How Virtual Worlds Work

Moving avatars between worlds is actually one of the hardest metaverse problems, and we are nowhere near a solution for it at all, despite what you see on screen in Ready Player One.

In my experience, whenever we are exploring new ways to approach old concepts, it’s important to look backwards at the ways things have been done before. A lot of these dreams aren’t new, after all. They’ve been around since the early days of online worlds. So why is it that some of them, such as decentralization, haven’t come to pass already?

The answer lies in the nitty gritty details of actual implementation. A lot of big dreams crash and burn when they meet reality – and some of our most cherished hopes for virtual worlds have pretty big technical barriers.

That’s why I am writing about how virtual worlds work today, so it’s easier to have these conversations, and all reach for those dreams together. And I’m going to try to do it with minimal technical jargon, so everyone can follow along.

This is a big topic, so today we’ll confine ourselves to just one part of the virtual world picture: what you, as the user, see.

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