The 10 best examples of the metaverse everyone should know

The metaverse – everyone is talking about it, but no one is quite sure what it really is. This makes it a little difficult if we want to put together a list of platforms or experiences that represent the best of what could be.

But if we understand how persistent and connected digital environments that focus on providing immersive experiences for users, we can try to highlight some projects – existing and on the horizon – that stand out.

Not all 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 be a part of all metaverses.

So rather than focusing on examples that tick all the boxes, the best examples today tend to be 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 into what the digital worlds of the future might look like.

player 1 ready

Okay, so this is cheating because it doesn’t exist and it’s entirely fictional, and if you’ve seen the movie or read the book, you’ll know it’s not necessarily an entirely bad thing. However, it does serve as a great example of what the metaverse might end up looking like – although hopefully we won’t be using it primarily as a means of escaping a terrifying reality.

Ready Player One shows us what a fully immersive and interactive virtual reality world can look like in the near future. And while it’s pure science fiction, it’s not necessarily that far off — a 2020 Ericsson survey found that seven out of 10 people believe we’ll have VR worlds that are indistinguishable from reality by 2030. And while yes, it’s often referred to as dystopian. , is not as dire a fate for humanity as some other fictional digital realities we could mention.

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 it constitutes a metaverse as such. One reason for this is that, as the name suggests, it is built to allow users to engage in an alternate life as an alter-ego, rather than taking their existing real life online. Other opinions, however, claim that it was effectively the first popular online metaverse environment. While it may not tick all the boxes on the checklist, it does serve as 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 how important he felt the concept of the metaverse would be to the future of digital communications, socializing and life. So far, the result has been several projects, including Horizon Worlds (virtual worlds platform), Horizon Venues (events platform) and Horizon Workrooms (virtual office). All of these platforms are interconnected and allow users to create avatars that represent them as they explore and interact with other users. One interesting aspect that emerges from the existence of Horizon is that it forces us to confront questions about whether we want a metaverse where ownership is centralized under a corporate owner or a more distributed and decentralized ownership and governance model.

Fortnite

Fortnite is, of course, mostly known as one of the most successful online games ever created. But the creators at Epic Games quickly understood that once they brought together millions of connected, tech-savvy gamers on their platform, it potentially became something more revolutionary. Two main strands being pursued to turn the world of Fortnite into a proper metaverse are live music concerts by global superstars like Travis Scott, Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish. Brands such as Telco 02, broadcaster ITV and supermarket Carrefour used the creative mode to take their first steps into the metaverse.

decentralization

A kind of cross between a game, a marketing channel and an experiment in creating a digital and decentralized democracy, Decentraland is a true web3 platform. It is governed by a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) and is the online home to some of the biggest superstars and brands in the world, 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 will need to invest at least $10,000 – with the most expensive costing well over $1 million.

Nvidia Omniverse

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

roblox

Roblox is a gaming platform used daily by over 50 million users. It allows anyone to create and even monetize their own game worlds, which exist within an interconnected metaverse and share aspects such as avatars and currency. Aimed at a younger audience than some of the other platforms mentioned here, companies like Nike, Forever 21, Gucci, Nascar, Ralph Lauren and Vans have used the platform to set up virtual worlds where users can interact with their brands. While anyone can create their own game on Roblox, it’s designed for everyone to look and feel similar, which means that once a player logs in and tries one, they’ll be comfortable in any one of them.

the sandbox

This started out as a mobile game, which in 2018 was ported by its creators to the Ethereum blockchain, making it one of the first truly decentralized metaverse platforms. It includes its own object creation tools that allow anyone to build 3D items, characters, vehicles, or anything else they can think of, which are coined as NFTs and can be imported into other Sandbox worlds. These NFTs can also be traded and sold through the platform’s internal marketplace. Assets and land are created as NFTs and, like Decentraland, transactions are carried out in the platform’s own 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.

Other side

This one has just been announced, and not many details are known, but it is a metaverse project put together by Yuga Labs – creators of the immensely successful Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) series of NFTs. In April, the company raised $285 million by selling the first batch of “scriptures” to land on the platform. While details of what Otherside will look like when it opens to the public are scarce, the developers state, “Think of it as a metaRPG (role-playing game) where players own the world, their NFTs can become playable characters.” and thousands can play together in real time.”

pokemon go

Pokemon Go was released before the hype intensified around the metaverse concept. However, it is the “killer app” for augmented reality (AR), which is predicted to be one of the foundational technologies on which the metaverse will be built. As such, it is one of the best examples of how the metaverse will involve the merging of the real and digital worlds. Its creator, Nintendo, has further blurred the lines, allowing real-world companies to establish a digital presence within the poke-verse by launching advertising and promotional campaigns.

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