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Metaverse – What Is This Virtual World?

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A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection. In futurism and science fiction, the term is often described as a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets.

The term “metaverse” has its origins in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash as a portmanteau of “meta” and “universe.” Various metaverses have been developed for popular use such as virtual world platforms like Second Life. Some metaverse iterations involve integration between virtual and physical spaces and virtual economies, often including a significant interest in advancing virtual reality technology.

The term has seen considerable use as a buzzword for public relations purposes to exaggerate development progress for various related technologies and projects. Information privacy and user addiction are concerns within metaverses, stemming from challenges facing the social media and video game industries as a whole.

“METAVERSE” Video games

Several components of metaverse technologies have already been developed within modern internet-enabled video games. The 2003 virtual world platform Second Life is often described as the first metaverse, as it incorporated many aspects of social media into a persistent three-dimensional world with the user represented as an avatar. Social functions are often an integral feature in many massively multiplayer online games. Technology journalist Clive Thompson has argued that the emergent, social-based gameplay of Minecraft represents an advanced analog of a metaverse. Similar statements were made for the game Roblox, which has since employed significant usage of the term in marketing. Other claims of developing a metaverse include the games Active Worlds, The PalaceDecentraland, and Fortnite.

“METAVERSE” Virtual reality

In 2019, the social network company Facebook launched a social VR world called Facebook Horizon. In 2021 Facebook was renamed “Meta Platforms” and its chairman Mark Zuckerberg declared a company commitment to developing a metaverse. Many of the virtual reality technologies advertised by Meta Platforms remains to be developed. Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen criticised the move, adding that Meta Platforms’ continued focus on growth-oriented projects is largely done to the detriment of ensuring safety on their platforms. Meta Platforms has also faced user safety criticism regarding Horizon Worlds due to the occurrence of sexual harassment on the platform.

Microsoft acquired the VR company AltspaceVR in 2017, and has since implemented metaverse features such as virtual avatars and meetings held in virtual reality into Microsoft Teams.

Proposed applications for metaverse technology include improving work productivity, interactive learning environments, e-commerce and real estate.

Metaverse is Cryptocurrency

You may think the metaverse will be a bunch of interconnected virtual spaces – the world wide web but accessed through virtual reality. This is largely correct, but there is also a fundamental but slightly more cryptic side to the metaverse that will set it apart from today’s internet: the blockchain.

In the beginning, Web 1.0 was the information superhighway of connected computers and servers that you could search, explore and inhabit, usually through a centralized company’s platform – for example, AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and Google. Around the turn of the millennium, Web 2.0 came to be characterized by social networking sites, blogging and the monetization of user data for advertising by the centralized gatekeepers to “free” social media platforms, including Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter and TikTok.

Web 3.0 will be the foundation for the metaverse. It will consist of blockchain-enabled decentralized applications that support an economy of user-owned crypto assets and data.

Blockchain? Decentralized? Crypto-assets? As researchers who study social media and media technology, we can explain the technology that will make the metaverse possible.

How to Buy Land in the Metaverse?

NFT metaverse land is a plot of virtual real estate represented by a non-fungible token. Depending on the platform, the owner can use their land for socializing, advertising, work, gaming, and other use cases.

You can buy NFT metaverse land through the land sale of a project or using an NFT marketplace to buy directly from landowners. You will need a digital wallet and crypto to purchase the land. Land can also be sold to other users on various platforms, and there will be renting mechanisms available in the future.

When buying your NFT land, always purchase it from a project in a land sale or securely on the secondary market via a trusted NFT exchange. Make sure you fully understand the land’s associated project and consider the financial risk involved.

How to Buy Land in the Metaverse

Buying NFT land follows the same process as purchasing any other NFT. All you need is a wallet and some cryptocurrency to get started. As with any investment, make sure to do your own research before taking risks.

Step 1: Choose a metaverse platform

Before buying metaverse property, you need to pick a metaverse platform. Your reasons for buying the land will affect your chosen project, which we will cover later in our tips section. We’ll use The Sandbox on Ethereum as an example for this tutorial, but Decentraland is another popular option.

Step 2: Set up your wallet

You’ll need to create a wallet that will give you access to the cryptocurrencies you own. You can use either a mobile or browser-based wallet, depending on your preference. Using a browser-based wallet, however, will typically run into fewer problems.MetaMask or Binance Chain Wallet are both suitable options as they support multiple blockchains but always double-check the wallet you use supports the NFT land’s blockchain.When you set up your wallet, you’ll receive a string of words known as your seed phrase. Keep it in a safe place, as this is how you’ll be able to recover your wallet if you lose access. You’re best off storing it somewhere that is always offline.

Step 3: Connect your wallet to the Sandbox marketplace

On The Sandbox’s map, you can see plots of land available to bid on. Some of these you can do directly through The Sandbox marketplace, while others are hosted on external exchanges like OpenSea. Let’s look at one we can bid on through The SandBox to keep it simple.

Before you can bid on anything, you need to connect your wallet. On The Sandbox map, click [Sign In] in the top right corner. Make sure your wallet is also set to the correct blockchain as the project, in this case, Ethereum.

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