Why I Am Excited About Virtual Universe

Yeah, can you tell I am excited about the upcoming beta launch of Virtual Universe?

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(Image courtesy of the Distracted Boyfriend Meme Generator)

And yes, I am part of the Virtual Universe (VU) Initial Coin Offering Partner Program (I’m currently number two on their VU Token Leaderboard). The main reason I am participating in that program is because it’s the only legal way I can earn VU tokens before the social VR space launches later this summer. Here’s a 10-minute video which explains the partner program in a lot more detail:


I think that Linden Lab should consider such a program to pay people in Sansar dollars for promoting Sansar on their various social media.

But people have been asking me, why am I excited about VU as opposed to other blockchain-based virtual world platforms?

Well, if you haven’t seen my recent half-hour guided tour of VU, I suggest you set aside some time to watch the whole video. I have been blistering in my criticism of other blockchain-based virtual world projects which are more hype than substance (Decentraland is a classic example) because they don’t have anything that you can actually visit yet. But in Virtual Universe, they not only have a place you can visit (currently, only by appointment), but they also have a very easy in-world content creation tool that is actually fun to use! And I was impressed by the many little added touches such as AI-controlled animals like lizards, rabbits, and bluebirds, even individual insects!

Now, Virtual Universe still has a lot of work left to do. Any virtual world project is a mammoth undertaking, and they still have to polish the user avatars (the current ones are merely placeholders, from what I understand) and other features. But it’s a very promising, and very impressive, start.

So yes, I am eagerly awaiting the launch of the beta version of Virtual Universe, even though Sansar is still my first love (and the reason I created this blog in the first place).

UPDATED! Ethernia: Yet Another Blockchain-Based MMO (Yes, It’s a Parody)

Sweet minty Jesus, but this whole blockchain-based virtual world/MMO thing has officially gotten out of hand. Check out this truly bizarre video that someone shared with me, for a new blockchain-based MMO called Ethernia:

I can’t tell is if this is meant to be a promotion for an actual product, or a joke (the voiceover is absolutely hyperbolic). I asked on the MMORPG subReddit about this, and apparently all the assets used in this video are from a free collection of Paragon game assets, which can be used in both commercial and non-commercial games.

Anybody know anything at all about this? I can’t find anything online at all about this Ethernia game. The website URL given in the video asks for a username and password, which immediately strikes me a highly suspicious. Someone is pulling my leg, right? This has to be a parody.

UPDATE 1:21 p.m. A sharp-eyed viewer has recognized the large stone monument at the top of the mountain in this video as being none other than Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum and as a co-founder of Bitcoin MagazineI’m betting this is a parody, and a very funny one if you actually know enough about cryptocurrencies to get the in-jokes.

The thing is, the person who originally shared this with me seems to think that this is an actual product. He tells me that the website opens on Monday for pre-registration.

Truly bizarre.

UPDATE May 31st: Surprise! Turns out Ethernia is an actual product after all! They now have a working website, and it looks like they are planning a launch in late 2018 or early 2019.

UPDATE Feb. 17th, 2019: I never bothered to update this before, but yeah, this is officially a parody by an ad agency called Pet Gorilla.

Worlds Adrift is a Promising-Looking MMORPG/Virtual World

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Wagner James Au of the long-running blog New World Notes has been following the development of an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) called Worlds Adrift, which he calls “the single-shard, open world sandbox MMO with physics, a working ecosystem, and user-generated content — i.e., a virtual world worthy of the term — running on the well-funded backbone of Improbable“.

He recently posted that Worlds Adrift is launching in early-access on May 17th. Now, I’m not a really big fan of MMORPGs (or MMOs, as some people prefer to call them), and I don’t really cover MMORPGs on this blog, but I did play a little bit of World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online back in the day, so I’m familiar with the concept.

Here’s a year-old introduction to the game:

And here’s their most recent teaser:

They refer to themselves as “the world’s first community-crafted MMO”, so they may tempt a few virtual worlds creators to join their early-access program. (Wagner reports that some Second Life users have become Worlds Adrift fans.) It certainly looks interesting! Here’s another video showcasing some of the worlds that people have already created: