Decentraland is one of the more well-known locations within the metaverse. It’s somewhat analogous to vacation destinations in the physical world. But unlike those locations, Decentraland is new and constantly changing. Enjoying everything this virtual landscape has to offer requires a guide’s helping hand. And you’ll soon discover just that as you learn about Decentraland’s history and most important locations.
The Metaverse Creates a Foundation for Decentraland To Build On
Before learning where to go in Decentraland, it’s essential to understand what it is. Or, to be more precise, what a metaverse virtual world is. People often think of the metaverse as a giant 3D landscape. And it’s true, and these endless digital frontiers are a large part of the metaverse. But they are just one part of a much more significant concept.
The metaverse can be better understood as a second digital world that exists parallel to our own. Like our physical world, the metaverse never “turns off”. It’s always accessible, and what you do within it won’t simply reset after logging off. The metaverse is always growing but what you do within it persists over time. Virtual reality (VR) headsets can let you essentially step into the metaverse.
But other systems, like augmented reality (AR), can overlay the metaverse on top of the physical world. Different technological variants will open up different parts of the metaverse. In addition to VR and AR systems, even smartphones and video game consoles can access the metaverse. You can explore more of the foundational elements of the metaverse in the article “Metaverse Guide; Understanding The Basics Will Open Up a New World”.
What Defines a Metaverse Game?
Metaverse companies have seen its potential for gaming right from the start. After all, VR headset devices began as gaming accessories. But the definition of a metaverse game can be a little hard to nail at first. Online games with some persistence are trendy, but they’re not necessarily metaverse games. The core of this question comes down to how well it mirrors real-world freedoms. These properties include our actions having a persistent impact, the ability to create or sell content, and in general operating unconstrained by arbitrary game rules.
A standard video game, even online platforms, can be considered a prison. The game developers tightly control what plays can do. But metaverse games like Decentraland give you the same freedom you have in physical space. You can create your own goals, challenges, and achievements. And you can see the best actual metaverse games in the article “Top 10 Popular Metaverse Games To Explore Right Now”.
What Is Decentraland?
Decentraland is the creation of Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano. It’s proven incredibly popular, earning $26 million during its 2017 launch. On the technical side, Decentraland’s protocol uses a three-layered system. This consists of the Consensus Layer, which tracks land ownership. The second layer, Land Content, relies on a decentralized distribution method to provide assets. And the Real-Time Layer provides the peer-to-peer network interface that ties together all of Decentraland’s communications.
One vital part of this design stems from the system’s use of the Ethereum blockchain. The blockchain is best known to most people as the foundation of metaverse crypto. But some blockchains, like Ethereum, have smart contract features. This means that the blockchain can provide automatic processing for secondary functionality. This helps Decentraland work with most in-system assets as unique entities. Just like every crypto coin is unique, every part of Decentraland is too.
And ownership plays a big part in the system’s appeal: users can buy their own plots of land within Decentraland using its MANA cryptocurrency. These purchases are unique resources known as LAND. Land can be chained together, built on, or resold for the native MANA currency. It’s a platform for exploration, creation, and investment.
Video: First look inside Decentraland
Much of the creativity present in Decentraland is tied to the blockchain. This digital system is why people can create, buy, and sell unique items within the system. Assets and currency are unique tokens tied to the more extensive blockchain. These come in two forms, MANA and LAND.
MANA is the driving force of Decentraland’s economy. On a purely technical level, MANA is an ERC-20 token that’s supported on many off-server cryptocurrency exchanges. But what really makes MANA shine is what you can do with it in Decentraland. MANA is used to purchase everything from land to clothing inside the Decentraland Marketplace. This area serves as a central hub for all forms of trade within the system. The 2.19 billion minted MANA tokens give users the ability to not only have fun in Decentraland but also earn actual money. MANA powers users’ production, sales, and even land investment.
On a surface level, LAND is literally the land users see in Decentraland. But it’s also a token tied to the blockchain. This means that LAND is a finite resource, just like in the physical world. And like the physical world, LAND is also an investment. Each LAND is an ERC-71 token that exists as a 52×52 foot (16×16 meter) plot. The entire Decentraland world consists of 90,601 unique LAND tokens.
Decentraland Avatars – Virtual Representations of You
You’ve heard a lot about the world of Decentraland. But what about the people within it? The answer to that is something called an avatar. A digital version of yourself represents you and everyone within the system. This avatar is your own unique creation and representation.
