First mentioned in a sci-fi book by Neal Stephenson in 1992, Metaverse was introduced as the digital version of our real world where we can live, work, play, and socialize as we do in our everyday lives.
As cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based games and applications grew in popularity in recent years, Metaverse also started to receive more attraction as many believe blockchain technology will indeed be a part of the future Metaverse.
At the moment, the concept of Metaverse is predominantly applied in gaming and real estate and revolves around technologies such as virtual and augmented reality. We still don’t have a precise definition of Metaverse and even though the possibilities of a future Metaverse are endless, we still only have a general idea of how it may look like.
In this article, we will go through the basics of Metaverse and discuss some of its core characteristics. We will also introduce some of the metaverse-focused blockchain games and projects that will give you a glimpse into the future of our virtual world.
Although it has only been a couple of years that the phrase “Metaverse” has become a buzzword, the idea itself goes back to the 90s. Actually, Neal Stephenson, a fictional American writer forged the term in Snow Crash, one of his books in 1992.
Hiro, the main character in Snow Crash is a hacker and delivery guy who receives a mysterious file in the Metaverse, the 3D and virtual version of the world:
“So, Hiro’s not actually here at all. He’s in a computer-generated universe that his computer is drawing onto his goggles and pumping into his earphones. In the lingo, this imaginary place is known as the Metaverse.”
Unsurprisingly, Metaverse is mainly dependent on virtual and augmented reality technologies and the tools that are used in these fields as users need a bridge to move between the real world and the virtual one.
Throughout the years, various games tried to generate another universe for users to explore and build another life. However, these projects were completely isolated from one another and what a user had in one universe was completely non-existent and inaccessible in the other.
We expect the future Metaverse to offer one virtual world similar to the existing one where people can build their virtual identity and interact with other people all around the world easily.
The Metaverse will also allow people to better manage their digital identity on social media platforms, games, and other applications that help them with their digital lives. To make this possible, a whole new generation of applications will be required, forcing the world web into its next era known as Web 3.0.
Just like blockchain technology, Metaverse is expected to be decentralized, using the collective power of its users to operate. This allows everyone to be able to join the future Metaverse, without the regular stereotypes and discrimination preventing many from being a part of the virtual version of the universe.
When it comes to rules and regulations, Metaverse will also rely on its community of users who will decide on the laws in a democratic manner. At the moment, the setups that are based on this idea are known as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations or DAOs. DAOs are built using smart contracts, a piece of code that lives and operates on a blockchain network.
A Metaverse will also need a monetary system that allows its participants to continue the commercial part of their lives. The conventional monetary system is without a doubt insufficient to be integrated into the future Metaverse, making the room open for a more flexible, open, and modern system.
In 2008, when the world was suffering from a broken global economy, Bitcoin was proposed as a better alternative to the monetary system; a digital currency that would be immune to inflation, discrimination, censorship, and control.
Bitcoin was just the beginning and soon after its creation, various other crypto projects were created to offer a better option for financial products and services such as loans, remittances, and international bank transfers.
As a new form of money, cryptocurrencies fit perfectly into the idea of a cohesive Metaverse where people all around the world will be able to continue their daily and commercial business virtually.
This connection was not hard to see and various crypto projects started to integrate the two concepts together. They tried to offer their users a virtual universe that would have a crypto-based economy.
Today’s metaverse-based crypto platforms evolve around different ideas. Some of them are offering a virtual representation of real-world cities and landmarks where users can buy, sell, and trade the virtual version of their properties while others have built a fantasy world with imaginary creatures where users have the opportunity to create even more fantastic beasts to trade or collect.
What they have in common, though, is that they all have an economy that is based on a cryptocurrency token. All financial transactions within their Metaverse will be based on that token and just like the real-world economy, any growth in the financial activities can result in an increase in the currency’s value.
Many of these projects are integrating the concept of a DAO, meaning their community is responsible for managing the universe.
Interestingly, community members can propose laws and rules and put in place policies to control their economy to increase the value of their cryptocurrency, boost economic activities, or attract more users to their world.
In today’s economy, a central bank is responsible for controlling the economy which is managed by a group of selected people in a centralized way.
Metaverse games are mainly video games that create a virtual universe for their users and allow them to socialize with other users, buy or trade items, or progress through the gameplay.
Metaverse games can be blockchain-based, offering their in-game items in the form of Non-fungible Tokens or NFTs. This allows players to be the true owner of their in-game assets.
They can also sell or trade their items on NFT marketplaces or buy more sophisticated items to upgrade their level in the game.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the blockchain-based Metaverse games that are popular among players at the moment:
My Neighbor Alice (ALICE) is a multiplayer farming game suitable for both blockchain enthusiasts and everyday gamers.
The game is built on the Play-to-Earn (P2E) concept which allows players to monetize their gaming hours. The in-game assets are in the form of NFTs that are tradable on open marketplaces.
The Metaverse of My Neighbor Alice is called Lummelunda Archipelago and consists of 6 different islands.
Town Star by Gala Games is a town-builder, farming game that allows players to enjoy a blockchain-based gaming experience while benefiting from the P2E model. As a player, you can complete daily tasks and quests and earn points.
The universe of Town Star mimics the one in real life, offering players a piece of land to build a new town in by farming and creating an economy of their own.
Decentraland is a virtual game where you can play games, attend events, and socialize with other players. You can have your own Avatar and dress it up using the built-in items available or buy custom skins made by other players.
You can also become a content creator and use the Builder tool to make artwork, skins, scenes, and more.