Eager to be at the metaverse frontier, but not sure how to get started? As exciting as the idea of a shared digital space for all your ‘daily life’ activities sounds, it may come across as very inaccessible and futuristic.
But don’t be fooled: many aspects of the metaverse have been around for quite some time, and are totally within reach. If you wish to join the metaverse as it’s ‘developing’, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do so.
All you need is an internet connection.
Step One: Take A Look Around
Although we often speak about the metaverse as a virtual realm separate from our own, there’s no such thing as a border. Chances are that many aspects of the metaverse are already part of your daily life.
So if you wish to join in, it’s good to recognise what’s right in front of you: chat messages, videocalls, livestreams, search engines, virtual shop assistants, and perhaps even Alexa. While not exactly full metaverses, these tools are able to assist you, show you around the digital sphere, and help you make contact with others.
Step Two: Play Videogames
You were probably expecting this one, but yes: videogames are excellent examples of what a metaverse can look like. The main reason for that is their ability to show us a fully developed digital world that anyone may join. As such, massive-multiplayer games with large open worlds (think World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV) tend to come closest to the idea of a metaverse.
Players can create an avatar to represent them, walk freely through a realm that only exists in the digital space, hang out with others, and partake in the game’s economy.
Any orcs or elves are a nice bonus.
Step Three: Go To A Virtual Concert
Or a birthday. Or an office meeting. The point is, you can try to use the digital realm for something other than gaming. Why not participate in a ‘real life’ event online? Roblox, in particular, has been experimenting with virtual concerts (with artists such as Twenty One Pilots and Lil Nas X) and even a Gucci fashion show.
If you’re up for something more serious, you can also try to organise a work meeting in a digital office. Or wait for Microsoft to add 3D avatars to Teams in the coming year. They’re all steps towards the more immersive meeting experiences we expect to see in the metaverse.
Step Four: Use Virtual Reality
However, we may not always need those avatars. On his personal blog, Bill Gates wrote that virtual meetings are expected to move from 3D avatars to actually being there yourself. Well, not physically, but with the use of VR-goggles and potentially even motion capture gloves.
Therefore, the next step to joining the metaverse is using VR. The Oculus Quest headset is probably the best available option, but you can also get a cheap cardboard version. If you go for the latter, you only need a smartphone and some VR apps or YouTube 360 videos. Tip: go for those with the sharks.
Step Five: Explore Crypto, NFTs, And Metaverse Experiments
Unlike the currencies found in videogames, cryptocurrencies can be used in the real world. Mind that we’re not telling you to start investing, but rather to have a closer look. Coins like Ethereum, that are decentralised and accessible to anyone with an internet connection, offer a lot of new possibilities.
After all, it’s not just trading: through blockchain technology, you might become the sole owner of a unique asset that doesn’t even have a physical presence. Think of a song, a digital artwork, or even a 3D virtual piece of furniture. If you’d like to browse through such non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the OpenSea marketplace is a good way to start.
If you truly wish to take this to the next level, you can also join a metaverse experiment like Decentraland or The Sandbox. Joining is free, but do make an informed decision before you try to get yourself a virtual mansion next to Snoop Dogg’s.
And that wraps things up. Enjoy your newfound life in the metaverse!