Metaverse, a term coined by author Neil Stephenson in 1992, visualized a virtual world where humans in virtual avatars met in realistic 3D buildings in his novel 'Snow Crash'. Not only was he thinking way ahead of time, since the Internet was still in its infancy back then, but some are calling the Metaverse 'the next Internet' in our time.
It's a hybrid of technology features such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and video in which users "live" in a digital realm using VR goggles, allowing them to do everything from pre-screening real estate properties virtually to purchasing residences using NFTs, or "non-fungible tokens," a sort of digital certificate of authenticity. Below are five such tools that lay the foundation for the Metaverse in virtual events.
Powered by the Ethereum blockchain Decentraland is a decentralized virtual reality network founded in 2017. It is an online environment where users can create avatars, connect with other users, take part in activities like concerts and art events, and build residences on their virtual lots called LAND, a non-fungible digital asset held in an Ethereum smart contract.
However, what makes Decentraland a unique experience is that from the virtual plots of land to the art on the walls of the virtual galleries, cities, and virtual cafes, almost everything is an NFT, with MANA, Decentraland's cryptocurrency token used officially to exchange for LAND and scenes.
However, Decentraland is known to be slow, with the requirement of a blockchain wallet before logging in. It also lacks the gaming mechanics its contemporaries provide as it is also not exactly built for events with no video chat feature. But they are constantly upgrading to ensure new features are available for a better experience.
Roblox is a gaming platform and marketplace that allows players to play games online created by other users. All the games on Roblox are created by its players, setting it apart from anything else in the gaming business. The platform's game-oriented features are mostly a favorite for teens and children.
However, there is limited scope to host events and meetings on this platform. The company is starting to roll out features that will host events such as concerts and meet-ups. Events for parties can still be created because of great gaming mechanics.
Nevertheless, certain downsides remain, such as no video chat and mandatory app installation in your phone to access the platform. Roblox Corp. is looking to venture into the events hosting segment with celebrity events.
As of last year, Party.Space is the perfect go-to virtual platform to host online events and corporate celebrations that can be a memorable experience for all. The space is dedicated to hosting events for teams of ten to ten thousand people. Already, working with major tech companies like Grammarly, Playtech, Wargaming, and Epidemic sound, groups can brand their place, engage with others via video chat, attend live concerts, play games, and participate in various activities all virtually.
Works directly from the browser without the need for app installment, users can engage in activities ranging from concerts to poker games or music quizzes with various avatars. Another exciting feature is interacting in person and groups without interfering with the main event. They have recently launched their multiverse based on the 'doge' meme called Dogetemple, where you can play games and interact further with the community. On average, users engage for more than 3 hours. However, the requirement of the latest hardware to run the platform smoothly and the lack of a mobile version puts a dent in its almost perfect service. But, it is expected to boom very soon in the market.
Minecraft, a Microsoft-owned virtual universe popular with children, is essentially the digital counterpart of Legos, in which players may design their digital character and construct whatever they want. It is an action-adventure sandbox game that allows players to explore an infinite universe to their hearts' content.
Initially starting as a simple game for mining and crafting, Minecraft has expanded its horizons as an excellent virtual event hosting platform from festivals to student graduation. Becoming one of the best-selling games with endless possibilities, Minecraft has even seen many schools holding major end-of-year events, such as proms, graduations, and university campus tours in digital spaces. An interactive music festival is also a great feature that Minecraft has recently introduced.
However, Minecraft still lacks the tools to host good video conferencing or administer virtual events by event managers. It is expected that Minecraft will still improve its already expanded portfolio.
Sandbox is yet another Ethereum based NFT Metaverse that proposes a virtual world where players can build, own and monetize their gaming assets. As a Mobile Game, Sandbox shifted its User Generated Content Gaming to the blockchain. Players can create their universe and gain actual ownership of NFTs with a rewarding ecosystem. Like Decentraland, Sandbox has its token named SAND for exchanging with the existence of LAND here as well.
Snoop Dogg recently made his own Sandbox Space considering all the possibilities and flexible environment Sandbox provides. However, it is a Metaverse made more for Crypto engaged people than for event or party hosting, even though Sandbox is expanding in that space rapidly. People have created their world for events; however, there lies a lack of particular features for event organizers. Moreover, the issue of no mobile version after moving to the blockchain is still there.
Human history is mapped by great inventions that have propelled humankind to new heights, and the Metaverse might be the future that will change all our lives. The Metaverse's supporters envisage its users working, playing, and remaining connected with family and friends through everything from concerts and conferences to virtual excursions around the world. Gone will be the days soon where you have to sit for long hours in front of your laptop screen as we usher into the future of virtual yet unknown reality.