As we wrote yesterday in the first part of this diptych on the metaverse, Second Life is one of the first digital worlds where users could mess around.
The hype around the launch was huge, but it can’t be any other way with such an ambitious name. Second Life promised a second life alongside its analog life and slowly tried to distance itself from another popular online world: World of Warcraft, which launched in 2004.
Second Life soon had a million users worldwide, and communities began to form. We are curious to know if the love relationships that have resulted from this will still last.
Residents create their own 3D avatars and make their way into the virtual world, engaging in various activities from entertainment to virtual businesses and properties. While many simply refer to the platform as a video game, the creators claim that this is not the case because the characters do not have a set mission.
Launched a year later, IMVU has over 100 million active users. The game begins in an empty virtual apartment that players can customize. IMVU is distinguished by the large number of virtual items that users can purchase.
Another popular metaverse, and this is a gray area, is Minecraft. Minecraft is from 2011 and it certainly comes across as a video game. The game looks simple, but the more you think about Minecraft, the more complex it becomes. Minecraft doesn’t look like much, it just gives you your hands to work with, but hundreds of millions of players still play this every day. That is because of the infinite freedom that is offered, you don’t need anything, but you can do everything.
Sandbox is a metaverse world based on NFT. The first version of his metaverse was only released at the end of last year. The platform provides virtual land that users can buy and use for whatever they want, be it a concert, a sporting event, an NFT arcade, or just a video game. It is possible to sell the creation within the game using the SAND token. Many celebrities like Snoop Dogg have already invested heavily in the platform.
Decentraland is one of the newest and most popular 3D virtual worlds, coming out in 2020. Users can purchase land as NFTs and enjoy various activities in the game. The platform runs on a sidechain of the Ethereum blockchain and has its own cryptocurrency called MANA. You can use this in Decentraland to buy everything, but you can also use it outside of the metaverse, for example to invest or trade.
Both SAND and MANA are available in the BLOX app.
Axie Infinity is an example of a play to win video game. Users can collect Axies, similar to how Pokemon works, except these creatures are NFTs.
This also includes a crypto, it’s called AXS and it’s also available in BLOX.
What can the future bring us?
We know what the metaverse is right now, a collection of video games and digital worlds that can be experienced separately. We have to hope for a general metaverse that connects everything, so that you can visit different worlds with the same avatar.
But is this really the Internet of the future? Can it help humanity to go one step further and is it worth investing in?
That remains to be seen. But if we’ve learned anything from science fiction writers, it’s to be hoped that our (grandchildren) children don’t want to spend more time in virtual worlds than in the real world.
We are already at the mercy of the rules, laws, controls, and limitations of our real world. A fully programmable world could potentially make George Orwell’s stories pale.
But perhaps this is too pessimistic, and our future digital world will become a beacon of true freedom and equal opportunity.