n November 22, OUP officially announced the start of the competition and its three finalist words for 2022, with this year marking the first time the public can vote for the WOTY.
"Metaverse" will compete with "#IStandWith" and "Goblin Mode."
The Metaverse was described in OUP's video pitch as a hypothetical virtual reality environment in which people interact with one another's avatars and their environment in an immersive way.
"The term dates back to the 1990s, with the first documented use in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1992 in Neil Stephenson's science fiction novel Snow Crash," according to the video.
According to Oxford, the term "Metaverse" has quadrupled in usage in October 2022 compared to October 2021. More lifestyle and work-related activities in virtual reality environments may lead to "more debates over the ethics and feasibility of a completely online future."
Regarding the other two WOTY candidates, "#IStandWith" has become a popular political activism hashtag. At the same time, Goblin Mode emerged as a post-COVID-19 lockdown concept in which one rejects returning back to normal and instead does what they want.
In terms of how the three phrases were chosen, OUP stated that they conducted an analysis on a language data system to narrow the candidates down to three.
Voters must cast their votes on the Oxford Languages website to officially vote for "Metaverse" or the other two candidates. So far, over 237,000 votes have been cast, with voting set to end on December 2. Oxford should have specified when the winning word would be revealed.
At the time of writing, a Twitter poll conducted by OUP found that 63% of 929 voters preferred "Goblin Mode," followed by "Metaverse" at 22% and "#IStandWith" at 15%.
Whatever the poll's outcome, the Metaverse is expected to be a significant industry in the near future, according to a recent report by international consulting firm McKinsey, which estimates Metaverse-related innovations to be worth $5 trillion by 2030.
Citi increased its forecast, predicting that the total market potential for the Metaverse economy will be in the $8-13 trillion range over the same time period.
The blockchain and cryptocurrency industries, as well as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg's rebranding of Facebook to Meta in October 2021 and its recent developments on its Metaverse brands through its Reality Labs business, have all had a significant impact on our understanding of the Metaverse.
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