I’m greatly puzzled by the metaverse. I get the idea that it represents a three dimensional environment for playing video games, and that it creates ways to enhance product education and promotion. What I do not get is the idea that the metaverse will be a place where people will work, play and live. How much do you think the metaverse will impact your life and your business? My bet is not much.
Meta Is A Place?
A place where one lives, works and plays is called a country or economy. So I have been thinking about it from that reference point. According to Wikipedia: “An economy is a set of processes that involves culture, values, education, technological evolution, history, social organization, political structure, legal systems, and natural resources as main factors.” In the metaverse most of these processes will not exist, or will have to be created. What would an economy without culture, values, social organization, political structure or legal system be like? Sounds a bit like the Old West to me. In fact in some ways we can see elements of the Old West today. People create their own currencies (like banks and states used to) and outlaw organizations steal cryptocurrencies and identities. Crime runs rampant on the Internet with all manner of fraudulent schemes to separate us from our money. Free speech and the lies that are part of it are creating belief systems counter to the continuation of an orderly society. Who wants to live in a world like that? Do you?
I wonder if Zuckerberg is thinking he’ll create his own universe and become the emperor of it, kind of like Ming the Merciless in the old Flash Gordon Movie? I guess the idea is that one can create an entire economy where goods and services are exchanged and money is earned for work done.
The Impact of Spending Time In The Metaverse
How do you feel about the idea that you will spend most of your waking hours interacting with the three-dimensional object that is not real? COVID lockdowns have presented considerable evidence that living in the virtual world of zoom was not good for us. We have 50 million children with some form of psychological problems on top of the fact that they have fallen a grade level or two behind in math and science. I would add that human interaction keeps us civil. I observe a lot of raw and unfiltered behaviors demonstrated on the Internet by people that don’t have to worry about being punched out for being a jerk. I used to play Hearts on the Internet but stopped because so many of the people that joined my games behaved horribly, not having to worry about the consequences of their actions. Pretty much every study on longevity I’ve ever read has indicated that social interaction is a key variable in maintaining health. Is human interaction in the metaverse the same thing as human interaction in the physical world? I doubt it.
Brands in The Metaverse
Bernard Marr just published an article about the Cheetos Metaverse. Here’s an excerpt:
“Here’s What You Can Do Inside Chesterville
Inside Chesterville, players can embrace their inner Chester Cheetah and stir up Halloween mischief. As part of the game, you can complete tasks around the neighborhood and earn points on the Chesterville “mischief meter.”
The tasks and activities include:
- Using Chester’s Wand to brand the neighborhood
- Flinging Cheetle-fied paper towels
- Interacting with other players
- Getting a speed boost with the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos accelerator
The ultimate goal of the game is to gain access to Cheetos Hill’s spooky mansion, where fans get the chance to vote on their favorite ‘ghost of Cheetos’ past’ to help bring a flavor that’s no longer available back from the dead. Fans can choose from three possible options to resurrect in real life: Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Pepper Puffs, Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Chipotle Ranch, or Cheetos Nashville Hot Snacks.
“Cheetos has a young, passionate fan base,” Stacy says. “The brand is actually about bringing playful mischief to life, so when we thought about when to enter the Metaverse, we thought a really fun time would be Halloween because it allows us to bring the spirit of the brand to life in a way that will add value in the metaverse environment.” “
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Investing In The Metaverse
Money is changing hands for virtual stuff. Cryptocurrencies and NFTs are being bought and sold. Some people are buying real estate and other virtual assets, though recently the prices for these virtual items have come down substantially as has the prices for virtual currencies and NFTs. Wall Street is playing in the crypto space indicating they think there’s money to be made there. Very smart equity investors are also betting heavily on the metaverse. Add to this that very smart entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg are placing large bets on the metaverse. So where do you think all this is going?
I have read about some interesting applications for VR like an experience of being seated ringside for a basketball game played real time. Of course, you would pay for it, but the cost would be much less than actually buying a ringside seat and the supply of seats would be much higher.
My bet is that we are seeing the evolution of what we have today migrating to three-dimensional experiences in Web 3.0. I think a lot of the excitement about the metaverse is being promoted by people that are trying to make money by talking about and promoting the basic notions of the metaverse. I’m okay with that, as this posting is in part prompted by the notion of staying in front of the people I want to be in front of.
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