Most people at some point dream of escaping to a virtual world, free from the problems of their lives. If you’re in that camp, you’re in luck, because that’s exactly what you can do in Decentraland.

Decentraland uses VR goggles to explore a huge open map world called the Metaverse. Using the in house digital currency, MANA players can buy and sell land inside the Metaverse.

Owning virtual land

Once purchased, the owner can customize and build on their land. What people build is entirely up to them, it could be a casino, a zoo or whatever their imagination decides.

In many ways this Decntraland is like Second Life or the SIMS, except the game takes place in a 3D virtual world. When people develop their land, they will help shape and evolve the Metaverse.

You may also be happy to know that game developers can’t alter the game. Many gamers have felt the sting of having a key component of their favourite games changed by an update.

Vitalik Buterin, the developer of Ethereum, often speaks of finding out his favourite game World of Warcraft was changed by the developers. Regarding this he said, “I cried myself to sleep, and on that day I realized what horrors centralized services can bring.”

The decentralized nature of Decentraland means users need not fear unwanted updates from the development team.

The evolution of Decentraland

It all began in 2015 when the team first developed the ability to use the Ethereum blockchain to store land ownership in a 2D test. The team called these early tests the ‘Stone Age’.

In early 2017, the team moved the project into the Bronze Age, where they first tested this technique in a 3D VR world.

After the success of Bronze Age, the team launched their ICO. Those who participated in the ICO received MANA, the in-game digital currency, as a reward.

Currently, the game is in the terraforming stage, where users can trade their MANA for land inside the Metaverse.

The next stage will be the Iron Age or Beta Testing. During this stage, players have access to custom avatars, in-game chat, and the ability to customize their land.

In early 2018, Decentraland will become a fully immersive VR world and enter the Silicon Age.

“Your imagination is the limit,” said the website. “Go to a casino, watch live music, attend a workshop, shop with friends, start a business, test drive a car, visit an underwater resort, and much, much more—all within a 360-degree, virtual world”.

Popularity of the ICO

If we have learned anything from the CryptoKitties phenomena, it’s that people will pay exorbitant prices for something virtual if they perceive it to be valuable. Applying this same logic to Decentraland, it’s easy to imagine the best virtual real estate going for real-world prices.

Decentraland’s ICO was one of the most highly anticipated of 2017. The ICO raised $30,000,000 CAD in 35 seconds. It sold out so fast that roughly 7,000 investors were unable to participate before the ICO closed.

When Decentraland goes live in early 2018 we will see if this mania persists. Except for those in the ICO and the subsequent Beta test, the world has to wait to see the Metaverse.

Decentraland is definitely a game changer as the first decentralized VR world, and it will be exciting to watch how the Metaverse shapes ad grows.

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