The 10 best examples of the metaverse that everyone should know

The Metaverse – everyone talks about it, but no one knows exactly what it really is. This makes it a bit difficult when we want to put together a list of platforms or experiences that represent the best of what it could be.

But if by that we mean persistent, connected digital environments that focus on delivering immersive experiences to users, we can try to highlight some projects – both existing and on the horizon – that stand out. †

Not all of the projects highlighted here involve virtual reality, decentralization, or cryptocurrency. While these are all technologies that are likely to have a place in the Metaverse, it is not strictly essential that they are part of every Metaverse.

So, rather than focusing on examples that tick all the boxes, today’s best examples are those that do one or more of the core elements particularly well. Not all of them are fully functional yet (and one of them isn’t even real!), but they all give us a glimpse of what the digital worlds of the future could look like.

borrow player one

Okay, so that’s kind of cheating because it doesn’t exist and it’s completely fictional, and if you’ve seen the movie or read the book you know that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, it serves as a great example of what the Metaverse could eventually look like – although hopefully we won’t be using it primarily as a way to escape a horrible reality.

Ready Player One shows us what a fully immersive and interactive virtual reality world could look like in the near future. And while that’s pure science fiction, it’s not necessarily that far off — a 2020 Ericsson survey found that seven out of ten people think we’ll have VR worlds that are indistinguishable from reality. Here’s 2030. And while yes, it’s often talked about as a dystopia, it’s not such a terrible potential fate for humanity as any other fictional digital reality we could name.

second Life

Second Life was created by Linden Labs in 2003, before Facebook (let alone Meta) even existed. There is some debate as to whether this constitutes a metaverse as such. One of the reasons for this is that, as the name suggests, it is designed to allow users to live a different life as an alter ego rather than taking their existing real life online. However, other reviews state that it was indeed the first popular online metaverse environment. While it doesn’t tick all the boxes on the checklist, it is a useful example of an online community populated by millions of users with an immersive and experiential user interface.

Meta Horizons (Facebook)

When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg renamed his company Meta, it was a sign of the importance he placed on the concept of the metaverse for the future of digital communication, socialization and living. The result so far are several projects including Horizon Worlds (a platform for virtual worlds), Horizon Venues (event platform) and Horizon Workrooms (virtual office). All these platforms are interconnected and allow users to create avatars that represent them as they explore and interact with other users. An interesting aspect that comes from Horizon’s existence is that it forces us to question whether we want a metaverse where ownership is centralized under one business owner or a more distributed and decentralized model of ownership and governance.

fortnite

Fortnite is of course best known as one of the most successful online games ever made. But the creators of Epic Games quickly realized that once they had millions of plugged-in, tech-savvy gamers on their platform, it could potentially be something groundbreaking. Two main components that are followed to turn the world of Fortnite into a real metaverse are the live music concerts of global superstars such as Travis Scott, Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish. Brands like Telco 02, broadcaster ITV and supermarket Carrefour have all used creative mode to take their first steps in the metaverse.

decentralized

Halfway between a game, a marketing channel and an experiment in creating a decentralized digital democracy, Decentraland is a true web3 platform. It is controlled by a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) and is home to some of the world’s biggest superstars and online brands, including Morgan Stanley, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Samsung and Snoop Dogg. It comes with its own cryptocurrency, known as MANA, and anyone interested in buying land there will currently have to pay at least $10,000 – the most expensive costing more than a year, million dollars.

Nvidia Omniverse

Omniverse is Nvidia’s effort to create a creative metaverse platform for 3D design professionals. It is based on technology developed by the animation studio Pixar, which created the Universal Scene Description (USD) language that allows 3D objects and environments to be transferred across various toolsets. This makes it possible, for example, to design characters together, with facial animators, clothing designers and other creatives, all using tools they are familiar with. As 3D environments become more detailed and immersive and require more work to build, this type of creative framework will become an essential tool for studios creating metaverse content.

Roblox

Roblox is a gaming platform used by more than 50 million users daily. It allows anyone to create their own game worlds and even earn money, all of which exist in an interconnected metaverse and share aspects such as avatars and currency. Companies such as Nike, Forever 21, Gucci, Nascar, Ralph Lauren and Vans have all used the platform to create virtual worlds where users can interact with their brands. While anyone can create their own game in Roblox, it is designed so that they all look and feel the same, meaning that once a player logs in and experiences one of them, they will feel comfortable in one of them.

the sandpit

It started as a mobile game, which was ported to the Ethereum blockchain by its creators in 2018 and became one of the first truly decentralized metaverse platforms. It includes its own object creation tools that allow anyone to create 3D objects, characters, vehicles, or anything they can imagine, which are then created as NFTs and imported into other Sandbox worlds. These NFTs can also be traded and sold through the platform’s built-in marketplace. Assets and land are created as NFTs, and like Decentraland, trades are executed in the platform’s native currency known as SAND. Sandbox is another platform that has proven popular with brands looking to establish their presence in the metaverse – landowners include HSBC, Warner Music, PwC and Paris Hilton.

across

This one was just announced and few details are known, but it’s a metaverse project set up by Yuga Labs – the creators of the popular NFT series Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). In April, the company raised $285 million from the sale of the first batch of “deeds” that landed on the platform. While details of what Otherside will look like when it opens to the public is scarce, the developers say, “Think of it as a metaRPG (role-playing) where players own the world, your NFTs can become playable characters, and thousands can play together in real time. .”

pokemon go

Pokemon Go was launched before the hype surrounding the metaverse concept arose. However, it is the go-to “killer app” for augmented reality (AR), which is predicted to be one of the core technologies around which the Metaverse will be built. As such, it is one of the best examples of how the Metaverse merges the real and digital worlds. Its creator, Nintendo, has further blurred the lines by allowing real companies to establish a digital presence in the poke-verse by launching advertising and promotional campaigns.

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