Metaverse ‘s wealth code

On October 29, 2021, Facebook founder Zuckerberg announced that he would change the company’s name to “Meta”, claiming to invest 60 billion US dollars to build Facebook into a Metaverse company in 5 years, and promote people to virtual reality. world migration. He also declared that “within the next decade, a billion people will have access to the Metaverse, a digital industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and employment opportunities for millions of creators and developers.”

On January 18 this year, Microsoft acquired the game developer Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, and also entered the Metaverse with a high profile, saying that it would “provide infrastructure for the Metaverse.”

All of a sudden, the Metaverse is everywhere. Those who make games, make VR/AR devices, make 3D engines, make NFT digital collectibles, even make chips, and make video conferences all have to declare that they have the concept of the Metaverse. . 

1. What is the Metaverse?

Many people may be unfamiliar with the “Metaverse”, but those who have watched the popular movie “Ready Player One” in 2018 must remember a video game called “Oasis”. Some people say that it is the future “Metaverse” world.

The term “Metaverse” first came from science fiction writer Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel “Avalanche”, which described the “Metaverse” as a virtual world parallel to human reality. With the rapid development of technologies such as 3D, VR and AR, the “Metaverse” is gradually evolving into a “real world” in a virtual environment. People in the real society can use digital identities to entertain, consume, socialize, and create in the virtual world. , earn money, etc., you can also shuttle between different scenes.

I think the Metaverse is not a video game, nor is it equal to a virtual world, but a time-space interlace and fusion of “virtual world × real world”. While we all think of the Metaverse as a digital space with a variety of novel virtual experiences, Zuckerberg made another interesting point in a recent interview—the Metaverse doesn’t mean a single place place, but a point in time known as a “singularity moment”. Zuckerberg said: “Many people think that the Metaverse refers to a place, but in fact the definition of the Metaverse is about time, and at such a point in time, the immersive digital world is basically the main way we live and spend time. Way. Zuckerberg pointed out that many people are already living in the digital world now, it’s just that people have not fully entered virtual reality.

It should be said that the Metaverse is a highly realistic “mixture of virtual and real” world, not just a “game world” with immersive experience. People’s necessities of life in the real world, including office work, etc., may unfold in the Metaverse in another way.

In the eyes of tech giants, the Metaverse is more like the blurred boundary between virtual reality and reality described by Liu Cixin, that is, with the empowerment of technology, wearable devices will gradually become an indispensable part of people’s lives, just like the current smart Same as cell phone. Ultimately, it creates a reality in which the five senses and six senses are infinitely close to reality in the virtual world.

From the perspective of Web 3.0, the Metaverse is a new model of the future Internet and an application architecture for decentralized computing supported by blockchain technology. In this context, identity is the unification of rights and responsibility for behavior, rights manage assets, and responsibility for behavior affects the value and reputation of identity.

These two views on the Metaverse are not actually opposed, but have their own characteristics beyond the intersection. The perspective of Web 3.0 is about who will own and govern the Metaverse, while the perspective of the fusion of virtual and reality focuses on how users will How to experience the Metaverse. The combination of the two allows creators to “own” part of the Metaverse they create. “Owning” here actually includes three elements: governance, use, and re-creation. The creator economy model connects these three elements.

2. The Metaverse has a new gameplay

Let’s take a look at a typical example of the creator economy of the Metaverse – Roblox, known as the “first stock of the Metaverse”. Listed in March last year, Roblox, whose market value was as high as more than 40 billion US dollars at one time, was the first company to write the “Metaverse” in its prospectus, and was called the first concept stock of the “Metaverse”.

 Roblox, a platform that combines gaming and social media. There are tens of millions of games for players (mostly young people) to explore, chat and interact with their friends. But what makes Roblox unique is that the game company isn’t in the business of making games — it’s just giving kids the tools and platform to make their own unique creations. Most impressively, Roblox has turned its teenage audience into a bunch of fresh-faced entrepreneurs. Developers can charge for the virtual currency Robux for various items and gameplay experiences, and they can exchange the earned Robux for real money: 100 Robux can be redeemed for 35 cents (players can buy 100 Robux for $1).

Countless players and creators simulate life here. When the avatars they create, the environment, the emotions they experience, and the resources they exchange are widely recognized and accepted, then this virtual reality has real value.

This is the concept of creating a Metaverse that the founders of Roblox emphasized, going beyond games as a purely entertainment-dimensional experience. In addition, Roblox also proposed 8 key features leading to the “Metaverse”, namely Identity, Friends, Immersiveness, Low Friction, Variety, Anywhere ( anywhere), Economy and Civility.

