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A Week In 04.04.2023

Remember when the crypto winter was the worst thing that could possibly happen to web3 and dare I say it: the metaverse? Well, the fashion industry says “hold my pint” and presents what could possibly be the biggest surfeit of pixelated crap most of us have ever seen: MVFW. I miss the snake oil sellers and the shillers of yore. Those crapcoin merchants look like gods compared to these weasels.

Get Inter It 🧑‍💻

I’m half happy and half sad about Tommy Hilfiger’s big announcement at MVFW. As you know, my start-up Nak3d secured the first simultaneous sale model in-game without leaving the experience. Weirdly, Team Hilfiger has just announced something similar and has launched something at MVFW in Decentraland of all places. Not one to preempt articles to come from, but of all the platforms to launch this on, wasn’t there anything better than 512kb of turgid sadness? I don’t think these fashion companies know or care about the impact crap fashion has on the populace. It’s all about the headlines, baby, yeah!

April Cool 🃏

Sick to the back teeth of shitty attempts at April Fool’s pranks? Yeah me too. What about one which raises money for charity? More importantly, what about one which raises money for War Child? Now I’ve got your attention! My lovely friend Phil Ranta, you know Phil, the guy who has more (and better) opinions than I have about Meta because he worked there when it was Facebook, yeah him. For fun, and to give us an alternative to some of the April Fool’s crap being touted by tech giants (don’t you have better things to do?) Check out his hilarious Lincoln NFT collection detailing through each collectible, a significant moment in the life of Abraham Lincoln: self-taught, long-time politician before he became a president, shot by a famous actor - there’s a lot to unpack about the life of Abe. Each NFT costs $10 and the collection is item generative which means that you don’t know which Abe you’re getting until you, er, get it.

VR Sailing, VR Sailing! ⛵

Forget the Rod Stewart classic and the dodgy rave banger; sailing has never looked as good as it did during the Howard’s Way era: shoulder pads, porsches and bigotry in yacht shoes. Thank the virtual gods that Accenture, VR Regatta and The Ocean Race are here to bring us their metaverse e-saling game/experience. Accenture loves their VR credentials, being the only megacorp to onboard their staff through their Nth Floor “world” and I say world because Fortune calls Accenture one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. I’m a fan of that, but a VR sailing event with a physical “simulcast”? It’s a flex. Sailing has always operated with an elitist touch (see my Howard’s Way dig) but the underlying cause is quite complicated. We’ve got The Ocean Race, supported by VR Regatta, and Accenture, but beneath the surface (excuse the pun) is a mission to save our seas because a part of the virtual and physical space is “The Racing with Purpose tent, named after the organization’s sustainability programme, is an interactive space where visitors can explore how the race supports this goal and how they can get involved.” A mouthful. Here’s how I would have done it: a perpetual space for hyper casual speedboat racing like my lovely friends from Digital Kingdom did with Swordship to appeal to a new and diverse crowd.

So This Week

More MVFW stories and I’m afraid this one more boring than the last, it's about Hugo Boss and Clarks (but not together) launching some old stuff in the metaverse during MVFW, so I’m just gonna go ahead and let you be the first to know that Nak3d is providing all the coolest fashion from around the world directly into Yahaha, yes, you read it here first. This brand-led fashion start-up which is still in its infancy does not need to do anything other than be authentic. I can’t think of a better destination platform than Yahaha which continues to destroy the metaverse game by keeping it fun, real and most importantly (for tech nerds) stable.

Oh Mickey/What a Pity/You Don’t Understand… 🖱️

What the Dizniz is going on in Anaheim? Well, I think it’s called premature virtualisation. The hubris of being the big daddy and blowing your load way too early is not a warning sign to anyone. It’s not a wake up call to anyone: but Disney. I always misappropriate a saying from my other half and attribute it to Gordon Ramsay “stick to what you are good at”, or something like that. Disney has had a great run, but laying off their metaverse team is a symptom of a bigger problem at Disney than it is with the tech community or the metaverse. They gambled, and it didn’t pay off, this works across the board for technology but I’m not sure it’s over. They’re merely figuring stuff out whilst Chapek checks out and Iger checks back in. Their shareholders have spoken, and now they must listen. Like the Space Mountain ride, their Disney Metaverse time may come again.

Metaverse 2, Hello Mary Lou. 🧑‍⚖️

Cleggy, the man who launched a million tirades about why any politician should not be trusted is the Chief Metaman at Facebook, I mean, Meta. Nick has been talking about not giving up on the metaverse to a bunch of people across the pond and globally wearing Oculus headsets. As someone who reports on the metaverse a lot, this is horrible. I mean, other VR headsets are available. Did we forget the mastery of Half-Life: Alyx? That got me through the pandemic. Listen, anyone who delivers most of their dictats wearing a suit and tie is clearly not the kind of dude I want to listen to, I will listen to Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria, that’s about it. Will Meta please just own up to the fact that they are interested in the metaverse for the advertising money it can generate and nothing more? Any kind of interest in games, experiences and education is absolutely pointless when you are an online advertising generator/money machine. Be philanthropic, yes, but don’t tell us that you’ve not given up on the metaverse when so many people have woken up without a job in tech this quarter. I’ll wipe my feet on the way out.

The Curious World of Interoperability

When I talked about interoperability back in 2019/2020 everyone shook their heads, like a plumber who was about to tell me how much this will cost. They sucked in their breath to tell me that I should not say anything too loud lest I come off like a crazy person. I went with it anyway because I believe in interoperability. Peter Van Jaarsveld of Oliver swooped into the Drum last week to share the opportunities for interoperable assets around the world of everything. From branded goods to diagnostic equipment we take things with us as physical human beings, but as other virtual and digital beings we’re allowed to do the same, we should do the same and Peter explores digital twins through the eyes of his own clients at Oliver and encourages us to find those opportunities to make and use digital twin technology to power the future of how and what we buy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, virtual assets are coming for FMCG in everything (except platforms where we can’t sell to kids, you know, like, Roblox or Fortnite—wait, they are doing that? Wow. Ok.)

That’s enough metaverse for one week, I’m off to twin Lake Lugano into the cleanest body of water in the world. Don’t forget that we have a Spotify playlist of all my ranty articles from as well as our weekly Metaverse Top Ten and regular NFT top 5.


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