Metaverse, parallel world, virtual world or other world, is not a very distant concept for those who are familiar with computer games. First of all, I want to clarify that I will deal with this issue independently of virtual reality glasses, since the accessibility of glasses in terms of cost and therefore their prevalence is a very long process. In addition, its adverse effects on vision, balance and the brain are being investigated and are not yet fully known.
Returning from the point of view of the game; SimCity, in which we create our own world in a virtual environment, was released in 1989, and the date of the novel in which the concept of the metaverse was first used was 1992. Today, all RPG games are part of it ; called “role play”. The gaming world has been building cities, planting fields, working, fighting and socializing without VR goggles for nearly 20 years.
So what has changed today? While I think Metaverse is a bit of a stretch like popular concepts that pop up from time to time, it actually points to a new economy. The ever-growing gaming market, the token economy, blockchain, NFT, the shift from entertainment to the virtual world, in-game gigs, media evolution, these are all new and converging issues. In particular, the world of entertainment and that of virtual content are closely linked. A concert by a famous artist can be watched by more than 10 million people in-game, or a production company can acquire a game company to create plays for the series. All social media companies invest in gaming platforms. Today you can earn crypto money by playing games, you can make purchases in NFT markets with the crypto money you earn, and you can buy land, shops, yachts in some games. Yes, you heard that right, you can buy a virtual yacht with real money in the virtual world. In November, a yacht was sold in the Sandbox game for $650,000.
Surprisingly, it won’t be the first or the last. An NFT painting was sold for $69 million by famed auction house Christie’s in March.
Thus, the most famous auction house in the physical world has sold a virtual work of art. People started repeating the behaviors they had in real life in virtual life. So is it a game to live another life in a world where you don’t physically exist, to own a house, a store, land, a yacht, buy and sell goods, make friends, go to a concert, travelling? Or is it the desire to do things that we can’t actually do in this life under the name of play? Or simply a “new entertainment economy”? I think of everyone.
A new economy emerges in the next screen. The concept of “in-game purchase” is evolving into a completely different future. A new world where everything is made of 1s and 0s, from money to works of art, from boats to friends. It will be a world that will create new industries in the physical world, new businesses will be created in the virtual world, physical businesses will go virtual, and the consumer will have experiences they could not have in the real world. . . A clothing brand will open a store in the virtual world and perhaps hire people from the real world to work there. Yes, I know it sounds weird, but is it possible? Possible. Considering that real shopping moves away from the store and becomes online, isn’t the store experience more appealing to someone sitting at home and navigating the virtual universe? Logging into the virtual world and staying home and shopping online shouldn’t be much fun. This can be a unique opportunity for merchandising that bleeds into the real world. Can you walk into a store in the virtual universe, try on the outfit you like, and eliminate the biggest problem of online shopping, “not seeing in it”? All this is possible and presents itself to us as an opportunity. Entertainment creators, brands, distributors, game companies, a new economy is booming with opportunities for all. Does it cost? It’s not a far off concept for those familiar with the gaming world, but I think it needs more time to spread in general, especially to move to VR goggles.
Co-founder of Games United
This article first appeared in the 118th issue of Campaign Türkiye.