It was also the first commercial company to attempt to characterize the “Metaverse” in general terms. We can learn about these features of the Metaverse from the evolution of Roblox. In summary, in the eyes of Roblox founder Baszucki, the Metaverse is a series of interconnected digital worlds where people can hang out, work and study.

3. The Metaverse is Layered

From the story of Roblox, we can see that the Metaverse is not the future, it already exists, or to use a clichéd phrase, “the future has come, it’s just unevenly distributed”. Looking back at the development history of the Internet, every major innovation is divided into an era, and life, experience, and value perception have undergone earth-shaking changes, and at the same time, a new industrial chain and application architecture will be created.

We know that the Metaverse constructs a virtual digital world that is infinitely similar to the physical world, providing people with an immersive and deep sensory experience with a complete economic and social form. Because of its richness and complexity, the establishment of the Metaverse is a huge systematic project, which cannot be expected to be completed by a super enterprise independently, but requires cooperation at the ecological level in all fields.

 On the industrial side, this includes not only the construction and service of virtual world content, but also the further exploration of the underlying infrastructure technology. The game industry and network technology industry are currently at the forefront, and they are outlining this future world. Giants such as Facebook, Tencent, and Nvidia have natural advantages in capital, technology, and content, and are actively deploying them, whether through acquisitions of VR/AR companies or in-depth research and development.

The Metaverse itself is the result of the continuous evolution, interaction and combination of various technologies of the Internet. The construction of the Metaverse requires a number of technical supports. According to this, we can divide the industrial chain of the Metaverse into seven levels.

(1) Experience layer 

Mainly refers to the user level. After the Metaverse is built, users can have dematerialized experiences in this world, such as playing games, socializing, listening to music, watching movies, etc. Experience is the actual level of human participation in the Metaverse.

(2) Discovery layer   

People understand how the experience of the Metaverse exists through discovery, which mainly refers to the way that users can understand the experience layer, such as the software store on the mobile phone, or the advertisements of advertisers and the advertisements placed in the APP.

(3) Creator economic layer   

It is mainly a technology that helps monetize the items or assets created by creators, such as design tools, monetization technologies, asset markets, etc. Creators and teams can endow the Metaverse with new content and profit from it.

(4) Spatial computing layer   

Spatial computing breaks the barriers between the physical world and the ideal world. It mainly refers to some technologies for constructing the virtual world of the Metaverse and turning it into 3D and three-dimensional, including 3D engine, VR (virtual technology)/AR (augmented reality technology)/XR (virtual technology) Reality Mixing), multitasking interface, etc.

(5) Decentralized layer   

Refers to the technology required to transfer content in the system from “authorities” (such as “walled gardens” and finance), to connect many virtual worlds, and to provide users with unique IDs, including edge computing, blockchain, etc. technology.

(6) Human-computer interaction layer 

Human-machine interface helps us connect with the virtual world through mobile devices, smart glasses, etc., mainly refers to the hardware level, such as VR glasses, VR headsets and other devices.

(7) Infrastructure layer   

The infrastructure supports the operation of equipment, connects the equipment to the network, transmits content and supports computing, mainly refers to the realization of the most basic technologies of the Metaverse, including 5G, WIFI6, cloud computing, graphics processing and other infrastructure.

Metaverse 's wealth code

Figure 1: Seventh Heaven of the Metaverse

We can see that Roblox’s platform spans 4 layers in the Metaverse 7 (marked with orange fonts in Figure 2), and has functional support from experience, exploration, to creator economy and spatial computing.

Metaverse 's wealth code

Figure 2: Hierarchical distribution of Roblox in the Metaverse

From the rise of Roblox we have seen that the Metaverse is a new “creator economy” platform, and the long-term trend of growing the maker base is unstoppable. Under the catalysis of the Metaverse, the “main developers” of the Metaverse, such as special effects artists, animators, artists, product managers, and R&D engineers, are very popular in the market, and the number of related creators is expected to grow exponentially.

From an industrial perspective, representative companies in the creator economy and spatial computing, such as Adobe, 3D design engine Unity, and graphics processor manufacturer NVIDIA, will also receive growth dividends. These companies are the “water sellers” in the Metaverse world, and they are also the scarce ones in the Metaverse market.

At present, many real scenes such as online video conferences and product launches of enterprises, online courses in the education industry, graduation ceremonies, and concerts have been transferred to the virtual world. Like our real world, the content of the Metaverse forms is extremely rich and realistic, and it is closely connected and complementary to the real world. In a future Metaverse ecosystem, what rules are needed for all business participants and consumers to build a vibrant ecosystem for all participants?

Rather than conceptually understanding and figuring out what the “Metaverse” is, let’s look directly at what kind of experience we can have in the “Metaverse”.

