Facebook-Meta unveils “Horizon Worlds”, its first major step towards the metaverse

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Meta is opening free access to its “Horizon Worlds” virtual reality platform to anyone over the age of 18 in the United States and Canada. Users equipped with a virtual reality headset will be able to play, walk and even organize events in the digital world of the company. Meta’s metaverse takes shape. Or at least, this launch of “Horizon Worlds” signifies Meta’s first public attempt in the realm. This vast multiplayer platform, originally built on an environment resembling “Minecraft”, a construction game with blocks, aims to unite players through different communities. Sociability and meetings will be at the heart of this project. In private beta tests that began in 2019, thousands of gamers held movie nights, comedy shows, and meditation sessions. The platform is only available to users of the Meta helmet, Oculus 1 and 2 quests.

Creativity is also in the spotlight. One can become a virtual creator of digital objects or even entire lands and environments with the tools developed by Meta. “Now we can open up and say we have some cool things people can do,” said Vivek Sharma, Horizon’s vice president of Meta at The Verge. This creativity is one of the fundamental characteristics of Meta.

Redefining the rules

Horizon Worlds allows users to rewrite code – at least to some extent – so that they can define physical rules themselves, such as how objects work. Imagination is at the heart of the process. Meta uses what are called “script blocks”. Each object can thus have a unique behavior. At the moment, Meta employees are behind the scripts and the company plans to publish a large free library of them. The American company could even reward creators of objects with benefits in the universe or even money.

Security and support are key aspects for exploring the universe in a harmonious way. Since everyone is a real person, the features allow users to block, mute, or report anyone who is disturbing or harassing attendees. To better understand the universe, guides specially created by users trained by Meta collaborators will be available.

While this is only the early days, and dipping a toe into this universe requires having a Meta VR headset, it represents the laying of the foundation stone for the company’s long-awaited and long-awaited Metaverse.

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