Imagine a whole city, even a whole planet. With stores, trees, and houses. Only, it’s all online.
It’s a virtual land, where everything is possible, albeit with no real physical interaction.
What virtual land means
Stanford Computer Science (CS) researched this trend. As the CS reports, “a virtual world is a computer-simulated representation of a world with specific spatial and physical characteristics, and users of virtual worlds interact with each other via representations of themselves called avatars.”
These are not video games. In fact, traditional video games have a final goal or a mission. Instead, in the virtual lands, there is no objective: the idea is to live online like the user would live offline. Perhaps even better.
In fact, in virtual land, people can be anyone. Through the anonymity and shield of the avatar, users can invent a whole new identity. It’s a computer-simulated reality with cities, crowds, and endless opportunities.
A bit of history
The road to these online planets started in the 1970s with the game Maze Wars. It was a 3D multi-user shooter game and the one that first introduced the concept of online players. These were the “eyeball avatars.”
Later, chat rooms, Multi-User Dimension, and Multi-User Domain joined the industry. Users role-played and they saw or read the commands and descriptions of other players. Slowly but surely, the interaction between users was developing.
Indeed, that’s when virtual lands such as Dreamscape, WorldsAway, and Habitat were born. The latter was especially crucial in the industry. In fact, Habitat was the official first virtual world. LucasFilm Games developed it in 1987 with the collaboration of Commodore 64 systems. Ten years later, all the way in Finland, the Helsinki Telephone Company introduced the first 3D map of its capital.
From that moment online, the latest and innovative technology entered the online reality. Thanks to 3D, virtual reality, and users’ interactions, players have whole universes to enjoy.
Examples of virtual land
These are social spaces, not games. Often, users can purchase accessories for their avatars. As the center BCS reports, “the market for virtual goods grows each year to meet the demands of users who will shell out real money to purchase special items that can be used to customise their avatars and virtual homes.”
A popular virtual land is “Second Life”. Through this universe, users can move their avatars through different destinations, such as the Love Valley or the Desert Canyon Oasis. The “residents” of this world can also earn money. In fact, they can start their business and make real, tangible income via the virtual planet.
Both on Decentraland and Cryptovoxels, players are starting to buy and trade NFT artworks as virtual goods, or just displaying them on their virtual properties.
This virtual land features a whole marketplace, where users can buy parcels, names for their avatars, and a fancy wardrobe. In this world, users can trade tokens, create features such as scene examples, and they can join events. Indeed, the relationship among players is real. People can participate in auctions, join virtual parties, and workshops.
Plus, there is the Decentraland DAO option. It stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. The organization owns estate contracts, wearables, and the marketplace. As the website states, “it was always part of the original vision to hand over control to the people who create and play in this virtual space.” Hence DAO, allows users to participate in the decisions. And in the rules that govern this online land.
This virtual land is built on the ethereum blockchain. Cryptovoxels features a city (owned by the Corporation) and the parcels, owned by the players. People can purchase parcels, wearables, and even wizard hats. All transactions happen through an e-wallet, a safe and secure payment method.
There are also virtual events, where users can meet and chat.
As the technology develops, these worlds become more and more sophisticated. And players have more and more options. And experts believe the line between real and virtual will blur even further. These universes will officially become places of business, not just fun.
The ultimate question is: will people prefer the virtual world?
If you are new to the NFTs world, explore our NFT guide.