Mark Zuckerberg’s Horizon Worlds metaverse comes to UK TODAY – and I just had a sneak peek

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MARK Zuckerberg is finally bringing his virtual metaverse empire to Britain.

Facebook owner Meta is rolling out the Horizon Worlds app in the UK this week.

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Meta’s Horizon Worlds has finally landed in the UKCredit: Meta
The metaverse app will let you explore a vast array of worlds (and games) – and even create your own

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The metaverse app will let you explore a vast array of worlds (and games) – and even create your ownCredit: Meta
You explore Horizon Worlds using the Meta Quest 2 headset

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You explore Horizon Worlds using the Meta Quest 2 headsetCredit: Meta
Here is a giant me creating a virtual metaverse world

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Here is a giant me creating a virtual metaverse worldCredit: Meta / The Sun

Horizon is an app inside Zuckerberg’s Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset.

It’s been out in the US for a few months, but it’s finally launching in the UK – followed by more European countries in the summer.

Horizon lets you create your own virtual worlds, explore other metaverse realms, and hang out with friends or total strangers in VR.

“With Horizon Worlds, you can create and explore together,” Meta explained.

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“Whether it’s a comedy club where you can step on stage and try out your dad jokes in front of an audience, a bowling alley where you hit the lanes with friends, or even a place to learn about the diverse people, lifestyles, and languages of Asia.

“Horizon Worlds has something for everyone.”

Meta has handed out plenty of digital tools – as well as a commitment to spend $10million – to help people make virtual worlds.

The tech giant says anyone can join the community of creators.

And there are online tutorials that can help you get started building.

You can create spaces for just you or your friends.

Or you can join vast open worlds filled with strangers.

And if you feel uncomfortable at any point, you can shut people out or even report and block others.

You can also create a personal boundary that physically blocks players from standing too close to you.

A trip to Horizon

I was lucky enough to have a quick trip to Horizon Worlds before it went live in the UK.

I’m not new to VR and I’ve been using the Meta Quest 2 (formerly Oculus) for a long time now.

But I’m still consistently amazed by the new content that’s coming out for the headset – and Horizon Worlds is no different.

When we think of the metaverse, this is really the closest we’ve got so far.

It’s a VR app that lets you meet with pals, strangers or no one at all.

And you can explore any one of a vast number of strange and exotic worlds.

I got to visit the Horizon Plaza, which has its own Community Guides centre, a basketball court and an auditorium.

Walking and talking with Meta execs felt entirely natural – even the audio is spatial, so you can hear where people are speaking from (like behind you).

I was whisked off to a tropical island built by a metaverse creator, which was very peaceful and showcased the immense power of creativity.

And I even got a chance to build my own world.

Basic creation tools are easy enough to get to grips with (I made a surrealist black wasteland with a giant carrot statue in seconds), but there’s plenty of depth.

You can create animated objects, change how they interact with players, and add special textures.

It’s possible to build proper games too, not just static worlds.

People far more creative than me will surely invent some absolute masterpieces.

It’s easy to see how people will end up creating entire cities – just like we’ve seen in games like Minecraft and Roblox.

This is approaching what the metaverse should be: a collection of worlds created by users, not corporations.

And sure, Meta will develop some fantastic content for Horizon.

But I’m very sure that giving ordinary players the tools to make their own wild worlds will result in some seriously fun metaverse antics.

For now, Zuckerberg’s metaverse is still held back by the fact that you need to own a $299/£299 Meta Quest 2 headset.

It’s a matter of time until that price drops though, as as more people get to try the mind-blowing tech, it’ll be easier to grow the metaverse into something that’s a must-have – rather than a bit of fun.

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This isn’t the metaverse you’ve dreamed of just yet – but we’re getting much closer to it.

Now I’m off to go build a meta-castle…

Hang out with friends or strangers inside the metaverse

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Hang out with friends or strangers inside the metaverseCredit: Meta
Mark Zuckerberg has hailed the metaverse as the next generation of the internet

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Mark Zuckerberg has hailed the metaverse as the next generation of the internetCredit: Meta
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