The Metaverse 🏝

The Metaverse 🏝
by Fanny Lakoubay

What is the Metaverse? Great question. Fanny Lakoubay delves into the topic, exploring the different classes of virtual reality worlds.

"Metaverse is a broad term. It generally refers to shared virtual world environments which people can access via the internet and which are made more lifelike by the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR)."

Some people also use the word metaverse to describe gaming worlds, in which users have a character that can walk around and interact with other players.

Nowadays, we speak about blockchain-based metaverses, in which users can buy virtual land and other digital assets in the form of NFTs.

The challenge now lays between open source platforms vs. closed platforms, like Meta.

The History of the Metaverse Is Being Written.
  • The term was coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash.”
  • Simply put, Meta+universe=Metaverse
  • The 2018 movie ‘Ready Player One’ based on Ernest Clines novel
  • Not-blockchain based metaverses have existed for quite some time now.
  • Blockchain is solving the proof of ownership, digital identity, exchanges in cryptocurrencies, and interoperability of digital assets via NFTs. “All the stuff you own and transact in the metaverse are NFTs.”
  • With corporate giants set to clash with the blockchain community over the development and nature of the Metaverse, it is still unclear whether it will be yet another tool designed to exploit the masses (closed metaverses) or the promised land we all want paved with public goods (open metaverses).
  • Most web3 metaverses offer a system of land ownership where parcels can be purchased with the hope of renting it later on. Many variables are still up in the air though to make this a valuable investment.

Conceptual Experimentations

Architectural experimentation and conceptual exploration are currently taking place, with fascinating projects:

  • From March 2021: Krista Kim and the House of Mars
  • To March 2022: Zaha Hadid studio collaborations
  • Here and Now:
  • Current: Ready made spaces, FLOOR, by MOCA
  • Current: Infinites AI NFT made Metaverse Island with access to generative, pre-fab buildings (solids) by 0xfar
  • Summer 2021: Architectural exhibit this summer (2022)

Examples of Closed Web2 Metaverses
  • Roblox
  • Second Life
  • Meta from Facebook
  • Mozilla Hubs
  • VRChat

ㅤ ㅤ

Examples of Open Web3 Metaverses (land based)
  • Cryptovoxels
    Description: Cryptovoxel has an old fashioned net art / pixel aesthetics and is a community ran project with many art galleries
  • Decentraland
    Description: Decentraland has been chosen by many brands to enter the metaverse such as The Australian Open, Samsung, etc. The parcels of lands are now very expensive.
    - Featured parcels:
    - Portion Gallery
    - Sotheby's Gallery
  • Somnium Space
    - Description: This is the most realistic metaverse that is optimized for VR. Somnium announved that they were launching their own hardware later this year.
    - Featured parcel:
    - [Museum of Crypto Art MOCA
  • The Sandbox
    - Description: The Sandbox is both a metaverse and a gaming studio, where creators can create both virtual lands and avatars. In a gold rush type of trend, non gaming companies have secured land in the Sandbox
    - 'Hack the Tao' - Rebirth and The Abyss preview levels on Sandbox created by OG Crypto artist Hackatao: [](
  • Mona
    - Featured parcels:
    - Ireland-based artist Eoin's exhibition, Pebbles
    - MLIBTY's 'Broadless Broadcasting'
  • Spatial
    - Featured parcels:
    - Spatial + OpenSea's recent VR Gallery: [](
  • Bloktopia (Polygon-based game/world)
  • Star Atlas (Solana-based play-to-learn game)
  • Superworld
  • Bitorbit
  • Axie Infinity (earn to play game - not quite a metaverse, but still need to look into the model)

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