Where is the Metaverse? [Beginner's Guide]

Salomon Kisters
Salomon Kisters
Jun 5, 2023
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With virtual reality (VR) technology becoming more widely available to average consumers, there has been much hype around the metaverse. We won’t be surprised if you have already heard about it. The term is gaining traction in mainstream media, and tech giants like Apple, Google, and Meta (formerly Facebook) are developing products and experiences tailored around it.

But what is the metaverse exactly and why is it important? And most importantly, how can you enter it? Here is a beginner’s guide to the metaverse, a virtual world that combines elements of augmented reality, virtual reality, and the internet.

What is the Metaverse?

The metaverse is a virtual world created by combining multiple technologies, such as virtual reality engines, augmented reality, graphics processing, motion sensing, and eye-tracking. At its core, the metaverse is a place where users can interact with each other and with digital objects in a seamless and immersive way, blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds.

The concept of the metaverse has been around for decades. It was first presented by Neil Stephenson in his science fiction novel Snow Crash. In early science fiction, the metaverse was typically portrayed as a dystopian world controlled by giant corporations and governments, whereas individuals were forced to navigate a complex and dangerous virtual landscape.

However, in recent years, the metaverse has taken on a more optimistic tone, with many seeing it as a way to connect people from all over the world and create new opportunities for individuals to socialize and conduct business. It has the potential to transform various aspects of our lives in several ways, including our communication and social interactions, work, education, e-commerce, economy, entertainment, gaming, and healthcare.

Why is the Metaverse Important?

The metaverse transforms the meaning of online social interaction into a memorable and impactful user experience. It gives creative minds a new way to express themselves as they can use the additional layer of VR technologies to showcase their talent.

It’s worth mentioning here that the metaverse extends farther than just online games or chatrooms. It can be used in the healthcare, education, and financial sectors to serve unmet needs. The idea of large and persistent virtual worlds with thriving economies also has the potential to create new jobs and earning opportunities for brands and individuals.

Finally, the Metaverse might be the tipping point for internet users that gets them into Web3 ecosystems. Web3 and blockchain technology have typically been very confusing to the average computer user. However, the metaverses may prove instrumental in altering that perception altogether.

What Technology is Behind the Metaverse?

VR: The rise of VR technology, thanks to modern computers, has made it possible for developers to create immersive and realistic virtual environments that internet users can explore and interact with. Companies like Oculus, Samsung, and Google have launched a range of virtual reality headsets, haptic feedback devices, and other VR products for the consumer market.

Web3: With the integration of Web3 technology, these online worlds can take advantage of decentralized systems to create platforms that are accessible online and offer the various benefits of utilizing cryptocurrency tokens. Today, many Web3-based platforms have their own tokenized ecosystems which can be connected to other cryptocurrency blockchains to create a unified metaverse experience.

What’s in the Metaverse?

Within the Metaverse, you will find many elements that are typical of an online world or game. Here is a brief list of all the elements one would find in the metaverse:

1. Avatars

These are user profiles that identify you within the virtual world. They consist of your username, an image created with a non-fungible token (NFT), and your user preferences or privileges based on your account. They can be either 2D or 3D avatars.

2. Virtual Locations

These refer to specific points in the metaverse. They are typically linked to each other with a map and you can travel from one point to another. Depending on your account status, you may be restricted to specific areas of the world. These locations can be artificial or based on places in real locations.

3. Digital Currencies

Every metaverse has its native digital currency token which can be used to buy things (see Digital Assets) in the virtual world. Any currency used in the virtual world is usually based on a blockchain network. Some metaverses even offer cryptocurrency tokens that can be exchanged on other blockchain networks like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

4. Digital Assets

Digital assets are virtual items bought, sold, and exchanged within the metaverse. These could range from things to dress up your avatar (clothes, jewelry, and accessories), world-building items (cosmetic furniture or bricks), entire plots of land, digital art, and event tickets. Like Avatars, digital assets can be represented as 2D or 3D items.

