Decentraland introduces a decentralised virtual reality (VR) platform built on the Ethereum blockchain and powered by it. Users can create, experience, and monetize experiences, applications, and content within it.
In essence, it’s a virtual reality in which the community owns the 3D land permanently, giving members complete control over their creations. You can log in, create an avatar, and begin exploring, purchasing land, and constructing various structures ranging from playgrounds to virtual cinemas and galleries.
Landowners have control over the content published on their portion of the land, which can range from interactive systems such as games to static 3D scenes such as paintings, for example.
How to Participate in Decentraland
When you get to the game’s official website, you’ll notice a big red button in the middle that you should click to get started. Then you’ll be asked whether you want to play with your wallet or continue as a guest:
We will connect a MetaMask wallet and sign the necessary permissions for this guide. You will be able to create your own avatar once the game has loaded. This will be the character with whom you will play the game, so make it appealing.
There are numerous traits to choose from, including the body, head, top, bottom, shoes, accessories, and various collectibles. You can also purchase items through the marketplace, but more on that later.
Once your avatar is complete, click the “done” button in the bottom left. You’d need to name it, agree to the terms and conditions, and you’d be ready to go.
You are dropped off at Genesis Plaza with all of the new players who have just begun their journey.
We recommend that you keep the tutorial box at the bottom of your screen open until you’re used to playing the game, as it will teach you the basics.
When you arrive at Genesis Plaza, start controlling your avatar with the standard “W, A, S, and D” keys, just like in most MMO games.
There are a few pillars all around Genesis Plaza, each of which is filled with different activities that you can do:
Alternatively, you can jump through the giant hole-looking whirlwind thing and explore other options:
Another cool feature is that pressing M toggles the map. You can search for various locations and “jump in” to them without having to walk there.
Your current location can be found on the bottom right. There is a navigation menu at the top that allows you to explore various options. For example, if you click the “explore” button, you will be taken to a page where you can search for various places, events, and so on.
Remember how we mentioned earlier in the guide that Sotheby’s opened a gallery in Decentraland? So, let’s take a look.
When you click on Explore at the top of the page, you will also see the “Places” button, and when you click it, some of the most popular locations in Decentraland will appear. We chose Sotheby’s gallery and went straight to work. We arrived at the following conclusion:
You can also simply click on the painting itself, which will take you to the official Sotheby’s page with all of the art details.
What Else Can You Do in Decentraland?
It’s important to remember that Decentraland isn’t the type of game that most people are accustomed to—you don’t get to fight other players or go against the environment. Instead, it’s intended to be a pixelated virtual alternate reality with all of the bells and whistles.
Those who purchase land can use the builder tool, which is also accessible from the top navigation menu:
It is obvious that the possibilities are virtually limitless. Take, for example, our quick trip to Sotheby’s. As an example, you could create an impressive art gallery, and if players came to see it, you could commission artwork to be displayed. For example, if the owner of a Bored Ape NFT wants to sell it, he might consider paying you to display it if it gets enough exposure, like what Sotheby’s does for their artists.
There are numerous other options to consider. You can also visit various theme parks, take a bus, or simply run around and explore Decentraland, which is already quite large and full of interesting things to discover.
The Decentralized Marketplace
The Decentraland Marketplace is a critical component of the game. It enables users to buy and sell items such as collectibles, wearables, and so on.
To access it, simply go to the official website and click “Marketplace” at the top. You can also access it in-game by pressing the M button and looking for it in the top navigation menu, next to the map and the builder tool.
This is how the marketplace appears:
Review of Decentraland: Revolutionary but Not Unreal
Decentraland provides a full metaverse experience, as many would expect. It’s a full-fledged digital alternative to our lives, with users able to build everything from the ground up, and some have already begun.
The fact that it is decentralised and governed by a DAO distinguishes it from other popular releases in the industry.
We spent a couple of days exploring Decentraland’s universe, and it’s safe to say that it’s still under construction. Massive structures are being constructed, including galleries, museums, arcade parks, and even a university (albeit one that is not quite finished yet). This demonstrates that there is a lot of interest in the game.
Although anecdotal, it appears that the game is becoming more popular. We played it a few months ago and didn’t see anyone outside of Genesis Plaza (the starting zone), but now we see quite a few players cruising around and exploring different locations. This is encouraging.
Of course, if you’re used to a triple-A gaming experience with flawless Unreal graphics and gameplay, Decentraland isn’t for you. The game is currently a very simple browser-based experience that won’t impress anyone in terms of design and/or gameplay.
It is, however, one of the first attempts to create a blockchain-based game in which transactions take place on-chain and users have legitimate and verifiable ownership of in-game items. As a result, the developers have done an admirable job, and the game appears to have a bright future ahead of it.