Video: Decentraland Avatars Promo Video
You can buy clothing and accessories for your avatar just as you would in the physical world. Your look can come from your own imagination, or you might decide to follow the latest metaverse trends. Your username is even minted as a unique NFT. One of the best parts of the system’s avatars is that you can let your true self shine. You can create an avatar that looks and dresses just as you do in the physical world.
You could recreate a look from your past that you’re particularly nostalgic over. Or you can let your imagination run free and create an avatar that looks different from your real-world appearance. You can even make and sell avatar clothing. Starting out is as simple as loading up avatars.decentraland.org.
Decentraland as a DAO
Image attribution: Decentraland DAO
Decentraland provides users with an impressively immersive experience. But part of what makes it a true metaverse virtual world is how the blockchain intersects with it on every level. Unique assets are possible thanks to the blockchain. And the blockchain is even used as a governance system in the form of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
Decentraland’s DAO owns the most important smart contracts which help govern its system. The DAO’s smart contracts include the LAND contract, Estates Contract, Wearables, Content Servers, and Marketplace. The DAO’s autonomous nature is further aided by ownership of a substantial amount of MANA. But this isn’t some disenfranchised authority that rules over the system.
The DAO is made up of Decentraland’s userbase. Users can propose and vote on a variety of different issues, which is done through the DAO’s Aragon-powered governance interface. Some upcoming votes will influence LAND upgrades, LAND auctions, and marketplace fees.
Decentraland NFT Economy and Marketplace
Decentraland’s DAO highlights the fact that it’s a user-owned system. Decentraland’s arguably one of the first of its kind. This ownership differs from, for example, a video game in significant ways. One of the most important is that Decentraland ownership extends beyond Decentraland’s servers.
You can buy something in Decentraland’s Marketplace and sell it in a different metaverse implementation. Or you can engage in the reverse. This is all thanks to the decentralized nature of the blockchain. The blockchain makes it easy to identify or create unique values. This can range from newly created assets to your cryptographic signature.
The blockchain also makes it easy to view information about the nature and ownership of anything within Decentraland. You can even see an item’s transaction history when browsing through the Marketplace. The My Store area makes it even easier to quickly see information about your unique assets or work on branding.
Video: Find out how you can create wearables for Decentraland
Much of the discussion regarding Decentraland focuses on content creation. But that raises an important question. How exactly do you create content for and in Decentraland? The more significant answer is a discussion unto itself. But the short answer can be narrowed down to the two most crucial creation tools – The Builder and SDK.
The Builder is an online tool designed to help you create and publish Decentraland scenes. One of the best things about the tool is that you don’t even need to install it since The Builder is a web app. It’s designed to be easy to set up, use, and master. However, the ease of use does create some limitations. For example, The Builder can only create scenes that are rectangular-shaped. But it also comes with some impressive benefits. It provides users with a vast library of pre-made models and content to build on. And it’s implemented within an easy-to-use interface.
Video: Meet the Decentraland Builder
Programmers have a lot to love about Decentraland’s setup. The technical details are unique, and the SDK puts a considerable amount of that power at a programmer’s fingertips. The Decentraland SDK takes the functionality of The Builder to the next level. You will need some programming experience. But coders can import models, write programs, and even make games that can exist in the larger Decentraland universe. Of course, not every programmer is an expert in 3D modeling. But they’ll find tips in the documentation to utilize pre-made models. And the docs also contain enough information to begin learning 3D modeling.
Video: Decentraland SDK Tutorial: Getting started
You have abundant opportunities to create content. But there’s also a whole digital world of opportunity to discover within Decentraland. The following options can help you start on the right foot when looking for things to do in this area of the metaverse.
Explore the Virtual World
You’d expect a metaverse based on LAND ownership to have a lot to explore. And the 90,601 plots of land within the system attest to that. Decentraland currently has 39 approved districts. The Aetheria (cyberpunk) area is the largest, at 8,008 LAND pieces, but Vegas City’s 6,776 and Dragon City’s 6,485 are impressive too. There are areas in the system for everyone. And a location’s focus can range from adventure to yoga and beyond.
Video: Decentraland Beta – Forest Plaza
Some people have compared Decentraland to a more advanced take on Second Life. This is since both are open-world systems where there isn’t a set goal. Like life itself, it’s up to you to determine what you want out of the world. But for a lot of people, the answer is meeting other people. And Decentraland offers plenty of opportunities to socialize. You can meet like-minded people while enjoying the nightlife of clubs or even taverns. And those with a more artistic inclination will love discussing art in the museum district. It’s an abundantly friendly environment.
