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29 November 2020

Decentraland: Review & Beginner's Guide - Decrypt

Decentraland: Review & Beginner's Guide - Decrypt

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Whether it’s Minecraft, Animal Crossing, or No Man’s Sky, it seems the real world outside just isn’t enough for some people.

It lets you explore and build like Minecraft, and socialize like Second Life—but Decentraland isn’t like other virtual worlds because the users own it.

The Decentraland game world is split up into 90,000 units of LAND (a non-fungible token, or NFT), all of which were snapped up when they were originally auctioned off—although there’s a marketplace where people can buy or sell it.

Just like the real thing, the value of each plot depends on how big it is and where in the world it’s positioned, but owners can do what they want with it once it’s theirs.

Decentraland is big, but feels more like a very large theme park than an entire world, probably due to the lack of variation in the terrain—it’s almost relentlessly flat.

Much of what you will encounter in Decentraland is nothing more than decorative, albeit sometimes pretty cool—a life-size dinosaur skeleton, a large floating pyramid, a passable recreation of the castle from Mario 64—but there are also vast expanses of flat, empty greenery.

It’s hard to imagine that this is what Decentraland’s creators had in mind for it, but in a world where virtual spaces have become more important to us all, it feels like wasted potential.

It’s possible to see a future where Decentraland becomes a kind of VR Vegas, particularly for people in countries where gambling is strictly controlled, although as it stands it’s too limited graphically to be a particularly engrossing virtual reality experience, even on the highest settings.

Much like the real Vegas, it feels like you need to spend money to have any real fun—and in that sense, it’s also a lot like any other real-world theme park

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