When I first started poking around Decentraland on its launch day this week, I found myself with little guidance as to what I should be doing. The gamer’s instinct, if one could call it that, is to seek out some objective or next step that would then carry them onto the next thing.
But at the time, I was at work, using a work laptop, so I decided to cut my foray short with the plan of sitting down for a proper exploration later that evening. In the end, I put in two-and-a-half hours of play, taking notes and screenshots as I went to catalog my experience in this new virtual world.
To be clear: this review is not intended to be an examination of the economic underpinnings of Decentraland, its token(s) model or how the Ethereum blockchain is utilized here. My colleague Steven Zheng wrote a very fine deep-dive back in 2018, so I’ll excerpt his piece as a bit of a preface so that the uninitiated reader might understand Decentraland’s core concept:
“Real estate on Decentraland is represented by a non-fungible cryptographic token called LAND. Users can purchase LAND using a native token called MANA. Similar to the real world, where a record of ownership is kept for a property, on Decentraland ownership of LAND is recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. And unlike Second Life, the owner of the LAND has full control over how it is used. As stated in Decentraland’s Terms of Service, “All acquired Land parcels in the virtual world are owned by their acquirer, giving him/her control over his/her parcel of Land.”
TL;DR – it’s a virtual world where players actually own the stuff they build and acquire, and ownership is logged via ETH transactions.