4. The Metaverse has a new experience

everything is playable

In April 2020, American rapper Travis Scott held a concert in the sandbox game Fortnite, which was watched by more than 45 million players. The concert lasted about 10 minutes. The realistic character modeling, stunning game scenes, and changing venues (from land, water to outer space) with the singing presented a rich sense of hierarchy, bringing players a strong sense of immersion is unprecedented.

In addition to the concert in the game, the game as the entrance to the Metaverse experience can also cover many scenes that you can’t think of. For example, the University of California, Berkeley held a graduation ceremony in Microsoft’s game “Minecraft” last year. image to participate. The world’s top AI academic conference held its 2020 workshop on Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing” game, with speakers playing scripts and giving speeches in the game. Games have become more and more an extension of the real world.

Office in the Metaverse

Let’s take another look at the office scene in the Metaverse.

The Covid-19 pandemic has “completely changed” the workplace in recent years. Bill Gates wrote on his blog, “These changes will only intensify in the coming years…In the next two or three years, I predict that most virtual meetings will move from 2D images to a Metaverse, a 3D avatar with avatars. space”.

A two-dimensional image, which Gates likens to the game show “Hollywood Squares” — the format most videoconferencing platforms currently offer, such as Zoom or Microsoft’s Teams. In the Metaverse, you’ll have a 3D avatar, allowing you to attend meetings in a virtual office space or other destination, where you can also interact with your colleagues’ avatars.

In fact, Microsoft is working on adding 3D avatars and other Metaverse elements to its office software Teams. Just a month after Facebook changed its name to Meta, Microsoft announced a partnership with Meta to make the latter’s Workplace enterprise social networking software compatible with Teams, giving Teams a clear entry into the Metaverse.

Of course, it’s not just Internet giants who value the remote virtual office market. New start-ups have opportunities as long as they have good ideas, good community development methods, and good governance mechanisms. Let’s take a look at Gather Town, a startup that is very popular recently for virtual office and teamwork.

In Gather Town, you can use the built-in tools to create a virtual conference room, as long as colleagues with passwords can enter the conference room to start a meeting. If you need to talk alone, as long as you get close to that person, the video and microphone will automatically turn on, and when you end the conversation, as long as you leave, the voice will automatically fade away, which is really super present!

Not just for meetings, there is no shortage of basic office functions! Instant messaging can be marked with your current work status, you can also set up a “whiteboard” for colleagues to record and share their inspiration and co-editing, and you can also share your own screen to let everyone participate in your work! Gather Town even prepared a lot of “game rooms” and put in a lot of small games for the team to play together during breaks.

Shopping in the Metaverse

In September 2021, “Balenciaga (Balenciaga)” cooperated with the electronic virtual game “Fortnite (Fortress Night)”, specially made new clothes and game props for the four most popular characters in the game. Balenciaga has also opened a virtual retail store in the game, and these clothes are also sold as new Balenciaga merchandise, users can wear the same style as their in-game avatar, further merging the virtual and real worlds.

It is said that players on Fortnite now spend nearly 50% of their time in the game’s creative mode, designing their own universes and engaging in role-playing games. Last April, a player named Lachlan put on a fashion show in creative mode, where players showed off their designs. The video has over 11 million views on YouTube.

Balenciaga provided Fortnite’s team with 3D scans of each garment, which allowed the game’s designers to recreate the textures, patterns and ways of wearing the garments for in-game characters in vivid detail. Designers have also transformed Balenciaga’s Speed ​​3.0 sneakers into a “pick-axe” wielded by in-game characters, while Balenciaga’s classic “Hourglass Bag” becomes a glider for players to ride on the battlefield. Their characters buy a dance to perform – these are new experiences and new ways to play in the Metaverse.

Imaginative Metaverse creators and players can also let you experience scenarios that you can’t participate in or even imagine in the real world. For example, Nike recently built a Metaverse stadium called NIKELAND on Roblox, which broke the One of the biggest barriers to sports – access, you don’t have to be a professional athlete in the real world to experience a variety of sports on your own and as a team in the Metaverse Stadium with a virtual identity.

Playgrounds in the Metaverse

NIKELAND is a virtual sports arena built in the Roblox Metaverse, with buildings and venues inspired by Nike’s real-life headquarters, and offers the Roblox community a variety of competitive events to test their competitiveness in various mini-games. With the NIKELAND Toolkit, creators can easily design their own mini-games with interactive sports materials.

Visitors in NIKELAND can also use the accelerometer in their mobile device to transfer offline motion to online gaming. For example, you can move your device and body to perform cool in-game moves like long jumps or speedruns.

You can also equip your NIKELAND avatar with special Nike products in the digital showroom. Wear classic shoes like the Air Force 1 and Nike Blazer, as well as the extensive and customizable collection of NFT digital shoes designed by Nike’s recently acquired RTFKT studio, which specializes in designing digital shoes, all of which are virtual products available at Found in the digital showroom.

