You probably heard a lot about the metaverse in the past months. If you're not exactly sure what it is – no worries, you're not alone. Even people working on the metaverse continue to disagree about the definition of the term.
In this article, we will cover what the metaverse is and a few different ways how you can enter it today.
What exactly is the metaverse?
First, let's bring some clarity to what the metaverse actually is.
The term "metaverse" comes from the 1992 science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, "Snow Crash." A similar concept was also covered in the popular "Ready Player One" book by Ernest Cline, adapted as a movie by Steven Spielberg. Both novels describe dystopian visions of the future where people seek to escape reality through virtual worlds.
There isn't a single definition of what the metaverse is or what it will be beyond fiction. The general understanding is that it's a network of virtual worlds where people are represented as avatars. Many of the characteristics of the metaverse can be observed in existing games. That includes platforms such as VRChat, Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft.
At the moment, the metaverse is shaping to be more than a single virtual world. There will be hundreds of thousands of them, all connected through different platforms like Ready Player Me.
What device do I need to access the metaverse?
You don't need an expensive gaming rig or virtual reality headset to enter the metaverse. Many virtual worlds offer cross-platform compatibility with VR/AR hardware, desktops, and mobile devices. As long as you have a relatively new computer, phone, or tablet that supports the latest version of the operating system and web standards, you can access thousands of immersive experiences.
If you want to give virtual reality a shot, you have a few options. The most popular standalone VR platform is the Meta Quest 2, which supports thousands of experiences – from AAA games to small indie productions. All you need to get started is the VR headset itself – it doesn't require any additional hardware or cables.
It's still early for augmented or mixed reality devices. We are probably a few years away from an affordable and sleek pair of everyday AR glasses. There are a few existing mixed reality headsets like the Microsoft HoloLens 2 or MagicLeap, but these are only available to enterprise customers. What's in everyone's reach already are augmented reality apps on iOS, Android, and even mobile web browsers. If you played games like Pokémon GO, you have already experienced AR.
Metaverse platforms you can enter today
There are many metaverse platforms that you can enter today, some with millions of active players. There are a few things that you can do on most of these platforms:
- Explore them with your virtual avatar, like Ready Player Me;
- Hang out with other players or your friends;
- Own and build on top of a virtual land or own your personal space;
- Display your collectibles and NFTs;
- Attend virtual events and concerts.
Let's go over a few metaverse platforms that you can try out today.
Spatial is the metaverse for culture. The platform lets you join thousands of users hosting virtual galleries and events in beautiful artist-built spaces. Spatial offers full cross-platform compatibility with Web, iOS and Android (including an AR mode) and Oculus VR.
Here's how to enter the Spatial metaverse:
- Visit spatial.io and create an account;
- Pick one of the galleries, like the Spatial Park;
- Click on the avatar icon in the bottom right corner to create or import your Ready Player Me avatar.
Somnium Space is an open, social and persistent virtual reality platform powered by Solana and Ethereum blockchains. It lets you build on top of virtual parcels, import your NFTs, and explore virtual worlds owned by others. The platform even has its own token called $CUBE. Somnium Space works on the web and PCVR platforms.
How to enter the Somnium Space metaverse:
- Visit the Somnium Space website and click "Join SOMNIUM". You will be redirected to one of the hundreds of parcels;
- Sign in or create a Somnium Space account;
- Click on the cog icon in the top right corner and click "Change Avatar";
- Select "Custom" to create or import your Ready Player Me avatar.
Portals lets you own a place in the metaverse. All holders of their Citizen Cards NFTs get their personal Pods where they can invite over other users of the platform and display their Solana and Ethereum NFTs. There's also the Portals Downtown area with virtual real estate from brands like Binance.US, Magic Eden, and others.
Here's how to enter the Portals metaverse:
- Go to theportal.to and click "Owner Login". If you don't have an access card, you can try the demo here;
- Sign in with your Solana wallet if needed;
- Click the "Ready Player Me" button to create or import your avatar.
Mona is a metaverse platform with beautiful virtual spaces created by artists where you can collect and show art and gather with other users. You can buy a space in Mona on OpenSea or create your own from scratch. Mona organizes build-a-thons where you can win rewards for creating new spaces.
How to enter the Mona metaverse:
- Go to mona.gallery;
- Select one of the virtual worlds from the list, like the Ready Player Me Sky Lounge;
- Click "Avatar" or press 4 on your keyboard to create or import your Ready Player Me avatar.
The Nemesis is a metaverse with virtual worlds, art galleries, stores, games, etc. The platform also hosts virtual events from different brands, like the Non-Fungible Conference earlier this year.
How to enter The Nemesis metaverse:
- Go to thenemesis.io and click "Play". You can also download the app on your Android or iOS device;
- Sign up or log in to get access to all of the features;
- Press the Escape key and select "Avatar" from the drop-down menu;
- Select "Ready Player Me" and click "Modify" to edit your avatar.
Create your 3D avatar for the metaverse
Regardless of which metaverse you're going to enter, you will need a 3D avatar to represent yourself. All of the abovementioned experiences and apps and games from over 2,000 developers support Ready Player Me. It's the default avatar platform for the metaverse.
Ready Player Me lets you create a 3D avatar for the metaverse using a selfie. Take a picture, and our machine learning algorithm will generate an avatar that looks just like you. You can also choose one of the pre-made avatars and tune it to your liking.
You can pick from hundreds of avatar customization options, including outfits from brands like New Balance, RTFKT, Pull&Bear, and others. We also partnered with adidas Originals to bring their Ozworld avatars to Ready Player Me and compatible apps and games.
Customize your avatar with NFTs
Besides hundreds of free customization options, Ready Player Me avatars are also compatible with selected NFT projects. Last year, we added support to the Head5 collection, featuring 5,555 unique headwear options based on deadmau5's legendary helmets. We also created the Ready Player Me Punks collection exclusive to the CryptoPunks holders.
More NFT projects are coming soon to Ready Player Me, including drops created by our team and collections from artists like PIXELORD. Follow us on Twitter if you don't want to miss them.
Build your own metaverse
If you want to create your own metaverse or build a branded metaverse experience, now it's the best time. With tools like Ready Player Me, building your own platform couldn't be easier. You can integrate our cross-app avatar system for free. To get started, sign up to become a partner.