5. Virtual Marketplace

Within the metaverse, you will find a place where you can trade digital assets with currencies. The markets may also be linked to an external exchange using a specific blockchain network that allows users to buy real-world cryptocurrency tokens like BTC, ETH, and DOGE.

All these elements combine to create a virtual world that mimics the real world but with its own denizens and economy. You can travel to different places inside it, you can obtain different items within it, and you can buy and sell things in a virtual marketplace within the metaverse.

What are the Main Metaverse Platforms?

There are several metaverse platforms you can choose to join. Here are some examples.

Decentraland

Decentraland is a blockchain-based metaverse platform that allows users to create, experience, and monetize their own virtual worlds. It is built on the Ethereum blockchain, which allows for secure and transparent transactions. Decentraland uses a cryptocurrency called MANA. Decentraland allows users to own and control their own virtual land, which they can use to create events and game experiences. These events and experiences can be paywalled.

The Sandbox

The Sandbox is another popular metaverse that works similarly to Decentraland. It is also built on the Ethereum blockchain and uses a cryptocurrency called SAND for performing in-game transactions. The Sandbox gets its name from the sandbox experience it provides to gamers, developers, and content creators which allows endless possibilities for game creation and VR exploration. Its voxel-based graphics and user-generated content give it a Minecraft vibe, something many gamers are already familiar with.

Roblox

Roblox is another metaverse game similar to Sandbox. It has more than 47 million gamers on the platform. Unlike Decentraland and Sandbox, Roblox was originally a game launched for PC users, a feature that made its transition to the blockchain-based cryptocurrency (ROBUCKS) possible much later in its life cycle.

Second Life

Second Life is one of the oldest virtual reality platforms today. Since 2003, Second Life has started offering a virtual world where users can create characters and explore a vast, user-generated landscape. Second Life is known for its robust economy, where users can buy and sell virtual goods and services using a virtual currency called Linden Dollars.

VRChat

VR Chatroom is a platform designed around immersive and user-generated VR Chatroom experiences. VRChat is meant for people who want to leverage the power of VR to socialize with online communities. It has tools for helping developers create 3D VR spaces and upload them to the platform.

Hi-Fidelity

High Fidelity is a social VR platform that allows users to create and customize their own avatars and interact with others in virtual spaces. It’s known for its high-quality audio and spatial audio technology, which allows for realistic and immersive soundscapes.

What Do I Need to Enter the Metaverse?

So you want to enter the metaverse and experience it for yourself? You might be wondering how to do this! Here are some easy steps to get started:

  1. First, choose one of the many metaverses available that you want to enter.
  2. Check if you have a computer or mobile device available. For more immersive VR experiences, you will need a VR headset and a computer that is capable of running VR applications.
  3. Next, you might need a crypto wallet along with some cryptocurrency for buying in-game items. The cryptocurrency (and the wallet) depends on the metaverse of your choice.
  4. Finally, create your account on the chosen platform.

In general, if you fulfill the hardware and crypto wallet requirements, entering a metaverse is very easy and requires minimal effort. Many developers are going all out to make the onboarding process more user-friendly.

However, you should be careful about account security as a compromised account could result in unauthorized access to your wallet. Also, be mindful of adhering to the KYC requirements, which can result in your account being blocked if you do not provide the necessary information.

Conclusion

The metaverse is a fascinating and rapidly evolving concept that has the potential to transform the way we interact with each other and with digital technology. By creating online virtual experiences based on a seamless and immersive world, the metaverse has the power to connect people from all over the world and create new opportunities for social interaction, entertainment, and business.

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Please note that the Content may have been generated with the Help of AI. The editorial content of OriginStamp AG does not constitute a recommendation for investment or purchase advice. In principle, an investment can also lead to a total loss. Therefore, please seek advice before making an investment decision.

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