Ever since Facebook’s highly hyped rebranding to Meta in October 2021, the public imagination has been captivated by the nebulous entity known as “the Metaverse.” Across the New York Times, Washington Post, Forbes, and other mainstream media outlets, the term “metaverse” has populated a barrage of recent headlines – “What is the Metaverse?” “What’s All the Hype About the Metaverse?” “Is the Metaverse Just Marketing?”

The metaverse is not just an object of interest for Silicon Valley tech visionaries. Indeed, in the world of entertainment, arts and culture, and museums, the metaverse has, too, entered the chat. From the launch of “Sotheby’s Metaverse,” to the emergence of metaverse-native art galleries and the novel collaboration between Fortnite and the Serpentine, it appears that the metaverse may have growing relevance for artists, culture enthusiasts, and museums alike.

What is even is the metaverse? What potential does it hold for mainstream entertainment? How is the metaverse colliding with the art industry? And, what might the metaverse mean for traditional museums?