Metavers: 5 virtual worlds to discover today

the metaverse is already here, even if he does not always say his name. Indeed, some video games can be assimilated to virtual worlds as their universe, the social aspect and the possibility of controlling one’s environment are developed there. However, it is still very difficult to believe the forecasts of the Gartner institute which estimates that, by 2026, a quarter of people in the world will pass at least one hour a day in a metaversewhether for work, shopping, socializing, education or entertainment.

But if the metaverse is destined to take up so much space in our lives, we might as well start exploring the first drafts of these virtual worlds that will be part of our daily lives tomorrow. In each, you have the option of creating your avatar, an imaginary character that can be in your image or totally invented. Then, you have the freedom to walk around wherever you want, to have a coffee with other avatars, to attend a concert or a fashion show, to visit an exhibition, etc. Here are five virtual worlds to discover right now.

Horizon Worlds

Horizon Worlds is undoubtedly the best known metaverse. And for good reason: it was created by Meta, the parent company of Facebook. According to its leader, Mark Zuckerberg, 10,000 people were to be hired in Europe to work hard with an almost unlimited budget ($10 billion a year). Since then, ambitions have been downgraded because Horizon Worlds still struggling to convince.

How to integrate this metaverse?

Impossible to discover this virtual universe without downloading software and acquiring a virtual reality helmet. In this case, a Meta Quest 2 (formerly Oculus, but the company was bought by the Facebook group). It will cost you €399.99 (even more according to the options). Once you have these two elements, you must confirm that you are over 18… and register using your Facebook account. All that remains is to create your avatar and let yourself be carried away by the initial demo to discover Horizon Worlds.

Specificities. It is undoubtedly the metaverse which is called upon to evolve most profoundly in the coming months with regard to the resources provided by Meta. Even if the group has decided not to invest as much in the project, all the means implemented for two or three years, at the very least, should lead to something much more impressive than what is proposed today. And finally attract people if Horizon Worlds becomes more attractive.

Decentraland

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It is one of the first metaverses to have seen the light of day. Decentraland is characterized by a world owned by its users. Based on the decentralized system of the Ethereum blockchain, it is divided into 90,601 plots, NFTs that can be purchased with cryptocurrency (MANA). In this universe without hierarchy, users – approximately 8,000 of them connect every day – can stroll through forests, cities or even observe the ocean.

How to integrate this metaverse?

To start, it is quite possible to go to the Decentraland site and click on the “start exploring” button to explore this virtual universe on the web, without downloading anything. You are then a simple guest with the possibility of creating an avatar and exploring Decentraland. But the experience will remain limited (and will not necessarily be very fluid…). To take full advantage of it, you will need to register and download an app on your smartphone or computer.

Specificities. This metaverse is among the most advanced and has already hosted major events, such as the first-ever virtual Fashion week, which was held from March 24 to 27, 2022. Music concerts have also been organized with artists like Grimes, Deadmau5 or even Björk and Motörhead, who took part last November in the Metaverse Music Festival 2022.

The Sandbox

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Originally, it was the French behind this project very marked “video game”. The Sandbox was founded in 2011 by Arthur Madrid and Sébastien Borget, then bought by a Hong Kong firm. At the very beginning, it was a simple 2D world accessible on PC and smartphone. A veritable “sandbox” (hence its name), each player could create their own virtual universe in the way of Minecraft. Then The Sandbox evolved into 3D and switched to the blockchain and the principle of NFTs, to buy virtual objects.

How to integrate this metaverse?

All you have to do first is go to the “game” site and then connect. For this, you will need a crypto wallet, i.e. a compatible virtual currency wallet (Metamask, Coinbase Wallet or Bitski to name a few). It is also possible to log in with a Google or Facebook account, but you will still need to create a wallet. Then comes the time to create your avatar and choose a nickname. Then all you have to do is move on the Map of The Sandbox and discover the very basic and quite childish graphics with its cubic design.

Specificities. More than 300 major brands have already purchased their plot on The Sandbox. Gucci, HSBC, Carrefour, Adidas, Axa, Warner Music, Ubisoft… they all wanted a taste of metaverse. It’s up to you to discover what they have been able to do with their virtual space by browsing The Sandbox’s “Map”.

Somnium Space

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Launched in 2017, it was divided into just 5,000 plots, but unlike other similar worlds, the terrain can be expanded as needed. This did not prevent Somnium Space to be part of these metaverses where, for a time, a real estate bubble drove the price up beyond reason. The “crypto winter”, the fall in the price of virtual currencies, brought everyone to their senses.

How to integrate this metaverse?

As with Horizon Worlds, you will need a virtual reality headset to enjoy this metaverse. And, to go further, you will also have to wear haptic sensors on your whole body, through a costume of the type Teslasuitin development.

Specificities. In addition to a virtual world, the start-up behind Somnium Space explores the possibilities of eternal life. Just that ! With its Live Forever mode, it offers to capture all your actions and gestures, but also your words, in order to integrate this into a database. The day when your life on Earth will have come to an end, it will then be able to use your avatar in the metaverse and make it act as closely as possible to your personality with all this information recorded over time. Language tics, posture, gestures… everything will be reproduced as closely as possible to allow your loved ones to dialogue with you virtually.

Breakroom

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This virtual world is special in that it is more work-oriented than entertainment-oriented. A bit like the Spatial metaverseowned by Meta Quest, Breakroom primarily aimed at businesses. The project was born in the midst of a pandemic. At the time, people struggled to switch from “live” work to repetitive video conferencing. In response to this, Sine Wave Entertainment envisioned a complete virtual workplace for businesses that wanted to go beyond simple – and tedious – video chatting.

How to integrate this metaverse?

In order to adapt to the variable needs of professional teams, Breakroom is compatible with PC, Mac, virtual reality headsets and even smartphones. But, to discover the universe, you have to show your credentials. The first step is to follow a “Group Tour” live and then to subscribe, via your company, to a subscription.

Specificities. Each company creates its own environment (or adopts one of the environments offered by Breakroom and slightly personalizes it with its logos, etc.). Then each employee can create their avatar and then participate in virtual meetings, but in a realistic environment, which reduces the fatigue of talking to boxes (sometimes off) where people are more or less to their advantage. It is also possible to recreate a room with a virtual “coffee machine” to talk about everything and nothing with your colleagues. But it will be up to you to prepare a hot drink at home to really enjoy it.

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Metavers: 5 virtual worlds to discover today


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