- Ever since Facebook changed its name to “Meta,” hype around the “metaverse” has exploded.
- One potential example was demonstrated on Thursday morning in a live “metaverse rave.”
- I walked around the virtual world for a bit, but found that experience wasn’t very participatory.
What is “the metaverse?”
Is it a 3D, photorealistic world like the one from “The Matrix?” Maybe it’s more like the digitized version seen in “Ready Player One?”
It remains unclear, but the most recent example comes directly from the world of so-called “Web3” — which includes a variety of technologies such as blockchain, NFTs, and the metaverse.
Within the browser-based “Decentraland,” which is described as a “virtual social world, created and owned by its users,” users held a “live rave” to celebrate the upcoming release of a new series of NFTs from Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard.
—Alex Moss (@alexmoss) January 20, 2022
Melgaard’s NFTs are based on a sculpture he created named “The Lightbulb Man,” which is housed at the National Gallery of Norway. He’s releasing “a series of 1122 graphically striking images” as NFTs, and the “techno rave” is a celebration of that release,” a press release for the event said.
The “rave” featured live music from several Norwegian DJs, and resembled a significantly reduced version of similar live music events held in “Fortnite” with artists like Travis Scott and Ariana Grande.
Social media responses were quick to compare the video to gameplay of “Second Life,” the virtual world that launched in the early 2000s, but “Decentraland” is a little different.
Rather than accessing it as a standalone game, “Decentraland” is a browser-based virtual world. Instead of a shared virtual space, it’s instanced into individual worlds owned and operated by users that go for thousands of dollars. The rave, for instance, was a unique space that I visited through a direct link.
Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t very participatory.
I was able to do a handful of emotes, and my avatar could move around the space and jump. I watched as avatars with ornate costumes covered in cartoon cannabis leaves floated past. I explored a house next to the dance floor where the music abruptly cut out the moment I exited the determined area, rather than fading with distance the way sound normally works.
Beyond that, my experience at the metaverse rave felt like a game without anything to do.
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