Virtual Reality

06 Feb. 2024

Virtual Reality


Virtual Reality - A cartoon that illustrates how the promise of virtual worlds has yet to be realized. The first virtual world was Second Life, which launched in 2003 and promised “A New Society, A New World, Created by You.” Despite reaching 800K users, Second Life flamed out as users blamed that it felt like an empty experience, which was in part due to the high learning curve it required to experience and build the new world. More recently, Decentraland, which allows consumers to buy virtual plots of land in the platform as NFTs via their own cryptocurrency, despite raising over $25M and having a crypto currency with a market cap of $800M has under 4,000 monthly active wallets! One of the reasons for this is that these virtual worlds require people to be digital builders, when in fact most people see these experiences as escapism games and do not want to spend time learning how to become builders. These companies should learn from the games industry, which moved on from publishing games with 100-page-manuals, for those who loved to learn how the game worked, to environments that appeal to emotions and which are easier to operate than a TV remote. Perhaps this also explains why those virtual worlds that have been successful have focused on consumers that have the time and inclination to build – for example Roblox or Minecraft, which respectively have 216M and 180M monthly active users.


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