There is a lot of talk about the metaverse, what it is and how it can change how people interact. The concept of virtual reality is not new. We’ve seen it portrayed in sci-fi literature and movies for decades, and we’ve seen it implemented to some degree for years in the realm of video games, with genres like the MMORPG, that pit thousands of players into an immersive world to chat, interact, fight and organize in player-driven experiences.
The best metaverses, however, aren’t merely video games. They’re bringing to the table elements that make them appealing to broader audiences and have the potential to become the go-to platforms for massive social interaction, in the same way that social media has garnered the vast majority of internet users in the world.
The best metaverse platforms are demonstrating that the metaverse truly is a revolutionary concept, which could truly be a game-changer if properly developed and massively adopted.
The most popular metaverse platform at the moment, Decentraland, is a mandatory stop for anyone who wants to learn what the metaverse is all about and experience it first-hand. Although Decentraland borrows many ideas from previous metaverse-like experiences such as Second Life and VR Chat, it takes a further step by making its world truly decentralized, with all of its assets being owned and managed by the players.
Decentralization in Decentraland was achieved thanks to its DAO, which allows users to be in control of the policies for each space within the metaverse. Not only are the users able to define the rules by which each activity within the metaverse is carried, but they’re also able to vote on the platform’s patches, how virtual land is created, improved, and traded, how the fees for in-platform transactions are carried and much more. Decentraland is a truly social space, with its own player-driven metaverse institutions and values, which is not only fun but truly engaging to be in.
Bringing together a plethora of P2E video game experiences, Nakamoto.games is an interconnected hub for players and users to use blockchain technologies to create and earn using the Naka token.
Rather than being a single immersive world like Decentraland, Nakamoto offers multiple different experiences for different types of users, all of which are bound by a single blockchain ecosystem.
What makes this platform unique is its governance, which uses an integrated smart contract to allow any holders of the Naka token to have a degree of power over the platform. In a sense, Nakamoto is a broad gaming platform with aspects of a Defi, offering many ways for users to trade and earn money by playing and giving developers tools to create their own P2E gaming experiences within the metaverse.
In Nakamoto’s metaverse, The Nakaverse, players are able to build their own virtual cities with their own rules and institutions. As more players engage and participate, ownership of land changes, and rules start to be molded organically. All of this is coupled with reward systems from which players, developers, and content creators within the platform can earn digital assets bound to the platform’s blockchain, which can later translate into real money.
Cryptovoxels is a metaverse platform from and for NFT enthusiasts. As with most other metaverses, Cryptovoxels allows its users a great degree of freedom to create and share land, properties, accessories, and any other user-generated content within the platform through blockchain technologies.
However, Cryptovoxels is much more focused on NFTs and the culture surrounding them than most of its counterparts. The platform features many NFT galleries, portals, and curated collections within its fully immersive metaverse map, and a lot of the content is themed after popular NFT collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and Cryptopunks.
The NFT themes of Cryptovoxels are not just aesthetic, as every asset within the game is registered on the Ethereum blockchain. The metaverse’s main city, Origin City, is a broad living space with its own malls, clubs, embassies, landmarks, learning spaces, and more, all of which are built and owned by real living, breathing players. Like many other metaverse platforms, Cryptovoxels is fully compatible with VR technologies like Oculus Rift and HTC vibe.
An expansive and buildable video game, The Sandbox is one of the most unique metaverse experiences exploring the world of Web 3.0. As a video game experience, The Sandbox isn’t too different from a typical MMO game, with players running around an open virtual world going on quests, and earning loot together.
Where the platform stands out from regular video games as a true metaverse experience is in its level of flexibility, which is only made possible due to its decentralized nature, as all of the assets in the game, including the land, are NFTs created and owned by the players.
The decentralization in The Sandbox is tied to one of its most unique features, the VoxEdit tool, which acts as a marketplace for digital assets as well as a development software. The tool allows users to create or import unique places, items, art, videos, or any type of assets into the platform, turning them into NFTs that can be purchased with the SAND token.
As of today, The Sandbox is one of the biggest metaverse experiences in the market, with huge celebrities investing and getting their own places within it, from Steve Aoki to Will Smith.
Unlike most of the aforementioned examples, Gather.town isn’t primarily a gaming metaverse. Rather, it employs the concept of the metaverse to provide a tool for social interaction, which promises to be more intimate than regular meeting tools such as Zoom, Slack, or Meets.
Just as Gather can be used to hang out with friends and have fun, it can also be used for remote work, education, and conferences, making them engaging and productive. With its fun interface, varied locations and themes, and virtual avatar customization, Gather’s focus is on unveiling the broad potential of metaverse platforms.
The Gather.town interface features a video-game-like 2D aesthetic that serves as a virtual space for users to chat and interact. Through user-developed content and multiple community-driven updates, the platform has grown to become one of the main telecommuting tools in the market, hosting over 10,000 virtual offices for companies and 20,000 professional virtual conferences. For users who just wish to have a fun time, the platform also features many interesting social games which are run and supported by the community.
Although the metaverse as a concept is still in its infancy, the best metaverse platforms are giving it true and tangible meaning while demonstrating the potential for new forms of social interactions that Web 3.0 technologies can provide.
From immersive player-owned gaming experiences to engaging work-from-home solutions, metaverses are starting to take form as significant spaces for humans to inhabit.