HomeWhat Games are Metaverses? Is Roblox a Metaverse?

What Games are Metaverses? Is Roblox a Metaverse?

The Metaverse’s concept has been around for 20 years, and could be seen in these 4 virtual world games.

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Mark
Updated: January 16, 2023
Is roblox a metaverse

The Metaverse, as a concept, is as old as the Internet itself. In fact, a fiction writer first coined the term in his sci-fi novel Snow Crash. The author, Neal Stephenson, describes an electronic world powered by the Internet that users can access using special three-dimensional virtual reality headsets.

Stephenson’s definition influenced many of the ideas pursued by technopreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg today. However, Meta and Zuckerberg are late into the game, literally speaking, when it comes to implementing Stephenson’s ideas. 

In other words, the Metaverse has already been around for over a decade. It may be a new concept for the general public, but gamers already know what part of it looks and feels like. This is possible through open-world or virtual-world games. In fact, these games are already being referred to as “mini-Metaverses” or Metaverse games.

The Common Attributes of Metaverse Games

Because of the huge number of games out there in the market, it’s essential first to understand which ones can be considered a “Metaverse” in its own right. To determine if the game could be a small Metaverse, it must have the three main features outlined below.

Avatars and Personalization

One of the defining features of a Metaverse is the avatar. In Hinduism, an avatar is believed to be a deity that came to Earth and took a physical form. In gaming, the word simply refers to a player’s digital representative. 

This avatar is 100% customizable according to the player’s preferences. So, despite being a player’s representation in an online world, the avatar can be designed not to have any references or similarity to the person behind the account.

In-Game Commerce

In-game commerce refers to the digital world’s ability to provide a marketplace for its users. Typically, the marketplace will allow game residents to purchase accessories and apparel for their avatars. In most cases, they can also purchase armour and weapons to make their characters more powerful within the game.

True to Stephenson’s definition, the marketplace must also use exclusive currency or money that can only be spent inside the virtual world. However, people should also have the option of purchasing in-game money for real cash. 

Open Worlds

Last but not least, the Metaverse game must feature an open world that users can explore and interact with. Users must also be able to come together and pursue activities like selling, fighting each other or attending events. Players must also be able to take a piece of the digital realm and customize it.

Second Life image
The second life game has been active since 2003

Top 4 Games That Emulate the World of the Metaverse

Second Life

No other virtual world deserves to be the first in this list but Second Life. First launched in 2003, Second Life quickly became popular among Internet users for several reasons.

One of these reasons is the sandbox game’s immense focus on entrepreneurship. It has a bustling marketplace where Second Life citizens can trade and earn in-game currency called the Linden dollar. While the Linden dollar can only be used for trading within the game, there’s an opportunity to earn real currency if one’s earnings exceed a certain threshold.

In fact, a Second Life citizen with the handle Anshe Chung had made millions for herself, flipping and putting out virtual real estate for rental within the virtual world. She reportedly started out with a $10 initial investment in Linden dollars. By diligently managing her business, she managed to cash out over $1 million in hard cash after two years.

The best part about making money in Second Life is that you can sell just about anything. The virtual world has a proprietary three-dimensional modelling module that allows you to design virtual objects that you can sell in the marketplace. You also own the rights to these items as long as they exist in the virtual world.

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft continues the success of the Warcraft franchise, especially the hugely popular Frozen Throne instalment that also gave birth to the Defense of the Ancients game. Activision forayed into the virtual world scene this time instead of publishing another battle arena title. 

World of Warcraft lets users build a character and make it part of any of the various races in the game’s world. You could build a family of Orcs with your friends and pilot your avatars to explore Azeroth and engage in numerous activities, for instance. 

While there is the combat aspect to the game, you don’t have to be restricted to fighting other players if you’re not interested in doing so on any given day. For example, if you’ve taken loot from previous quests, you could become a merchant for a day or two, selling off and earning money from those in-game merchandise.

World of Warcraft is one of the titles that Microsoft could inherit from its $69 billion acquisition deal with Activision. With Microsoft one of the active players in developing the Metaverse, this purchase could accelerate the game’s entry into the most-hyped virtual world. However, Microsoft must first get past the hurdle of the case filed by the Federal Trade Commission.

World of Warcraft Character

Roblox

Roblox came into the mainstream consciousness when Gucci sold a digital version of the Dionysus handbag for a price exceeding its real-world counterpart’s tag. However, Roblox is actually one of the earliest mini-Metaverses. It was first released in 2006, making it only three years younger than Second Life!

Roblox is notable for its focus on civility and creativity. The former is very important because most of the game’s denizens are below 16 years old! Another attribute of Roblox that made it famous is its use of voxel graphics, which is reminiscent of another early Metaverse example: Minecraft.

An actual sandbox game, Roblox allows its residents to create and host their own games. There are no limits to creativity, save for the need to keep the content safe for young children. Content creators can earn commissions from the company if their creations become a hit. 

Fortnite

Just like Genshin Impact, Fortnite is one of the younger entries to this list. It was first launched in 2017. Epic Games, the publisher, took a revolutionary yet risky approach to release the game across all platforms, including mobile and consoles. 

Instead of unleashing a single package upon the public, Fortnite entered the market in three iterations: Save the World, Battle Royale, and Creative. Of these three, only Creative features a sandbox or open-world attribute. Players can create their own worlds in an island within the vast Fortnite world in this game version.

Fortnite quickly became known for its expansive battle royale arenas, which could accommodate as many as 100 players at once! Here’s great news as well: Epic Games announced in September 2022 that it is working on making its “Metaverse” more scalable. This means that it’s working on breaking that 100-player limit in the near future!

Conclusion

The Metaverse is literally around the corner. However, it would take a few more years of tweaking and experimenting until a scalable and interoperable version can be launched into the market. 

For now, we could get to know a bit about the Metaverse through these four open-world games that are already in the market. While the final product might be slightly different from what these virtual worlds offer, they have firmly entrenched the basic concept.

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