Metaverse virtual world has transitioned from fiction to nonfiction over the last six months. In popular culture, the metaverse is seen as a virtual world that mirrors our physical world.
In this article, we dive into what a virtual world is and the top virtual realities you will encounter when you begin your journey into this new digital world.
What is a Virtual World?
A virtual world is a computer-based environment built entirely online and shared by individuals. It is a simulated digital reality, separated completely from our physical one, whether that’s a video game online or a fully immersive virtual experience. Thus, any world that exists online is a virtual world.
So what separates a virtual world from a metaverse one, you might ask? Well, it’s simple. A metaverse virtual world includes all the features of normal virtual worlds but with added digital ownership features.
What do we mean by digital ownership? We mean complete ownership of your digital identity, whether that’s the avatar you create, the virtual land you build on, or the community you join. Therefore, unlike traditional virtual worlds, the metaverse gives you ownership over what you do digitally.
For example, you may buy an NFT, which you can use at your own leisure, or you may join a community that uses DAO features to give you control over a specific IP. Whatever it may be, it is the continued convergence of the digital and physical worlds, one that makes you more digitally immersed through ownership.
How to experience the Metaverse Virtual World?
So how do you experience the virtual metaverse?
In short, there are numerous ways to.
Firstly, get signed up to existing metaverses such as The Sandbox, Decentraland, and Somnium Space. Although each metaverse differs, they all offer some degree of digital ownership mentioned above. For example, by signing up for The Sandbox Metaverse, you can own LAND, buy NFTs and create your own gaming experience.
Secondly, you can try a virtual reality headset. In the future, virtual reality will be a main component of the metaverse, with companies like Meta working around the clock to develop metaverse-style experiences using VR. There is no denying that as we transition toward the metaverse, more experiences will utilize VR to increase immersion.
Virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Quest 2 are best to pick up, with intuitive controls and ease of use suitable for any user. In the future, we should expect to see more VR headsets hit the market. Thus, to get a taste of what the metaverse virtual world will look like, you should pick up a virtual reality headset.
Top 4 Virtual Metaverse Worlds
As mentioned above, several metaverse worlds offer a virtual experience. Here are the best virtual metaverse worlds:
1. The Sandbox (Most Popular Metaverse Virtual World)
The Sandbox is a community-driven metaverse. It enables you to monetize VOXEL assets and gaming experiences using blockchain technology. The Sandbox lets you purchase NFTs, buy LAND, and create your VOXEL assets. The platform takes classic gameplay seen in Minecraft and mixes it with blockchain technology to create a game that gives you ownership over everything you make.
Alongside these features, The Sandbox has partnered with some of the biggest names in entertainment, such as Snoop Dog, and conglomerates such as HSBC to expand their metaverse offering. Thus, the Sandbox is becoming more than just a game but a gateway for companies to enter the metaverse.
The Sandbox facilitates metaverse accessibility by providing a game makers fund for creators who want to build in the Sandbox and reap the rewards of owning part of one of the world’s most successful metaverses. In the future, you should expect The Sandbox to break new boundaries as the platform gets even more popular.
2. Decentraland (Decentralized Virtual Reality)
Decentraland is a platform that is similar to The Sandbox in digital asset ownership but differs in gameplay. Decentralized enables you to buy LAND similar to The Sandbox but differs in decentralization and in style, with a greater emphasis on event curation. The DAO allows you to decide the direction of Decentraland.
Decentraland Metaverse is unique because it is the top dog for event curation and social interaction. Sure it can be less immersive than some of its counterparts, but it is one of the best metaverses. Decentraland enables you to host your own party with friends, schedule podcasts, and attend fashion shows. Thus, the platform has become the go-to place for metaverse virtual world events.
An example is the metaverse fashion week, which featured some of the largest names in fashion and also some of the smallest.
3. Somnium Space (Completely Virtual Metaverse)
Somnium Space is a virtual reality metaverse that differs from the first two metaverses on this list by being entirely virtual. Created in 2017, Somnium Space was built using virtual reality and gradually increased in popularity with the addition of tokenized elements such as its own cryptocurrency and LAND. Aside from differing in terms of immersion, Somnium space is one of the most centralized metaverse virtual worlds on this list, with limited amounts of decentralization.
