While the concept of the metaverse may currently appear to be a catch-all term for a bunch of disparate multiplayer online games, that definition is going to broaden considerably over the next few years. CNet has seen the draft report from the Metaverse Roadmap Project, which suggests that in less than a decade we’ll be spending the majority of our time in augmented or fully virtual realities. Only time will tell, but people are starting to colonise the metaverse with some enthusiasm – Second Life already has resident artists who make money from selling their work ‘in world’. Meanwhile Cory Doctorow is worried that online games are dictatorships, their residents subject to every whim of the game’s creators. There’s a lot to be ironed out yet, but this phenomenon isn’t going to go away.