FULL DISCLOSURE: I am choosing to participate in the Virtual Universe (VU) Initial Coin Offering Partner Program. Why? Two reasons:
- After my recent guided tour of VU, I feel very strongly that this is going to be a successful and popular virtual world/MMO hybrid platform, and I want to be a part of it when VU launches their beta this summer. This is the very first blockchain-based virtual world that I actually feel excited about!
- As a Canadian citizen, I reside in one of the three countries where I am currently legally forbidden from purchasing VU tokens (the other two are the United States and China). This means that the only way I can legitimately earn VU tokens to use in this social VR space before the beta launch is via the VU ICO Partner Program.
I want you to know this up front: this blogpost is a promotion for VU, in exchange for VU tokens. You can follow on this webpage to see how many VU tokens I have earned by completing tasks in this Partner Program if you wish (right now, I am at number three on the VU Token Leaderboard). There’s nothing stopping you from participating in this Partner Program yourself, and earning some VU tokens!
IMPORTANT: VU Tokens are not a real currency. They are ERC-20 based blockchain tokens intended to permit players of Virtual Universe exclusive access to digital assets within a VR game known as Virtual Universe (VU). They are a form of in-game virtual currency. Virtual value attributed to the VU Token will be as a result of in-game efforts by players, and no future value is represented or guaranteed.
Recently, Jeroen Van den Bosch, VU’s Chief Creative Officer and co-founder, wrote an open letter to the community on Medium, giving an extensive overview of the hybrid social VR space/virtual world/MMO, which is due to launch in beta sometime this summer.
It’s interesting reading. The plans that Jeroen and his team have for VU are ambitious! They are currently building the first city in VU, to be called Uruk. This city will have four districts:
1. Residential district: It is anticipated that players will be able to purchase plots of land and create buildings on top of it (in a fashion similar to SimCity). Whenever a new residential district is ready for sale, all its available plots will be put on the city’s auction house for VU tokens. Whoever wins the bid on a plot of land becomes the owner of the said plot, which will be recorded on the blockchain.
2. Entertainment district: VU plans to create high-quality VR arcade-style experiences that are free to play for everyone. Some of these entertainment centres will be created, run and owned by users, who will sell tickets to events (which are essentially smart contracts).
3. Commercial district: Virtual stores selling avatar customization, housing and transportation options will be run by VU and by the users themselves.
4. Financial district: Here will be located the auction house, where users can place items up for bid, or bid on items from other players. The city planner’s office will also be here, where plots of land of new development phases get auctioned to the players. Another point of interest in this district is the job board, where players can browse through the available positions in various virtual businesses throughout the city or look for someone to help with their business. Basically, this is where most of VU’s business will be conducted.
Outside the city will be a wild (and sometimes lawless!) frontier where it is anticipated that players will be able to gather resources which they can then sell:
Outside the city is our highly immersive LivingVR world. Created from the ground up to feel as immersive as possible. Teeming with virtual life, beautiful sceneries and waiting to be explored by you. Let’s say you are exploring further than you have before and suddenly you discover a cave behind a waterfall. Inside it, you find rich copper deposits. You know copper is a desired resource in the city since its an ingredient in many crafting recipes for a wide variety of building blocks. You mine the copper and haul it back to the city. Once there you list your copper on the auction house and collect the cryptocurrency once someone wins the bid on it.
And it is not just resource gathering that can be done in VU, there will be plenty of quests available for you and your friends to experience exciting adventures with plenty of loot to be had!
(This is the part of Virtual Universe which seems the most like a traditional MMO/MMORPG, in my opinion.)
Take a look at the entire proposal. It’s fascinating reading! And, if you haven’t yet, I would urge you to watch the video of my guided tour of Virtual Universe. Unlike Decentraland and some other blockchain-based social VR spaces/virtual worlds, VU is a place you can actually visit and interact with (currently only via appointment via Jeroen, but it is indeed a visitable place!).
You can learn more about Virtual Universe and VU tokens by visiting their website and signing up for email updates, visiting their Github, following VU on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram, or being part of their discussion groups on Telegram and Discord.