How do new Metaverse platforms such as the Sandbox differ Second Life?
July 4, 2022 3:11 AM   Subscribe

How do new Metaverse platforms such as the Sandbox differ Second Life?

Getting on for nearly 2 decades ago I spent time in the virtual world of Second Life on and off for a couple of years.

I am reading a bit about the new Metaverse platforms such as Decentraland, Sandbox and Horizon Worlds, but the videos I've seen don't look hugely impressive or particularly different from what I remember from years back in Second Life, and I am struggling to see what the hype / gamechanger is (other than the option of interacting through VR)

Hoping someone familiar with both the olde worlde and the the new can enlighten me.
posted by inbetweener to Technology (4 answers total)
You are right. There is not much difference. These platforms will inevitably be pushing web 3 stuff, with decentralised p2p things like NFTs built into the core of the platforms, but again, Second Life had its own versions of this years ago - and has recently also integrated NFTs to some degree.

It's essentially just hype at the moment. A way to sell new hardware (for the likes of Meta/Facebook and their Occulus headsets). Or a way to stake a claim on new forms of online territory.

We'll see where these things go, but of the hundreds of new platforms and companies that you see rising up to inhabit this space over the next few years, only a few will remain long term, and even fewer will do anything particularly innovative. But it won't matter, because most of these companies emerge in order to get sold off for huge sums in a very short space of time. The term 'Start Up' basically refers to this process, where only the start of a company's lifespan is actually of any interest to anyone creating the product.

Consider that web 3 is just a way for companies to wipe the slate clean to a 2004 or 1997 style situation, where suddenly many social media platforms - friendster, myspace, orkut, geocities - emerged on the relatively fresh territory of the early 2000s web. None of those platforms exist anymore, and Facebook - or companies like them, eventually dominated or bought them all (i.e. Instagram, Whatsapp were bought by Facebook, YouTube was bought by Google, etc.).

Everything Metaverse is about power, money and staking new internet territory. Not much else.
posted by 0bvious at 7:06 AM on July 4, 2022 [6 favorites]

Agree with 0bvious -- the new platforms are backed by web 3.0 grift instead of a microtransactions, but similar idea.
posted by Alterscape at 8:48 AM on July 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

Seconding that it's almost all hype. TBH, VRChat seems to be the spiritual successor to SL in this space in terms of the creative talent it's managed to attract, and probably not coincidentally it's the platform that hypes Web3 and metaverse stuff the least, in favor of, y'know, being an actually fun place to hang out in.
posted by Aleyn at 12:51 PM on July 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

This video about VRChat was pretty informative to me about how people are using it: Making sense of VRChat.
posted by homesickness at 12:03 PM on July 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

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