Virtual Worlds and Virtual Lands Explained

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Virtual Worlds and Virtual Lands Explained

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Virtual worlds have become a hot topic in recent years after metaverse started to gain attraction among crypto and blockchain enthusiasts.

Today, many companies are developing several games and applications which evolve around virtual world experiences.

Virtual lands are a component of virtual worlds. Just like real-world lands, virtual lands can be used for various purposes such as entertainment, education, and business, to name a few.

Virtual world and virtual land innovation have also laid the foundation for virtual real estate.

Following the increasing popularity of virtual worlds and virtual lands given their unique use cases, the virtual real estate economy has grown significantly in recent years.

Whether you are a blockchain gaming fan, a web 3.0 enthusiast, a seasoned crypto investor, or simply a new member of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, this article will teach you everything you need to know about virtual worlds and an important component within them, virtual lands.

So, fasten your seatbelt as we begin the ride.

What are virtual worlds?

As the name implies, a virtual world only exists digitally and cannot be accessed or used physically.

Virtual worlds are simply online environments that emulate real-world environments or create entirely new ones.

So, the virtual world can be divided into two categories: those that simulate reality and those that create a new reality.

Users can access a virtual space using a computer, tablet, or smartphone, and interact with other people, objects, and the environment.

Virtual worlds consist of virtual lands, a plot in the digital space where you can customize and build your online presence on.

In other words, merged together, virtual lands can create a virtual world.

A digital world can simply be the digital version of an existing city or state or something completely born out of imagination.

For example, in a real-world virtual world, like Upland, the lands can be located in a known city in any part of the world while in a fantasy universe, like My Neighbor Alice, the lands are located in an imaginary place called Lummelunda Archipelago. However, the archipelago mainly mimics real-life elements.

Virtual worlds and metaverse

Metaverse and virtual worlds are two interconnected concepts.

To put it quite simply, an online space where all virtual worlds exist is known as Metaverse.

You can think of Metaverse as the physical world we live in. But in Metaverse, everything is carried out virtually and nothing is concrete — no real humans, no real structures, etc.

Metaverse allows you to develop a character that represents you. 

Technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are usually used to allow you interact with other people on Metaverse using a character that represents yourself.

At the moment, Metaverse simply describes a virtual world, usually experienced through video games or digital life simulation. 

We have numerous isolated blockchain games and applications that have created their own virtual worlds. However, the idea of Metaverse is to have only one virtual world that embodies all these isolated universes we have right now.

A brief history of virtual worlds

Virtual worlds have been around since the early days of the internet, but advancements in technology have made them more immersive and realistic.

Habitat is considered the first virtual world which was created in 1985 by Lucasfilm Games, formerly known as LucasArts.

It was an online community where users could have avatars and interact with each other in a virtual environment.

It’s interesting to know that Habitant managed to keep more than 16 players and laid the foundation for modern Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG).

In the 1990s, virtual worlds gained popularity with the release of games like Ultima Online, Meridian 59, and EverQuest which were all fantasy games.

Second Life, released in 2003, took the virtual world to the next level, allowing users to create their own virtual environments and interact with other users in real time. Second Life was a life simulation game.

With the popularity of blockchain technology and Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs), video games tried to integrate these technologies into their virtual worlds.

Even though we have various metaverse-focused blockchain games with diverse gameplays, we can see that the ones build on the concept of virtual lands are the most popular ones.

At the moment, games like Decentraland (MANA) and The SandBox (SAND) are among the top blockchain-based metaverse games that have made virtual lands more accessible and popular.

Types of virtual worlds

As mentioned earlier, virtual worlds can be divided into two categories including those that simulate reality and those that create a new one.

Let’s take a closer look at each type:

  1. Simulated Reality-Based Virtual World: This virtual world type mimics or reproduces real-world environments, allowing users to create avatars and interact with each other in a digital world. Examples of simulated reality virtual lands include Second Life, Minecraft, and The Sims.
  2. New Reality-Based Virtual World: This category of virtual worlds creates entirely new spaces with unique elements, characters, environments, and scenery. Examples of new world virtual lands include World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Benefits of virtual worlds and metaverse

As a user, you can benefit from virtual worlds in various ways. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of virtual worlds together:


Virtual worlds offer an environment for people to connect with others from around the world and build relationships in a virtual community. You can join groups, attend events, and engage in activities with like-minded people.

