Writing for the love of disruptive technologies
The idea of walking into a vibrant game-like world, sometimes aided by the magic of virtual reality, is the next logical step in the Internet's evolution.
Metaverses have tremendous potential and, like video games themselves, offer endlessly entertaining escapes from the drudgery we call IRL.
RFOX VALT has a two-token economy. $RFOX, now trading on the Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain networks, is the transactional currency used for all in-VALT purchases, and $VFOX is a rewards currency that earns holders a percentage of all VALT transactions.
But tokenomics is a topic for another day. In this article, we'll compare both metaverses across three categories:
Each metaverse involves some form of gaming, art, music, and monetized content. But one of them also has a few extra tricks in its digital toolbox.
Most people don't hop into a car and drive around randomly until they find something. We tend to have a destination in mind before strapping on the seat belt.
The same principle applies to metaverses. Unless you plan to get lost for an unlimited amount of time, you make a plan before sitting down in front of the keyboard.
On that note, let's look at why you'd want to visit one metaverse over another.
Within the pixelated, community-driven world of The Sandbox, which by default looks nearly identical to Minecraft, creators can monetize voxel assets and gaming experiences on the blockchain.
If "voxel" is Greek to you, think of them as 3D building blocks used to create digital characters and game environments.
Want to join in on the fun? You can play games made by other games or even create your very own.
The Sandbox is also a workshop in which artists can monetize their creations by minting them as NFTs. The entire metaverse runs on NFTs, which are freely bought and sold inside an integrated marketplace.
Could this metaverse have a more appropriate title? I think not. It's a sandbox environment for letting your imagination run absolutely wild.
Yes, you can play games inside the VALT. Also, like The Sandbox, a play-to-earn component is now available. RFOX Games created KOGs NFTs, which power KOGs: SLAM!, the world's first mobile title to compute 100% gaming logic on a blockchain network.
But the VALT's sole focus isn't on games. At its core, the VALT is a retail experience. Think livestreaming in VR or through an app, and your avatar walking (or hoverboarding) into digital shops with cashback rewards attached.
The VALT has four quarters that include art, gaming, music, and a free-for-all, with space trains whisking visitors in between each. There'll be live concerts, esports tournaments, an educational VR-enabled planetarium, a roller coaster, and other events yet to be imagined.
Each quarter contains 30 NFT-backed SHOPs. Only 25 SHOPs in each quarter are available for public purchase. The other five? They're reserved for RedFOX Labs and marquee clients. The first SHOP auction concluded in September, with another coming next month, followed by the last two in December. And, as the title implies, each SHOP is a customizable retail location for selling digital and physical goods.
The physical aspect is significant because it's what sets the VALT apart from metaverses that are purely digital. The VALT avoids one-sidedness by acting as a hub linking together a portfolio of business ventures inside a metaverse.
Although each venture connects inside the VALT, they can stand on their own. For example, you can partake in DeFi activities via RFOX Finance right now. And as part of a large acquisition, RFOX Media is launching a next-gen streaming platform called RFOX TV with live-minting capabilities.
Now, I just described the global VALT. In the coming years, regional VALTs will integrate to offer locally delivered items such as, you guessed it, hamburgers.
Regional VALTs will first open inside RedFOX Labs' target market, Southeast Asia. It's anyone's guess as to where they'll spread from there.
It all boils down to what type of metaverse experience you seek.
Non-fungible tokens and video games are best friends. Unlike physical tokens that get locked inside arcade cabinets, digital tokens can represent easily transferable in-game value.
In other words, your skins and items in one particular game don't need to be lost forever when the next installment comes out.
There's no denying the convenience and ease of digital merchandise. And each metaverse utilizes tokenized goods in different ways.
Blockchain games rely on NFTs to categorize certain aspects. In The Sandbox, plots of land, among most other things, are represented by NFTs.
Artists create NFTs to sell to game creators. Landowners can build other NFT-based structures or trade their entire plot through the ease of NFTs. And each parcel of LAND can be combined to form larger ESTATEs.
