The great examples of the metaverse before Meta
There are years left for us to see the metaverse in action. At least, that is what Meta (Facebook) says, who is already working in a virtual world where users will be able, among other things, to communicate with their friends or relatives in a very similar way to how they do it in the real world. , attend concerts, carry out different activities or even purchase digital products. The metaverse Meta, however, is not the only one in development. He’s not even the first to arrive. There are other great examples that are around even long before Mark Zuckerberg’s company. We have, for example, the metaverse that Telefónica is working on and that it presented at the Mobile World Congress in 2022.
In any case, Meta hasn’t invented the word metaverse either.. This appeared much earlier in science fiction novels, such as ‘Snow Crash’, published by Neal Stephenson in 1992. In that book, Stephenson refers to the metaverse as a virtual place where a person can be completely different from how they are in real life. .
The concept of the metaverse as a virtual world where you can interact with people has also been around for years, although not exactly as that name. Social networks, games or even online portals, in a way, they have created a metaverse practically without knowing it.
Fortnite, the latest example of the metaverse
You have probably heard about Fortnite or even that you have ever played. The Battle Royal video game developed by Epic Games is a clear example —and also the most recent— of the metaverse before Meta or Telefónica. Although the game consists of competing against dozens of players on a map until you are the last one standing and, therefore, win the game, it has also become a huge platform where you can interact with users through avatars.
Fortnite, for example, allows players customize your characters with ‘skins’ which can be purchased from the in game store. These are shown in the games, and the rest of the players can admire it or even acquire it if they wish. It is also possible to talk with other players through voice chat or perform movements that can represent friendship. Users can even make their character dance.
Fortnite, in addition, has its own virtual currency, the ‘V Bucks’. With this, players can acquire movements for their character and other differential elements, such as backpacks, pickaxes, objects, etc. All this, without stopping interacting not only with close friends, but also with users from anywhere in the world.
Habbo and Second Life are also metaverses
habbo is another representation of what the metaverse is. In fact, this platform, developed by the Finnish company Sulake, is very similar to what Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, promises to make a reality in his future virtual world: a place where users can interact with each other through different virtual spaces. . Interestingly, Haboo (also called Habbo Hotel) offers the possibility of chatting with friends through chat rooms shaped like hotel rooms.
Habbo also has other similarities with the metaverse of Meta. Although the platform is free and the user can easily interact with other people, this kind of social network also allows you to purchase add ons that can improve your browsing experience. For example, furniture for the hotel room, VIP passes, etc. Habbo also has its virtual currency, the ‘Habbo Coins’, which can be exchanged for real money.
Second Life is another great example of the metaverse before Meta. Again, the concept is extremely similar to what Mark Zuckerberg’s company wants to do. This virtual platform, in particular, allows interaction between users through avatars and through different spaces known as viewers. The “residents” —as the users who are part of Second Life are called— can interact with other users, carry out activities or even create virtual objects that can later be sold or exchanged.
Second Life Digital Possessions It is a very similar concept to that of NFTs., because they can only be used virtually. To buy an object on the platform, you also need a virtual currency called the Linden dollar, which is only available in Second Life.
NFTs and cryptocurrencies play an important role in the virtual world, and they are before Meta
Both the NFT’s like the cryptocurrencies they could also be considered part of the metaverse, and are also before Meta. The so called non fungible tokens, after all, are digital possessions with which the user can only interact virtually, just like cryptocurrencies. Both assets also have different uses in virtual worlds. For example, it is possible to acquire an NFT of an object or complement for a virtual game based on the metaverse, and proof of this is the yacht from the video game The Sandbox, which was purchased for 149 Ethereums, approximately $650,000 in exchange.
Of course, the metaverse that we could see in a few years will be much more advanced than that of Habbo or Second Life. In part, because the technology has evolved considerably since both virtual platforms were developed. The creation of virtual reality glasses with higher quality screens or with sensors that allow the detection of hand movements, as well as new software solutions, such as Unreal Engine 5, can make the experience much more realistic.