The Adventures of the Metaverse

We briefly tested the art of encryption before. Although the NFT short film “Hip hop is my dad” sold at Opensea for a “high price” of 1eth, the happiness of making a small profit has calmed down with the falling Ethereum price. I think it’s time to light up an afterthought and think carefully about what NFT is and what impact these virtual gadgets can have on reality.


At this time, Pan Space invited us to participate in an online encryption art exhibition “PLATE GAME”. According to the introduction of the organizer, this exhibition is set up in a meta-universe called Cryptovoxels. Like the introduction of all cryptographic art projects, the introduction of “PLATE GAME” is also full of keywords such as nft, crypto, and virtual currency. The words “buy” and “sell” also often appear at the center of this type of profile.

In addition, what really arouses my interest is the sentence “Exhibition is virtual, but creation is tangible. Technical issues are specific, and practical decentralization is conditional, and some criticisms may be invalid from the beginning.” Since I started to understand NFTs, I once imagined whether we can really build a decentralized and equal virtual utopia woven from the blockchain. This exhibition seems to remind me that the virtual world is not helpful for the problems that the real world does not solve. On the contrary, the entire virtual world may also be part of the problem. 

The first experience of the Metaverse

From the first point of view, I fell into the second floor of a platform, accompanied by the 8-bit game soundtrack of the ancient red and white machine. Everything around is stacked up with pixel grids like the game Minecraft. The difference is that the pixel grids are of different sizes. Creators can add non-pixel textures on the surface of the grid.


After entering the exhibition, a first-view picture appears on the screen 

The scream of the computer fan and the stuttering of the picture reminded me that this is a networked, real-time rendered “Metaverse” world. After tossing, I accidentally cut the perspective and saw my image as a once-popular business wooden figure. I took advantage of the nausea of ​​3D to turn up, jumped off the platform, and wandered around. The background music has been replaced with synthesizer symphony commonly seen in old science fiction films.

Next to the platform is the “Community Center”. Click on the big screen to play a video introducing this block called “Oasis”. The video introduces several landmark buildings in the block, most of which are colorful galleries or sculptures. In addition, all non-street areas in the block are covered with high or low buildings, some are like pyramids, some are completely transparent, and some are like water-free alley bathhouses. There are also a few pixel green trees at the door. plant. Many buildings have “hanging” NFT works on the walls, and you can directly jump to Opensea to purchase them with a mouse click. According to the very different styles, these plots and buildings should belong to different owners. 


Community Center and failed videos


Buildings in Oasis

I clicked on the map. The world in the map is not endless. It is a square plane that is more crowded than any real city, divided into dense blocks of different sizes. The naming of the blocks is out of order: some are based on real cities, such as “Shenzhen” and “Babylon” to the north of me; some are hot words on the Internet, such as “Punks” and “Memes”; and even “Doom” and “Kitties” are adjacent , Reminds me of the good times last year when Doom and Xi Shihui were fighting monsters and fishing together.


Map, there are other small islands around Origin City 

The sidebar of the map indicates the functional zoning of these buildings, from theaters to bars, where you can eat, drink and play. According to the official website of Cryptovoxels, in this space, the most basic function of users is to buy and sell land (land is also NFT), set up shops or galleries on their own land to display and trade NFT works of art, and other functions are to some extent For NFT trading services. Based on this background, I speculate that the so-called functional buildings in this world may be like multiplayer large-scale online animal forest clubs. Players have built landscapes of parks, bars, factories, and schools to fully mobilize their imagination to play together. Every family game.

With this guess, I randomly checked the club option on the map and walked to the nearest map marker. 

Virtual Levitation Party

Wandering in Oasis for a while, I learned some basic rules of the Cryptovoxels world. The size and number of layers of each plot is limited, and the specific parameters are written on the blockchain and cannot be changed. For this reason, when I walked to the pure white building with only one floor, I couldn’t help being a little disappointed-the owner did not put any effort into the decoration, and the club looked calmer than the church and hospital. 


Portal of Vibe Pool Club

I walked all the way in, through the purple film, a line suddenly appeared in the chat box in the lower left corner: teleport countdown, 3, 2, 1… As the black screen of the webpage resumed, I fell into another space. Open the map, and there are only two smaller and non-adjacent pieces of land left in the dense block: “Vibe” and “Far Far Away”.

