Last Fall, I got involved with investing and participating in a new virtual reality world, called Decentraland. I’ve been in other virtual worlds for the past two years now and have found it a fertile place for sharing the things I believe in and an opportunity to be a part of shaping a virtual reality expereince for a greater purpose.
Finally, I can one my own land in VR!! I do not have to rent or pay fees to another company.
Why is it called Decentraland?
There are nearly 50 Districts in Decentraland and the infrastructure is decentralized giving each district the ability to set up their own district governance.
Because the land and districts are adjoining, the need for collaberation is greater. The landowners have been cooperative in sharing ideas, resources, expertise to advance collective progress. Each respects what the others are providing and find ways to make those contributions beneficial instead of competitve. In essence, districts are not trying to compete for each others business by providing the same service, experience or product. Each district’s focus provides a unique contribution which enhances the whole.
Why am I involved in Decentraland?
Firstly, I can own a part of a virtual world and participate in a collaborative endeavor that I strongly agree with. I truly believe that ownership brings another demention of personal responsibility to the VR experience. This is more than a recreational diversion or hobby. People become vested in what they invest in, whether that investment is of time, effort, energy or monetary. Decentraland is about investing in the future. The prosperity of one is tied to the prosperity of all. I am investing in service by being part of the process of making virtual experience truly beneficial for humanity. We can achieve this by developing new realities for education, global collaboration, telemedicine, visual and performance arts, interactive story-telling, and new models for human prosperity. And through these, we can promote unity, justice, creativity and peace. This really is enabled in virtual worlds, where we can experiment and learn fast, and then bring these lessons to bear in the physical world as well. I am seeing the culture of Decentraland coming together like this.Where most VR experiences are self-serving, Decentraland represents a more realistic interdependence that all humanity has toward each other and the shared responsibility of maintaining it’s affairs – a true sense of community.
Baha’i Inspired Decentraland Conference Center
The second reason I am involved in Decentraland is that I am working with a handful of Baha’is and others to create the Baha’i inspired Decentraland Conference Center. Located next to the Decentraland University, the Conference Center and University offer places of learning, discovery, elevated discource, consultation, upliftment and reflection. The mission of the the Baha’i inspired Decentraland Conference Center (which I am a landowner and board memeber) is to be the premier venue in Decentraland for meetings and conferences, for its members and the broader Decentraland community, as well as a place where outside organizations can make use of virtual reality for their conferences and meetings. I am very excited about my involvement in the Conference Center and it’s future contribution to the Decentraland community.
Role of Baha’i Faith in VR
In the May-June 2017 American Baha’i, there was an article about the Unity Museum in Seattle, Washington and it’s potential expansion into VR.
In the September-October addition of the American Baha’i, the following article about VR:
Bahá’í Chair explores role of immersive technology in promoting peace
“The Bahá’í Chair is particularly interested in the ways in which the event program explored the role of VR in raising consciousness and applying strategies toward the elimination of racial prejudice, sexism, and other prejudices,” said Hoda Mahmoudi, Chair professor.
“The focus of such exploration,” Mahmoudi continued, “is to raise awareness and advance learning about individual responsibility, and the ethical considerations required to treat all people with respect and dignity. In other words, does VR have a role to play in promoting peace?”
And the big news? You can buy land and build now!
Decentraland has now opened a Land Market, where people can directly buy and sell property. This will allow people who missed the district formation and Genesis City auction to obtain land in the world, expanding the number of people who can get involved in owning land.
The land market is at https://market.decentraland.org
Decentraland has also released the first version of its developer tools for assembling and visualizing content for your land. They are available at https://cli.decentraland.org/