At NIKELAND, the limitless creativity of individuals is supported and stimulated. Players can earn blue ribbons and gold medals by racing in yards, building yards, exploring and finding Easter eggs. Blue Ribbons are used to obtain building materials for the yard, and Gold Medals can unlock virtual products.

These are all typical new experiences in the Metaverse, which are very different from the previous content creation on the Internet, and the “creator” economy has also experienced three waves.

5. The evolution of the creator economy

Previously, the emergence of blogs, Weibo, WeChat and other platforms allowed users to become creators as long as they wanted. After the emergence of the “User Generated Content” (UGC) model, the influence of data was used to create Internet celebrities. (influencer) This new wealth class. The income of Internet celebrities includes nothing more than the income from promoting the brand and the traffic sharing accompanying the platform advertisement. At this stage, let’s call it the “first wave of creator economy”.

The wealth code of the first wave of the creator economy is branding and advertising, and the second wave is users and fans. There will be such a change, because only measuring revenue by data (traffic/number of fans) will only lead to the creation of big creators Evergrande. In order to meet the market’s taste, the market is full of single-oriented works. Under the vicious circle, the “subscription system” (which is also the transformation direction of many traditional media) and “crowd-funding” focusing on quality works appeared. Creators take money from supported fans, not only more independent, but also through interactive forms such as live broadcast and Douyin, creating a “second wave creator economy” with higher community stickiness.

As virtual worlds become socialized, will new community identities replace other self-identities? We can find a clear context from the first wave of the creator economy to the second wave, that is, the “community” of creators and fans.

What is the “third wave creator economy”? In fact, the recently booming NFT trading market has already taken shape. We see that creators create new value through NFT, and higher value also provides higher belief in the community, and users become “collectors” through participation, which is exactly what the third wave of creator economy provides for this era. Position. This also means that the creator is no longer the owner of the work. What really gives the work value is the participation of fans. Not only the exchange platform benefits, but also the artists and collectors are new beneficiaries.Such a third-wave creator economy is taking place in the Metaverse of the fusion of various digital technologies in the Web 3.0 era.

The Metaverse is a product of Web 3.0, a new Internet age where creators and users, not platforms, have economic control. NFTs are considered to be the basic elements for establishing Digital Ownership and economic systems in the future Metaverse. This will also bring new Metaverse business forms, knowledge products, and important new entertainment methods and marketing carriers to IP creators, brands, virtual community members and other relevant parties.

Therefore, the Metaverse will surely unlock a trillion-scale immersive experience business, and more Metaverse native super brands like the Boring Ape will emerge!

6. Metaverse and brand building

In the future, as more brands build novel experience halls, games, digital asset exhibition halls, etc. in the Metaverse, more creators and users will be inspired to directly interact with brands, without having to go through the platform electricity of the Web 2.0 era. business and social media.

The Web 3.0 era is an era of creator economy in which everyone can participate and profit. It can reduce the “transaction cost” caused by distrust from the perspective of mechanism guarantee, which is a new co-creation model of the ownership economy. The trust that required long-term accumulation through brand building and word-of-mouth is embedded in the protocol under the new governance model of the Web 3.0 Metaverse. This is a new and worthy of attention for small creative companies and even individuals to build brand equity. opportunity.

Metaverse may be a new way to build brand equity, which can build brand and IP assets by “first virtual and then real” and then “mixing the virtual and real”. The digital assets in the Metaverse can help expand new markets and new fields that integrate online and offline, and enable the launch of new products and services that can be combined in digital and physical spaces.

In Metaverse, the brand building model is co-created with users from the very beginning. Every participant, whether providing ideas, linking resources, developing communities, display and dissemination, or testing and feedback, can participate in the co-creation of brand equity, and share the dividends of brand appreciation through NFT/tokens. Over time, this kind of community-based brand will not only increase the value of the enterprise itself, but also bring the spillover value of the “positive externality” network effect to every individual in the ecology.

“Building communities, not audiences”. These new generation of independent creators are more interested in building a center for people to gather and communicate, through a new membership system that binds NFT digital assets to community voting, governance and economic distribution mechanisms. Creators can provide community members with more value, such as more opportunities to participate in value creation and sharing and community collaboration activities, thereby narrowing the distance between groups.

With the development of the digital economy today, the Metaverse is the preferred path for creative small companies and individuals to build IP and brand assets, and the Metaverse is the main space for future digital life. The sooner you can be in it and make your point with a clear and convincing brand proposition, the better chance you have to grow with the times. The insurance industry can seize the opportunity and deploy as soon as possible in the Metaverse, I believe there is a lot to do!

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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