Creativity and self-expression

With this novel concept,  you can express yourself in new forms and explore your imaginations in a way that may not be possible in the physical world.

You can design and build your own digital spaces, avatar or characters, clothing, and much more.

Immersive gaming experience

Another notable benefit of these digital plots is their ability to offer an immersive gaming experience.

As a gamer, you can explore new environments, complete quests, and interact with other players.

Business and income source

Additionally, you can have a new income source and business opportunity.

Virtual real estate, for instance, is a product of this blockchain innovation. You can buy, sell, and trade virtual lands in the form of NFTs on digital marketplaces.

Likewise, companies can create virtual stores, allowing customers to shop in a digital environment while artists and other businesses can host paid virtual events, allowing their fans and followers to attend conferences, seminars, and product launches from the comfort of their own homes.

You can even earn passive income through the Play-to-Earn (P2E) model.

You can read our “X to Earn: Let’s PLAY!” article to learn more about P2E and how it works.

Educational and professional opportunities

You can also use these virtual worlds for educational and professional purposes, such as training simulations, conferences, and networking events.

They also offer a way for businesses to showcase their products and services in a digital environment.

Advanced networking

Interestingly, this emerging technology helps to bring people of different tribes, regions, and races together.

As a user, you can access these virtual worlds from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

You can simply attend your favorite events and conferences without the need to travel or attend physical events.

They also offer a way for people with disabilities to participate in social and professional activities in a more inclusive way.

Getting started with blockchain-based virtual worlds

Getting started with a virtual world is not difficult. Basically, you need a computer, tablet, or smartphone, an internet connection, and maybe some initial investment.

Here are some steps you can take to join a virtual world and start joining a metaverse:

1. Research virtual worlds

Before buying any virtual land, it is important to research to determine which virtual world best fits you and your goals.

Decentraland (MANA) is a well-known real-estate virtual world that allows you to buy virtual lands in the form of NFTs and customize, trade, or sell them on digital marketplaces.

My Neighbor Alice (ALICE) is a farming game that allows you to build your own digital farm and keep your in-game assets in the form of NFTs.

There are various blockchain-based metaverse games and applications out there that you can explore. So, take the time to learn about them and determine which one aligns with your interests.

2. Buy some crypto

Usually, you will need to pay for virtual lands with a specific crypto asset supported in your desired application.

For example, Decentraland uses MANA as its ecosystem currency, while The Sandbox adopts the SAND token.

There are different options to buy some cryptocurrencies with your credit or debit card which is the easiest way. However, the fee for this method is usually higher than other ways such as placing a market order.

Digital Financial Exchange (DIFX) offers both options. You can buy your desired cryptocurrencies on the DIFX Exchange by using your debit/credit card or placing an order on the spot exchange.

Watch this tutorial to learn how you can buy crypto on DIFX using your credit or debit card.

3. Link your wallet to the game

When you use a centralized exchange like DIFX to buy cryptocurrencies, you receive your assets in your digital wallet on the exchange.

So, after buying the crypto assets, you need to transfer them to your personal crypto wallet like MetaMask.

Upon signing up for your selected virtual game or application, you will be asked to link your crypto wallet which is very straightforward.

After linking your cryptocurrency wallet to the virtual world, you will be able to use your cryptocurrencies to buy virtual assets like virtual lands.

4. Buy your first virtual land

Most virtual worlds have a marketplace where users can buy and sell virtual assets such as land. Browse the marketplace to get an idea of the types of assets available and their prices.

When you’ve found a virtual plot that you’re interested in, you can purchase it using the cryptocurrency in your linked crypto wallet.

The process for purchasing virtual lands varies depending on the virtual world, however, you generally have to either purchase the land at a digital marketplace or place a bid if the land you’re after is quite expensive and rare.

5. Enjoy the metaverse

Once you have purchased a virtual land, you can customize it to your taste.

You can build structures or create interactive experiences that other users can visit. Many virtual worlds have tools and resources available to help you create custom content for your virtual land.

Virtual worlds are social spaces, so it’s important to engage with the community to get the most out of your virtual land.

You can attend events, join forums, or collaborate with other users on virtual projects.

Building relationships with other users can also help you gain a better understanding of the virtual world and its unique features.

You probably should have a good understanding of the concept of virtual worlds at this point. However, you should never forget to Do Your Own Research (DYOR) before making any investment decision and always invest as much as you can afford to lose.