Computer fans increased their horsepower, and pools, villas, beach chairs, and scattered crowds gradually appeared in the lavender background, and party music rang in their ears. The picture was stuck for a long time, and the surface of the black building next to the villa was gradually loaded with complex patterns, and a huge gray pixel bald head was also loaded on the building. I guessed that the bald head should be colored, but until I left the building, the bald head still failed to load any textures. 


After the transfer is complete, a swimming pool and a diving platform appear in front of you, and there are pixel lifeguards beside the platform


The complex building next to the swimming pool, with a gray bald head above the building

From then on, my computer began to protest against overloading, and Caton’s vision was like a drunk looking for a toilet, upside-down and upside-down. I rushed to the place with the most people and found that the destination was a spiral staircase in the style of the Tower of Babel. Under the trend of curiosity, I carefully controlled the drunkard to move a little bit. Every frame of picture change was accompanied by full screen jaggedness and gradually obvious halo 3D symptoms. At the end of the stairs is a pure white platform. Except for the dancing crowd, there is only a huge screen, playing videos of DJ playing DJ.


Sky spiral staircase and suspended platform 

Although there are only two or three people around, it is still very happy to be able to see real users in this icy virtual space full of bizarre landscapes and all clearly marked prices. The network is connected by a thread, and meeting is fate. I selected a location very close to the screen, opened the chat box, and selected dancing mode.


Simple ballroom, nothing but big screen and white floor

This dance hall suspended in the air is the tallest building in Vibe. Due to the speed of the computer, I cannot see the full picture of this rich island, only a purple mist. It happened to me that when I jumped down from the platform, I might be able to see a city in front of me as the texture was loaded slowly. The reality is that the vertical lag makes me almost suspended in the air. I walked aimlessly in the air, crossing the border of the land before landing. To be precise, it was falling into the sea, and the villain also cooperated to make a drowning and struggling action.


Go ashore, there are pixel boats on the shore

In fact, this is not a big problem, as long as the villain moves to the shore, the villain will automatically go ashore, and can also be sent to any location by directly clicking on the map. Unlike players in other game worlds who need to worry about HP, blue bars, attributes, damage and other parameters, people in Cryptovoxels can move freely, enter and exit any building unconditionally, and socialize freely with anyone in the world, without birth or death.

The ending of this “expedition” was unexpected. I felt a scorching pain in my hand on the keyboard-the computer overheated and the screen went black. I didn’t expect that it was not the high gas fee or any blockchain technical problems that prevented me from screaming in the virtual meta-universe. I didn’t go that far at all, and I encountered the flaws of the basic hardware.

Can “Metaverse” breed civilization?

The adventures came to an end. Since I discovered that I can teleport as long as I click on the map, the fun of aimless exploration has been reduced by half. I randomly selected a few buildings with functions for airborne visits, but couldn’t find other wonderful areas like Vibe. Although there are no animals in the zoo, no books in the library, and the factory is just furnishings that cannot operate, but regardless of the actual function, the pixel landscape created by the landowners is still amazing. 


A library like a sci-fi trading floor


On the top floor of the factory, there is a gallery inside


The map shows that it is a zoo, and there are no animals

Although the 3,026 initial plots of Cryptovoxels have all been sold out, there are still many lands with blank frames and construction entities have not yet been completed. This is a developing world, a “missing” world. Although it is lacking, it still attracts the attention of investment circles, art circles, and various circles. In the past few months, major blockchain media have published “An article to understand the “Metaverse””, discussing the investment prospects of virtual land. 

But from a conceptual point of view, the “Metaverse” is not as avant-garde in the literal sense, and it is not much different from the commonly used “virtual world” and “virtual space”. Countless novels, games, movies, and animations have tried to describe the “Metaverse” in the author’s mind. You may have experienced the Metaverse earlier than you thought. Whether it is the 999-dollar blue moon, or the cyberspace where the “Digimon” Ryagumon is located, it meets the original definition of the Metaverse.


In the first season of “Digimon”, the author’s imagination of the meta-universe of the “Crypto world” 

Few people would associate the childhood memories of “Digimon” with the “metauniverse” craze in the investment circle in the first half of the year. After all, in the prospectus of these large companies, “metauniverse” has become a combination of information science and quantum science. , Philosophy, sociology, blockchain, Crypto economy, etc. All the awesome things I have enumerated with my exhaustive imagination are entangled together, opening up the disruptive creation of the post-human era.