Let's look at the map as an example, with each square backed by an NFT. Perfectly expressing the block-like visuals of voxel games, this map is reminiscent of a colorful Excel spreadsheet:
Multiple partnerships have formed in The Sandbox, with big-name celebrities and brands becoming involved. Are you looking for the latest Snoop Dogg NFTs that grant entry to metaverse parties? You'll find them inside The Sandbox.
In addition to the SHOPs themselves, everything inside VALT SHOPs is an NFT. The teaser video down below will give you a good idea of what that means.
From a navigational perspective, the VALT map, trading Cartesian (XY) coordinates for street names, looks far less daunting than that of The Sandbox with its hundreds of squares:
Take a look at the large structure titled PIX_M01. That's the location of the planetarium, as well as an NFT launchpad that will rotate premium brands via a partnership with VOID Cyber.
The RFOX NFT platform is a white-label solution aiming to be the Shopify of the NFT space. It's where you can host, launch, auction, sell, and trade NFTs. In addition, the platform automatically integrates with OpenSea, the Ethereum network's largest NFT marketplace.
Similar to how The Sandbox lets you create games without knowing how to code, the RFOX NFT platform allows artists and creators to quickly launch digital collections.
The VALT is also an ideal location for showcasing NFTs. Here's a recent walkthrough recorded with a VR headset and featuring primates from Bored Ape Yacht Club:
The recent one-day sellout of 10k Miss Universe Philippines NFTs occurred on the platform. Impressively, the sale site is the creation of only a few people with no web design skills.
Lastly, the RFOX VALT Grants program offers $10,000 in funding to help aspiring artists get their creations to the masses.
Again, each metaverse serves its purpose and has nearly unlimited customization options. Want to make NFTs for use inside your very own video game? Head to The Sandbox.
Want to launch your own NFTs, possibly funded by the project itself, and show off the collection inside larger-than-life, VR-ready display cases? Step into the VALT.
On the one hand, we have a Grand Theft Auto-style, open-world playground in which there's no shortage of exploration opportunities.
On the other, we have a retail experience that also plugs into additional activities, including decentralized gaming.
I've rounded up a couple of quick in-metaverse videos to compare the two.
Let's not overlook the avatar creation process as part of the gameplay experience.
After all, this is what you have to stare at as your in-game character explores the metaverse. Inside The Sandbox, you'll see their blocky bodies and others like them during every gameplay session.
From a development perspective, the VALT is just a baby compared to The Sandbox. That said, the MVP is scheduled for a December release and the team's weekly blog displays the metaverse's progression.
VALT SHOPs are customizable, and as you watch the teaser video you'll notice how nearly everything is interactive. And, just about everything is also an NFT that facilitates simple ownership transfer should someone wish to sell their IP.
Yes, the VALT is meant to be a retail experience, with tools made available to those who wish to integrate their products and services. But you may as well feel as if you're playing a AAA video game while inside.
From its onset, the VALT was made with video gaming and VR in mind. That sentiment is on display with the team's selection of the ReadyPlayer.Me avatar service.
Interoperability is a common goal for most metaverses since tie-ins naturally expand any ecosystem. The VALT is getting the ball rolling by giving visitors the ability to pre-build their avatar and use it across other supported metaverses and VR applications.
Surely you see the trend here. There's a metaverse out there for everyone, and it's all about personal interests. With everything, these two metaverses have on offer, what's not to like?
There's no need for maximalism here. After all, there's no reason why The Sandbox and RFOX VALT couldn't one day integrate with each other.
Imagine going on a quest inside The Sandbox, then bouncing through a portal to enter RFOX VALT, order food delivery, and catch a concert before returning to your in-game mission.
One can imagine the creators of most metaverses are eager to join forces with other virtual realms. And when we can freely traverse from virtual world to world, quickly teleporting between different Web 3.0 apps and blockchain networks, we all win.
*Disclaimer: At the time of writing, the author held ETH, RFOX, SAND, VFOX, and other digital assets.
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