How to enter the Metaverse?
Created on 12 Jan 2022
Wraps up in 5 Min
Read by 2.9k people
Updated on 19 May 2022
Metaverse. You have all heard of this buzzword in the last few months. In some parts, we would like to take some credit for your exposure to this word too. (You’ve been reading our blogs, right?)
We’ve talked about what goes on in the virtual world of Metaverse, how it could affect the process of human evolution and the developing economy and job opportunities there as well.
But how does one go about entering this Metaverse? Honestly, the name makes it sound like anyone interested is going to have to pull a “Jeff Bezos”, hop on a rocket and go on a trip to outer space.
Thankfully this whole new world isn’t actually that far away. You don’t need a rocket ship and as much money as Mr Amazon himself. You do need some very specific set of gear and software to enter and function in the metaverse.
Let’s take a look at these, shall we?
While entering the Metaverse sounds like a fun idea, there is some assembly required when it comes to the components necessary to do so.
First and foremost comes a computer. Now when I say computer I don't mean any old monitor and parts thrown together that can turn on and run solitaire well. To support running a full-fledged VR setup; which is necessary to enter the Metaverse, hardware that clears a certain threshold is necessary.
Some of the necessary hardware components are:
A computer with a strong enough Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) and Central Processing Unit (CPU). GPUs are what people commonly call Graphics Card.
A stable internet connection with speeds over 50 MB/s.
Sensors in some cases for full-body motion capture.
And most importantly, a Virtual Reality (VR) kit.
While I could turn this blog fully tech-based and dive into each specific part necessary, our main focus remains only on the VR kit. There are too many, permutations and combinations of PC parts to go through anyway, so we will skip those.
The VR kit includes a headset and also comes with a pair of controllers. Together, these work to help position the user’s head and hands in the simulated environment.
The headset comes fitted with two screens and lenses to look into those screens. These screens and lenses are positioned in front of the user’s eyes. They also have motion sensors to allow the user to move their head to look around in the simulation instead of having to press buttons or move an external device to look around.
But this movement afforded by the headset is only to look around. While the user can physically move around to travel in VR, the space available to the user in the real world is not as large as the space in the simulation. This can lead to some funny and some serious accidents.
This is where the VR controllers come in. These controllers have the same button configuration as the traditional console controllers. But the VR controllers are more suited for use in the metaverse as these controllers, coupled with sensors on the headset allow for more realistic and human-like arm movements that traditional controllers cannot mimic.
Currently; Oculus by Meta, Vive by HTC and PS VR(Playstation Virtual Reality) by Sony are the major sellers of VR headsets. Microsoft’s HoloLens is more targeted towards Mixed Reality and Google’s Cardboard and Daydream have been discontinued.
But hardware alone will not help one enter the Metaverse. To complete your VR journey, you also need specific software and programmes. These applications are basically game libraries like Steam, or the software specific to the producer of the headset like the Meta Quest store.
These softwares allow you to download, store and manage specific games available in their library that allow you to dive into the Metaverse.
So, all of these tall orders of requirements make the Metaverse seem more of a fancy playground for a select few with even fancier tools, right? But what if there was another way in? A way that is less gatekept and likely more accessible by average Joe’s like you and me?
Well, there is a way, a way in.😎
Metaverse for Everyone
The list so far might have been somewhat disheartening to the Metaverse enthusiast, eager to enter the new world, but locked out due to extraordinary requirements. That’s because we’d been focused on going all out, using VR to enter the Metaverse, limiting our options.
Here’s where Decentraland comes in being an absolute bro. Decentraland allows users to enter the Metaverse without needing the full-fledged VR gear. Decentraland has a website that acts as the portal to enter Decentraland’s own slice of the Metaverse.
While the lack of VR makes the web version of Decentraland less immersive but more accessible, this “available-for-all version” of Decentraland still is pretty intense on systems. Believe me, I tried to enter, using my work computer too. And my work computer is leagues ahead of the hunk-of-junk at my home that I use (still, that junk is my pride and joy). And to my bosses reading this, I wasn’t playing while at work, I was only “researching”.
Another barrier to entry that’s a little more inconvenient than the previous one is the fact that users that want to experience Decentraland’s version of the Metaverse more thoroughly need to create an account with one of three wallets that Decentraland supports; namely MetaMask, FortMatic or WalletConnect.
These wallets hold a person’s crypto balances and are necessary to complete transactions like purchase of “land” and “clothes” for the user’s avatar(s). This is because these “lands” and “clothes” are NFTs and these can only be bought using cryptocurrencies.
But if crypto worries you or you are unsure about the whole “blockchain” affair; worry not, we have a course just for you to ease all your cryptic crypto pains. Presenting Cryptocurrency & Blockchain by Finology Quest.
It all comes down to…
Metaverse is an idea, a concept which describes an alternate digital open world that has great potential beyond just being a game or a place for social hangouts. With Decentraland and other versions of this open-world only scratching the surface, there’s a lot to come as both technology and people move over to this new frontier.
For a little dark but very possible unfolding of events revolving around the development of Metaverse technology, read: Is Metaverse bringing the 'End of Humanity'?
What started out as just a way to hang out with random strangers online in 3d space, now has the potential to cause major economical and societal change. The direction this would take, still remains to be seen.
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