Game company Roblox is one of the winners of this Metaverse investment boom. On the first day of listing on the US stock market, the company was valued at more than 40 billion U.S. dollars. The CEO of Roblox refined the definition of the Metaverse and needed to meet eight key characteristics: identity, friends, immersion, low latency, diversity, anywhere, economic system, and civilization. The first six features do not seem to be difficult. To put it simply, you can pinch your face, form a team, have somatosensory + AR/VR game peripherals, and the map is large enough to play anytime and anywhere you want. I want to build a complete economic system and even a civilization in such a game world. No matter how I think about it, I feel that it’s a matter of no-brainers.


Roblox’s audience is mostly young children, with characters like Lego villains 

Unlike other meta-universe games, Cryptovoxels attempts to build an economic system using blockchain. Compared with buying and selling artworks in galleries, the rise and fall of land prices are more in line with the economic laws of the real world. The land price in the central city is undoubtedly the highest, and the price of high-rise buildings is generally higher than that of low-rise buildings. If a well-known institution happens to become your neighbor and build a high-end art gallery, the price of your land will also go up. To build and decorate on your own plot, you need to buy pixel grids of different colors, and you need to be creative. Therefore, even if the location is not good, the theme and artistic value can be given to the building, and the value of the land can be appreciated. 

Decentralization, but not completely

Although it seems to be effective to use the blockchain to build an economic system in a virtual way, it at least solves the currency problem and guarantees the safety of transactions. But as a blockchain outsider who has no money and no investment plan, I admit that Metaverse Adventure did satisfy my curiosity briefly, but the fun of Cryptovoxels seems to be limited to this.

Even without mentioning the stuttering and rough modeling, when immersed in a world composed entirely of NFT, it still makes me feel like I am wrapped in a huge advertising album. No matter how exquisite the surrounding landscape is, I inevitably associate it with its price. Although the building has functional partitions, the only operations I can do are move, watch, and buy.

In the American drama “Silicon Valley”, the protagonist established the “Magic Piper” company, trying to use billions of overcapacity mobile phones as nodes to create a data that is not monopolized by large companies, personal privacy is absolutely safe, truly free and open. Cyberspace. Ben Nolan, the founder of Cryptovoxels, also upholds this belief to some extent, rejecting the olive branch of countless investors and completing the prototype of the project in his own garage. Ben Nolan said in the interview that his ultimate goal is to build a 3D world like the oasis in “Top Player”, which can replace the Internet, where players can spend their time. 


The protagonist of “Silicon Valley” believes that the Internet should be equal and free, but it is counterproductive, so he wants to build a decentralized network

But the current Cryptovoxels is not suitable for killing time. Although the cryptovoxles wiki explains how to create freely in this world, pixels and open source code also minimize the threshold of creation, but it is a world based on NFT trading. If there is no virtual in my wallet Currency, this world has nothing to do with me.

After some tossing, I finally understood the introduction of the exhibition mentioned at the beginning. The definition of decentralized “Metaverse” itself is a critique of data monopoly, but there is still a high threshold for practicing decentralization. Blockchain projects like Cryptovoxels are still games for the rich and the elite.

The area where the exhibition is located is not a central area, the area is small, only one floor. Even so, the price of the plot is still heinously high, and exhibition promoters can only rent it from friends in the currency circle. But the exhibition is much richer than it looks. For example, click on the face painting in the center of the exhibition space to jump to the mysterious space outside the map. From the small door on the side of the exhibition base, you can enter a maze of relics. The murals show the ancient history of human mining. The center of the relics houses the mining tools that condense human wisdom-graphics cards and servers.


Mysterious space. You can try to click on everything you see, in addition to the purchase link, there may be other surprises.

At the end of the article, I want to share my favorite work in this exhibition. The creator also gave this work a short poem:


A wonderful new world called nft

I must go and see

The expectation of utopia is ignited again 

I rushed

Scanned my body, who is using the “Internet access mobile phone case” to surf the Internet

I really rushed

Even at the cost of reducing the dimension, my body becomes a pixel



transferME-ltingwang to NFTopia.VOX Author: meltingwang


I saw this work in Cryptovoxels. The process of reducing the 3D model to 2D texture made the whole face distorted.

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