Video: Decentraland Halloween Treasure Hunt
People often think of metaverse startup companies when they imagine industry collaboration. But Decentraland shows that collaborations are exciting. Decentraland has featured a wide variety of renowned DJs. And in fact, almost any business can operate within this digital world. There’s an impressive selection of casinos, GolfCraft Island, and more.
Video: BinanceUS 1st birthday party, tonight in Decentraland’s Crypto Valley
When you attend Decentraland events, you might receive a special Proof Of Attendance Protocol (POAP) token. These tokens work with the Gnosis Chain Etherium side-chain. It’s essentially similar to a ticket stub in the physical world. Think of how you cherish memorabilia from great concerts or dates to the movies.
Proof of attendance tokens are a little piece of digital history. One that’s unique thanks to qualities inherited from the blockchain. If you’re planning an event, you can create your POAP tokens. The Decentraland Foundation has set up an accessible server specifically for POAP creation by Decentraland members.
Three Popular Things to Do in Decentraland
You’ve seen a general overview of many of the locations and events in Decentraland. But any vacation destination will have some areas that are the best of the best. And Decentaland is no different in that regard. The following selection are the parts of this metaverse that you will want to check out.
Gambling in Vegas City
Gambling is well represented within Decentraland. The top left corner of the system is home to Vegas City. It’s Decentraland’s unofficial gambling district. Vegas City shows why the metaverse is so exciting as It combines typical casino fun with more experimental concepts like the Polygon-based horse racing ZED.run.
And you can also find traditional casinos like Tominoya Casino. Even hanging out and enjoying the atmosphere of some casinos will earn you free tokens. There’s also a selection of free games where you can enjoy poker or other competitions without putting any bets down. However, games with cryptocurrency payouts are the norm.
Video: Exploring Vegas Plaza in Decentraland
In addition to exciting gambling, you can also find more contemplative experiences at Decentraland’s art galleries. This metaverse virtual world has a wide variety of art-related institutions. But the Narra Gallery is easily the most famous. It’s an open gallery that gives artists and collectors the chance to display their art.
This can include NFTs, crypto collectibles, crypto art, and even metaverse projects. You can find the Narra Gallery in the Southeast corner of Decentraland. This area is also known as the Art District. Narra is a great starting point to explore surrounding areas like the Signum Gallery and DOJO.
Video: NFT Art Galleries in Decentraland!
Miniature golf is a beloved take on the more traditional sport of golf. And Decentraland gives you the chance to try your hand at a truly unique implementation of mini golf by visiting GolfCraft Island. You can brush up on the game when you arrive by playing a free mini-game as training.
When you’re ready, you can move on to the next level and try competition mode. This will provide experience, fashion tickets, and diamonds. Fashion tickets can be traded for clothing and wearables. At the same time, diamonds will upgrade your gold clubs. Competition mode even randomly assigns prizes as a reward.
Video: Decentraland MANA Play to Earn Game Golf Craft
Decentraland is a fantastic system. But the metaverse is a considerable place, and there are some other great implementations out there. Sandbox is well worth exploring if you’re interested in Decentraland. The Sandbox Game offers a similar level of freedom, with designer programs and currencies.
And like Decentraland’s ethos, The Sandbox Game is dedicated to the concept of freedom and interoperability. The Sandbox Game also provides users with a unique voxel-based art style that’s sure to bring a smile to your face. You can find a full guide in the article “Sandbox Game; An Overview of a Groundbreaking Virtual World”.
Meta’s Take on Decentraland with Horizon Worlds
Anyone who’s heard of the metaverse will have also heard about Facebook’s rebranding into Meta. The social media giant has leveraged its full power to help develop the metaverse. This includes their line of VR headsets. But the company has also created its own metaverse implementation in the form of Horizon.
Horizon Worlds allows people to explore, play, and socialize within pre-built systems freely. But it also provides creation tools that open up unlimited avenues for discovery. You can discover everything Horizon Worlds has to offer in the article “Horizon Worlds Guide; Everything to Know To Start Playing”.
Decentraland comprises a vast amount of land, activities, and events. The key to getting the most out of it comes from remembering that it’s an entire metaverse virtual world. Like the physical world, Decentraland always has new things to discover.
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