that the metaverse protocol needs to be universal, which also leads to the second law of the metaverse – spatial translation invariance: metadata remains relatively unchanged and is not limited by chains and platforms (space).
For example: what we often say is that game assets on the chain can be circulated in different spaces without being restricted by the chain and platform where the game is located. For a game in the metaverse, assets (characters, gold coins, props, etc.) Existing in the game, game developers can define the data of “asset” differently, but the basic metadata cannot be changed. Since assets can appear before games, it also shows that the type of “asset” metadata is Not restricted by chains and platforms.
For example, a game developer can interpret the A attribute of an asset as life and the B attribute as strength, and another game developer can interpret the A attribute as strength and the B attribute as life, but neither of them are. You can modify the values of A and B attributes. The game developer can completely set the A attribute in his game, it is not important, it is just a dispensable attribute. The B attribute is extremely important and an indispensable basic attribute, which is equivalent to giving different weights to the A and B attributes in the game.
The essence of the second law of the metaverse is about cross-chain and cross-platform. Assets on the chain can span different types of metaverse worlds and different underlying public chains, but the underlying metadata remains unchanged, which is also the reason for maintaining the metaverse. The key to not having a chaotic universe view.
For the blockchain-based metaverse, the time-shift invariance of asset properties is very important, because the source of value for metaverse assets is their properties. If attributes change over time, then their external market prices can change very dramatically, and all games lose their valuation and game-set anchors. This is also the third law of the metaverse – time translation invariance: metadata does not change with block height.
The block height is the clock of the blockchain. A block is generated at regular intervals. The block height is the number of these blockchains. The block height is also the ruler of time in the metaverse world. It should be pointed out here that the time shift Invariance does not mean that the attribute does not change with the height of the block at all. For dynamic attributes, the functional relationship that makes them change is its metadata. Therefore, the time translation invariance of dynamic attributes means that in any block height, its functional relationship is unchanged.
To sum up, in the metaverse, we take metadata as the object and start from the underlying technology of the blockchain, and summarize the three laws of the metaverse as follows:
- First Law of the Metaverse: Metadata is unmodifiable except with a DAO vote.
- Second Law of the Metaverse – Spatial translation invariance: Metadata remains relatively unchanged and is not limited by chains and platforms (spaces).
- Third Law of the Metaverse – Time Shift Invariance: Metadata does not change with block height.
These three laws are also the main development axis of the current native crypto metaverse, and they are also the changes that traditional institutions must make if they want to build a metaverse society. Like the three laws of robotics proposed by Asimo, in the immature stage, these laws seem a bit utopian, but when they become mature, when the relevant issues are paid attention to by everyone, their value will be truly reflected.