A surprise for many that one of the most popular metaverses lacks decentralization; Somnium Space is a marvel in technological prowess and immersion. Unlike others on this list that may seem clunky on first use, Somnium Space feels smooth and easy to use when you first pick it up. Likewise, lacking the blockchain features of most of its counterparts also comes at an advantage with Somnium space, removing all of the complicated blockchain mechanics by focusing purely on immersion.
4. Horizon Worlds
Horizon Worlds is the test pilot for Meta’s (formally Facebook metaverse) metaverse. Released last year, it utilized virtual reality, immersing its users in a curated metaverse virtual world. Unlike others, Horizon Worlds is fully centralized and not built on the blockchain.
Horizon Worlds is Meta’s first attempt at creating a metaverse.
Utilizing its immersive virtual reality Oculus technology, Meta aimed to create a virtual world unlike any other, one that does not rely on blockchain technology. Upon release, Horizon World was met with negative feedback, with many saying the game was too clunky to be immersive and not fun.
But despite the feedback, it did not stop Meta from building out Horizon Worlds. Horizon Worlds has continued to improve since its release, pushing the boundary of what a metaverse virtual world can be. We should expect future iterations of Horizon Worlds as Meta’s Oculus technology gets better.
How to Choose the Right Virtual World For You
Okay, so we’ve outlined the best metaverse worlds. Which one should you choose? If you want a more immersive virtual reality experience, then Somnium Space or Horizon World is your place.
If you want event-focused experiences that utilize earning mechanics, Decentraland is your pick. The Sandbox will be a good choice if you want a gaming experience with its own metaverse. Thus, the right metaverse virtual world for you is based on your preferences, likes, and dislikes.
1. Do you like VR Gaming?
The main way to get into the metaverse is by picking up a blockchain game with its own metaverse, consisting of a community, asset ownership, gameplay, and LAND ownership. If you want a gaming experience, then games like The Sandbox would be ideal for you.
2. Do you like Virtual Events?
As mentioned above, event curation is another critical element of the metaverse and one that separates the physical and digital worlds. If you want a metaverse where you can party with your friends, watch a concert, or even shop for fashion, a metaverse like Decentraland would be perfect.
3. Want a VR experience?
If you want a virtual reality experience, metaverse virtual worlds like Somnium space and Horizon Worlds are the perfect fit. If you love the thrill of full immersion and entering a new world, you must pick up these games. They are also the most user-friendly, so that’s a bonus for new users.
As a general rule of thumb, the difficulty of something is usually down to user experience, but in the blockchain world where nothing is easy, staying away from metaverses that offer blockchain integration like NFTs, DAO and cryptocurrency is probably the best option for new users. But for more experienced metaverse users, playing games like The Sandbox and Decentrland is perhaps best, as you can reap the rewards of blockchain utility.
5. Metaverse Budget
Costs vary when choosing a metaverse virtual world. If you want more immersive experiences, you need to buy a VR headset, which can be costly, and even a PC if you want a more expensive headset. But if you want to lower the cost, a blockchain experience may be best for you, with The Sandbox and Decentrland offering cost-free experiences.
You may also like:
- How To Access the Metaverse: A Complete Guide 
- The Best 25+ Oculus Quest 2 Games
- What Are the Most Significant Differences Between AR, VR And MR?
Are Virtual Worlds Safe?
When picking a virtual world, you must ensure it’s safe. Like any online interaction, blockchain-integrated metaverses present an increased risk due to cryptocurrency volatility and privacy issues associated with scams and hacks. Thus, it is important to stay vigilant when trying out these new technologies and virtual metaverse worlds.
In short, it is safe to say that the metaverse virtual world is safe if, of course, you take precautions. Adequate virus protection software, research, and hardware wallets are advised to protect yourself from scammers and hackers when using blockchain technology.
The finale verdict on Metaverse Virtual Worlds
Overall, this article from Metaverse Insider has outlined what a metaverse virtual world is, how to experience these worlds, how to choose the right one for you, and whether it is safe. It has also covered the top metaverse worlds currently on the market and how they differ from one another. We hope you enjoyed this article and our deep dive into the next frontier of digital technology.
For more information about the wonders of the metaverse virtual world, check out our metaverse market map.