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Entering the metaverse: How to get started exploring

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Often called the next generation of the internet, the metaverse is a 3D virtual world where users can interact, create and do business with anyone, from virtually any location with an available internet connection. Supporting 3D immersion through virtual reality (VR), the metaverse could offer new possibilities for interactivity.

Opinions vary on just how popular the metaverse might become. Some sources estimate a market size of $800 billion by 2024, and that by 2026 about one-quarter of people will spend at least an hour per day in the metaverse — to work, play, shop or simply hang out. You don’t have to wait, however, if you want to start exploring the metaverse right now.

How to join the metaverse

No one knows what the metaverse will ultimately look like, but many companies have created versions of virtual worlds that you can join today. These platforms vary in the range of experiences they provide, but they typically offer VR immersion and some kind of digital economy in which you can participate.

With multiple metaverse platforms to choose from, you should evaluate each to determine what is best for you. You should also know the risks, however, related to account security and fraud in the metaverse. If you take the time to learn how the metaverse works, what equipment and costs are needed for access, and how to protect your personal information, then you can get started safely exploring it. Here are some of the existing metaverse platforms to choose from.


Already enormously popular with kids, Roblox has established an extensive online community with immersive 2D user-created environments, mini-games, and virtual events in a metaverse-like environment. As a game primarily marketed to children, Roblox values security and moderation on its platform, so it’s one of the safest metaverse options in this regard. To play Roblox, you only need to download the mobile app and sign up for an account.


One of the more popular versions of a decentralized metaverse environment, Decentraland is a VR platform built on blockchain technology. Its virtual world is made almost entirely of user-generated spaces and experiences that include games, shops and events.



Like Decentraland, The Sandbox is a blockchain-based metaverse that utilizes a creator community for most of its virtual experiences. The Sandbox also requires you to have a web browser and a crypto wallet to sign up for a user account.


This metaverse platform has a rapidly growing range of experiences that span gaming, trading, fashion and music. The Sandbox has even partnered with celebrities including Snoop Dogg and Paris Hilton to host virtual concerts and parties. As for which platform ultimately grows to be the larger metaverse — The Sandbox or Decentraland — only time will tell.

Star Atlas

A space-themed game with a unique metaverse environment, Star Atlas is an emerging platform that promises immersive gameplay in an expansive virtual world. In this game, you can own a spaceship and items as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), play-to-earn, and make purchases to grow your fleet. As with other metaverse platforms based on blockchain, you’ll need to connect a crypto wallet to make an account and start playing.


Another iteration of metaverse gaming, Illuvium is an open-world role-playing game based on a blockchain. The gameplay revolves around earning money, collecting NFT creatures, and trading digital assets. Additional objectives involve powering up the creatures, battling other players, and exploring the virtual world. It’s free to sign up for Illuvium, but you’ll need a crypto wallet and may have to purchase some of the cryptocurrency to start playing.


An emerging platform centered entirely around cryptocurrency and trading, the Bloktopia platform promises real estate, shopping, entertainment and other types of commerce with a virtual skyscraper. Users can buy tokens and NFTs that represent property within the game, then trade or invest these within the economy of this metaverse.


What equipment is needed to enter the metaverse?

Most metaverse environments require only a computer, web browser and an internet connection to enter. As discussed above, you may also need a digital wallet for certain types of platforms. Additionally, you’ll need VR equipment if you want to enjoy the full range of 3D experiences in the metaverse.

  • VR headset: The critical piece of hardware for virtual reality, a headset fits over your eyes to deliver immersive visuals and sound while effectively blocking out your surroundings.
  • VR controllers: Handheld controllers are another common component of VR systems, using buttons and joysticks to control actions within the metaverse environment.
  • Haptic devices: An advanced form of VR controller, haptic devices can deliver the sense of touch with vibration, compression or motion. Haptics may be incorporated into headsets or other wearables such as gloves or vests.

How much does it cost to access the metaverse?

Most metaverse platforms don’t require a fee to join. As long as you have the necessary hardware and an internet connection, you can enter and play for free. However, most platforms based on blockchain — like The Sandbox and Decentraland — require the exchange of cryptocurrency for full functionality.

Currency in the metaverse

Much like in the real world, activities in the metaverse tend to cost money. Rather than using dollars, however, metaverse platforms utilize digital tokens. You can either purchase them or earn them in-game by completing certain tasks or challenges.

Centralized platforms like Roblox may issue exclusive tokens that can only be used within the game. However, decentralized platforms — those based on blockchain — tend to use cryptocurrency that can be freely traded through a crypto exchange. In other words, you could sell one type of cryptocurrency for another, or cash out your crypto for dollars whenever you like.

How secure is the metaverse?

Ideally, the metaverse should be a place that’s safe for everyone to play and socialize online. However, as an emerging technology that is largely unregulated, the metaverse presents concerns for security and privacy. Particularly because these platforms use digital assets with monetary value, cybercriminals are targeting the metaverse with various types of scams.

To access the metaverse safely, it’s important to be aware of the risks. Here are some common threats associated with metaverse platforms:

  • Online harassment: Social interaction in the metaverse is often loosely moderated, or not monitored at all. This can leave users susceptible to cyberbullying, offensive language and actions, or other types of abuse online.
  • Data privacy: Metaverse platforms and participants may collect personal information when you create an account and interact online. Accidental or intentional misuse of this data could lead to your personal information being shared or stolen.
  • Phishing scams: Cybercriminals can attempt to steal user credentials or virtual property through phony links that mimic metaverse logins.
  • Pump-and-dump schemes: On platforms that sell virtual property or currency, fraudsters can collude to buy large amounts of the asset and quickly drive up the value. They can convince other people to buy at these inflated prices, then the fraudsters sell off all at once and the value crashes.
  • NFT scams: Various scams target buyers of NFTs, including phishing for account information, selling plagiarized NFTs or collecting investment on fake NFT projects.
  • Malware attacks: Cybercriminals may trick users into downloading harmful files through metaverse accounts, and thereby infect the recipient’s device with malicious software.

Protecting yourself in the metaverse

Although the risks may seem significant, there are ways you can protect yourself from security threats in the metaverse. Here are the most important precautions you should take to make sure your identity and account information remain safe:

  • Only join a metaverse platform that you trust: Read and understand the privacy policy and user agreements of any metaverse platform that you are interested in using. Additionally, search for reviews and information from other sources to learn the platform’s reputation for data privacy and security.
  • Report and block bad behavior: Upon joining a metaverse platform, you should familiarize yourself with the tools for blocking or reporting users who harass you or otherwise violate the terms of service.
  • Verify links and websites: Never follow a link unless you are sure it leads to a secure website. Additionally, never input information to a page that is not on the official domain of the service you are trying to use.
  • Never share sensitive information: Other than the official login pages, no site or entity should ask for your login credentials or other information that might grant access to your accounts.
  • Beware of fraudulent sales: If you decide to participate in any metaverse economy, you must learn how the transactions work and what makes a sale legitimate. Avoid any suspicious offers or activities that could be scams.

The metaverse is expected to offer entirely new ways to work and play online. With these new opportunities come some new challenges, but by knowing the risks you can make a plan to deal with them. If you learn the policies of the platforms and take steps to protect yourself online, you can become an early explorer in the new technological frontier of the metaverse.