Delve into the origins of of virtual worlds.


Early Beginnings

Discover the early days of virtual worlds and understand their trajectory through years of technological evolution.


Technological Evolution

Explore how virtual worlds evolved within Web2, Web3, WebXR technologies, and most recently AI world creation is on the rise.


The digital museum is presently being designed.

Below is a sample of the type of information you will explore at the Virtual Worlds Museum launching in 2024.
These are only selected milestones.

If you’d like to share your 3D platform for our mapping please fill out this survey!


The concept of virtual worlds significantly predates computers. The Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder, expressed an interest in perceptual illusion.

The Allegory of the Cave, by the Greek philosopher Plato.

Tales of "other worlds" had existed in even before the Chinese, aborigines, and ancient Egyptians.

Avatar is a concept within Hinduism that in Sanskrit literally means "descent". It signifies the material appearance or incarnation of a powerful deity, or spirit on EarthThe relative verb to "alight, to make one's appearance" is sometimes used to refer to any guru or revered human being.


"Tennis for Two" demo by Brookhaven National Laboratories (1958)

"Spacewar!" MIT (1961)

The Sensorama (1962) machine is one of the earliest known examples of immersive, multimodal technology. By Morton Heilig, this is considered one of the earliest virtual reality (VR) systems.

Videoplace by Myron Kruger (1970)

Pong (1972; Poole 2000; Herman 2001; Kent 2001)

D&D Gygax and Arnerson (1974)

The creation(s) of MUD (1978) Multi-User Dungeon


Lucasfilms' Habitat (1986)

"Avatar" term incorporation into virtual worlds lexicon.
LambdaMOO (1990)
"Metaverse" Neal Stephenson (1988). Snowcrash book published (1992)

The Palace, OnLive/Traveler, Active Worlds.
Meridian 59 by 3DO (1996)
Ultima Online (EA)
100,000 players at its peak
EverQuest (1998). Whyville (1999)
Anarchy Online (2001), The Sims Online (2002), (2023), EVE Online (2003), Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates (2003), Second Life (2003), World of Warcraft (2004)
, City of Heroes (2004), Club Penguin (2005)
Global revenues for massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPGs) exceeded half a billion dollars in 2005.
Minecraft (2009)


Partial list of Virtual World Platforms: Decentraland, The Sandbox, Hyperfy, Substrata, Voxels, Somnium Space, Spatial, HYTOPIA, Netvrk, Arrival.Space, BUD, Croquet, Dreamwave, Etheral Engine, FrameVR, Nowhere, Oncyber, Openvoxels, Overte, Ozone, MetaVRse, Portal, RP1, Stageverse, Thirdroom, Viverse, VRLand, Upland, Upstreet, Substrata, and more.
over 202 million MAUs.
Second Life's 20th birthday celebration
The evolution of Web3 blockchain worlds, WebXR platforms, and Generative AI virtual worlds continue to evolve. MetaTr@versal
Generative AI world building tools, Lovelace Studio
The Virtual Worlds Museum Crowdfunding campaign launches.

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