Decentraland, Axie Infinity, and more

Over the past several weeks, Insider reporters Carrie McMahon and Lisa Kylay Hahn have attended concerts with some of the music industry’s hottest stars, visit stunning temples, skateboard on the streets of California, and battle living villagers at Dracula’s Castle.

All of this happens in the metaverse of course.

“metaverse,” a term coined by Neal Stevenson in his 1992 dystopian fantasy novel “Snow Crash,” is today defined as a 3D virtual reality world that’s supposed to be next, More physical development of the Internet.

Last year, the concept came into the global spotlight at Facebook Rebranded to Metaa breakthrough in the Gold Rush-esque race in space by companies at large.

In the footsteps of Meta, he loves tech giants Microsoft And The Google They announced their intention to pioneer the new frontier, and investors flocked 106 million dollars In virtual real estate in one week last November, brands such as Gucci, JPMorgan and bear care Elapsed to launch the virtual clothing linesAnd Corporate loungesand games.

With all the hype, it’s easy to think the metaverse has arrived.

But is this true?

Since we’ve never really advanced inside the metaverse before, we’ve explored seven of the hottest virtual worlds to find out what the metaverse is really about, whether or not it’s ready for mainstream adoption, and what’s still holding it back.

We also went behind the scenes to interview the founders and creators of the worlds we’ve discovered, to get their perspective on what the future holds for metaverses.

Insider hopes it serves as your guide to the metaverse, providing unbiased and candid opinions about the good, the bad, and the ugly of these virtual worlds from the ground up. The metaverse promises a lot, and in this series, we wanted to see if it lived up to its potential.

Click any of the virtual worlds below to learn more, or if you still have any questions left about the metaverse, check out our original Head to Metaverse.

In a throwback to early beginnings, 2D Axie Infinity Game It consists of cute creatures fighting against each other in a turn-based card game – think Pokémon crossed with Neopets. What sets Axie Infinity apart is the fact that players can earn real money by playing the game. During the pandemic, the platform became very popular in the Philippines when some players earned more from the game than some of the lowest paying jobs there. While Axie is currently more of a gaming platform than an entire virtual world, the ultimate goal of the developers is to build Axie into a wider game world.

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world of the Internet Cryptophoxyl It is one of the smaller and lower-end brands on this list, since its creators haven’t really focused on big brand partnerships just yet – although that may change this year. Instead of focusing on gaming or research, the platform is primarily used for social events such as digital concerts and fashion shows. The older user base includes a huge community of artists and creators, with a heavy focus on NFT wearable modeling. The world itself has a divided feel and is filled with eclectic user-built structures, stretching from exotic Doge temples to funky jungle gyms that are full of fun to explore.

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3D virtual world decentralizationOne of the most mainstream media outlets that has made headlines in recent months, it recently hosted the Australian Digital Open and has also worked with other notable companies such as Sotheby’s and Samsung to build virtual replicas of their real-world headquarters and platform stores. The open world, which features cartoon-like neon graphics, is divided into over 90,000 plots that users can purchase and build on. While there are some mini games and mini-quests, it can often be tricky, and Decentraland’s main draw seems to be the platform it provides for its community to attend virtual events together.

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roblox game

Illustration of the Roblox metaverse


Ariel Davis for Insider


Founded in 2006, a seasoned gaming platform roblox game It enables individuals to interact, build and play together. The company, which went public last year, is far more commercial than other virtual worlds, and is also the only company not built on blockchain technology. While the platform was originally targeting a younger audience, Roblox is now actively trying to target an older demographic. The user experience, which was more advanced than some of the other worlds we visited, is a testament to the current massive popularity of Roblox. Popular DJs played bands on the platform, and major brands like Nike and Vans also often appeared, each with their own game. At the same time, centralized ownership and marketing led to Exploiting creative people, many of whom are astoundingly young.

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Illustration of the Sandbox metaverse


Ariel Davis for Insider


sand

A voxel-style game world sand The public’s attention was jumped by the large number of expensive real estate sales, especially after the clamor around the in-game re-creation of Snoop Dogg’s mansion. The platform, which is still in the alpha testing phase and has not yet been widely released, also counts brands like Smurfs, Care Bears, Walking Dead and Adidas in its wheelhouse of partnerships. Compared to other premium platforms, The Sandbox stands out because it focuses on the combination of gameplay and club-like events. The platform is also unique in that it is actively looking for outside game developers to create various assignments in exchange for funding, marketing, and direction.

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Somnium space It is one of the only virtual worlds to focus primarily on the virtual reality component of the metaverse, with the company developing its own headphones and haptic Teslasuits for full immersion of the senses. While Somnium Space has been in development for years, the platform has managed to stay relatively under the radar — and its founders seem to prefer it that way. Somnium Space focuses on highlighting art, houses both the Beeple and Dogecoin Museums, provides its users with a social experience, and hosts daily events for new members to meet. While VR visuals look great in tutorials, this platform also has the highest barrier to entry.

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Illustration of the Star Atlas metaverse


Ariel Davis for Insider


star atlas

As the name implies, star atlas It is a space-focused game set in an immersive virtual world with cutting edge graphics. Due to its visual complexities and suggested gameplay, Star Atlas is aimed at more experienced players than other metaverses. Users can earn income from the game, although we have found that it involves a significant amount of spending on the part of the player to participate. This virtual world is still in its infancy, with development starting in 2020, but it has already gained a lot of attention as one of the biggest games on the Solana blockchain.

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