What If You Left Our World for the Metaverse for 1 Year

8 months ago

What’s going on? Everything seems to be moving so fast. You’re going through a wormhole of some kind and can’t stop. You’re moving faster and faster until you see the light at the end. Suddenly, it’s all black.

You wake up after a few seconds in a pixilated world. You’re in some kinda forest surrounded by giant trees and rocks. You get up and look around you. There’s wind, but you can’t feel it on your skin. You look at your hands and see that you’re wearing gauntlets.

There’s a button on your left hand that shows your avatar. You click it, and you can see yourself protected with a full outfit and stats. Looks like you’re wearing a rogue desert outfit with a shawl covering your face. There’s an option that shows a selection of “skins.”

You go through them and see a bunch of wacky clothes for all occasions and scenarios. You realize that the outfit you’re wearing doesn’t match the environment, so you select something suitable — a robe with a hood to cover your hair.

After changing your skin, you walk around the area and try to see if there’s anyone around. You hear some noise coming from what appears to be a small village. You head over there and start walking among the crowd. You can see everyone’s profile and stats through your avatar. You get a notification.

You enrolled in an experimental program to be in this virtual world for 365 days. After completing this experiment, they’ll reward you with 5 million dollars if you find the secret treasure. According to the organizers, it will take a year to find it. The clock starts ticking — the first 10 people who find the treasure will win the prize.

You approach different kiosks to try and find a way to interact, but nothing is working. After walking for a while, you get a notification that someone from the experiment is nearby. They’re not too far on the map, but it doesn’t tell you who they are or what they look like. You approach the character and see that it’s a female mage dressed in a flashy way.

Before you say anything, she tells you that every conversation is recorded, so you have to be careful. She shows you some features that you missed. She has the option to transport you to other metaverses. She opens a portal and takes you to a randomly generated reality through a wormhole similar to the one you went through on your way here.

You close your eyes and wake up in some empty city. It’s raining heavily. You get a notification that you’re in an unknown area of the Metaverse. You change your clothes to blend with the environment and discover. You get to the town square and see that this place is on the dark side of the Metaverse. The girl took you off course to delay you from finding the treasure. You can’t find the girl who took you here, and for some reason, you can’t transport to another Metaverse.

Another notification pops up, showing you that 2 more people from the experiment are nearby. You start walking, keeping your head to the ground. You bump into someone from the experiment, looking like a giant lizard. He interacts with you and tells you that this place isn’t safe, and you should go with him. Your gut feeling tells you not to trust him.

He takes you to a back alley, and you immediately realize that something isn’t right. After repeatedly tapping on the button, you’re taken to a futuristic-looking city with thousands of users. Your costume draws a lot of attention, so you immediately change into something modern to blend in. You explore the city and see many familiar brands from the real world.

The Metaverse earns income through innovative advertising which targets users who have similar interests. Many of these ads show products that you can buy in this virtual world and use them. You check your balance and see that you have enough crypto coins to buy plenty of things. But the experiment only provides you with a certain quota per day. If you violate any terms or rules, then your quota will be reduced. And just like in the real world, you need currency to survive in the Metaverse.

You don’t need food or water here. In this world, they want you to buy advertised items to progress. You find out that there are other people in the experiment attending an exclusive party with some celebrities, but the only way to get inside is to buy a special pair of shoes as NFTs. These are non-fungible tokens that determine you as the real owner of this item, even though there might be plenty of them around. They’re registered to your name in the public domain.

The big problem is that they cost a lot. You can’t wait until your quota increases, so you find a creative way to enter. After a while, you see someone who is about to attend the party and engage with him. He accepts, and you propose trading one of your valuable skins for his shoes. After negotiating, he finally agrees, and you get the shoes to enter.

You’re automatically accepted and try to mingle. The theme of the party is hip hop. So, you change skins for the occasion and try to find more people like you. No luck. You find an ornament which is your first clue to getting closer to the prize. The people at the party notice that you’re in the experiment and try to kick you out, but after dodging the security, you grab the ornament and break into safety.

The ornament reads that for the next few months, you’ll have to visit the 4 corners of the Earth. You can’t just jump into any Metaverse randomly — it has to be adjacent ones. So, one by one, you head to different parts of the Metaverse to search for clues collecting precious NFTs and trading them with random users to unlock other places. You visit places from scorching deserts to candy lands and everything else in between.

A few months later, you finally complete the quest for the ornament. You’re in the final spot, which is a sky town in the clouds. Everything is powered by the wind and giant birds. You get a notification of a clue that reads, “You’re closer to the prize. You have to cross the threshold of reality to find the treasure.” You scratch your head in confusion, trying to understand what it could mean.

Suddenly, you see the girl who took you to the dangerous Metaverse town. She is one of the few people who reached as far as you did. She then disappears into the crowd. You can’t let her beat you, so you start chasing her. You can spot her running through the crowd. You get caught up with some people who initiate a conversation with you. She gets on a giant eagle and flies away.

You spend the next couple of months trying to figure out where to go. You revisit some of the old places to see if you missed out on anything. Only a month left until the experiment ends. Then you realize that you’ve been doing it wrong the whole time. You teleport to a random location and get into the wormhole.

Now you’re on the threshold of reality. So while you’re floating through the space, you stop the teleportation halfway and freeze halfway. You open your stats and see that you can’t access anything except one hidden button. You’ve canceled many trips halfway, but this option wasn’t available before. You click it and find yourself in the land between reality and virtual space — you’re in the Limboverse.

Everything here seems so real. You can even smell and feel objects and temperatures. But the landscape is flipping, and you’re trying to jump across the floating marble tiles to reach the diamond. There’s fire underneath you. You try to remember that this isn’t real, and nothing will happen. You jump across until you finally reach the end. The virtual space starts glitching as you approach the diamond.

You grab it and add it to your inventory. You read a message “the treasure is in you.” A secret menu opens and reveals the $5 million in your bank account and a sign-out option. You tap on it. Another wormhole takes you back to reality.

You take off your VR glasses and see your bank account filled with the prize money. You look around and notice the rest of the volunteers still in the game. After checking the time, you find out that you were in the Metaverse only for 12 hours, even though it felt like a year down there.


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