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A Week In 13.07.2023

Trust me when I tell you that the metaverse is in a bad place. It’s funny because I’ve been trying to bang the drum against some of the critics of the metaverse in that everything will be ok. It doesn’t look like it’s doing too well. Why? Because it’s in a Gartner Hype Cycle all of its very own currently. The hype part is real. It’s managed to hype itself into the trough of disillusionment without passing GO and collecting $200. So I’m sending the metaverse to jail this week. Let’s see what happens.

⛳️ Wake me up before you Oculus Go-Go

I miss the Oculus Go, don’t you? Anyway, golf widows, rejoice! There’s a fun way to off your partners for a few days so you can sit in a darkened room with a copy of Amazing Cultivation Simulator on Steam. Royal Liverpool is taking a swing into the metaverse by hosting the first-ever VR Open. Imagine the thrill of walking the prestigious fairways and putting on those challenging greens, all from the comfort of your own home. You might dust off your virtual clubs, practise your swing, and get ready to tee off in this groundbreaking virtual golf tournament. Nope, me either. This might be exciting for the Royal Victoria peeps but really boring for the rest of us. That said, VR golf and golf simulators are the biggest things of all time in Asia so I’m pleased to see that it’s finally caught on. Channel your inner Tiger Woods, or, don’t (is probably the best thing)!

🎮 A Roblox by Any Other Name

I thought we were supposed to be building a gigantic layer system of devices and opportunities for technology to thrive, so I’m pretty disappointed that in a bold move, Roblox is shedding its metaverse label and aiming for new (ahem) horizons. This iconic gaming platform is expanding its vision beyond the metaverse, showcasing its versatility and vast potential. But why? Well, mostly because it wants to be Sorare or Zwift which when you think about it are metaverses. If this is a ploy to bring these platforms together in one big metaverse through the medium of sport then it’s still a metaverse. I feel like this is just a diversionary tactic to shed the image of the metaverse which seems to be currently filled with shysters and NFT idiots as far as the eye can see.

🎮 Cold Feet

It seems the winter chill of the crypto world has reached the gaming realm, as Sega joins the pullback on blockchain games. But let’s look at this in a bit more depth. The games industry is suffering from an immense amount of M&A which has brought about job losses (not cool) and a huge change in culture (also not cool). This change in culture has been an outpouring of shitty titles that no one cares about and which sit in the middle of charts. It’s a disgusting attack on creativity if you ask me. Using money to fill a market with the same old shit with different names only allows expensive cream to rise to the top.

Meanwhile crypto enthusiasts are also feeling the freeze, and none of this is cool for anyone! I tell you, Gamescom is going to be a bloodbath this year. They didn’t want the web3 folks there last year, but we still went, and this year? Ah it’s going to be total shit for actual web3 game developers because it’s naturally going to be overtaken by rich kids and their silly NFT ideas. I hope this Sega story is just a temporary setback because we really need some industry leaders in this space. As the market stabilises and innovation continues, will we see a resurgence of blockchain-powered gaming experiences that will blow our virtual socks off? Maybe. But remember that web3 gaming is here to stay now. Just like Free-to-Play was: you might not like it, but that's just the way it is now. Get over yourselves Sega—start taking some risks on things other than the middle of the charts.

💸 Justin is Bored of his Hoard

Even celebrities aren't immune to the rollercoaster ride of the NFT market. Croc-lovin’, pop “sensation” Justin Bieber experienced a dip in value for his Bored Ape NFT, resulting in a $12 million loss. But hey, let's not shed any tears for the Biebs. NFT values can be as unpredictable as his hairstyles, and this serves as a reminder that the NFT market is full of dumb choices, like life I guess.

It’s probably a better idea to invest in something that isn’t so poorly executed and short-shelved.

🍷 Wine Not?

Finally, I've got a little story to share that will make your summer even more fabulous. Massican, the beloved winery known for its Mediterranean summer vibes, has a special gift for its loyal supporters. The award-winning winery has collaborated with the incredibly talented artist, Amber Vittoria, to create a unique digital collectible that captures the essence of their iconic brand. The collection of 6 individual artworks is a drop in your wallet for free and effectively brings you into a secret world of California wine that you can’t get from your local Threshers. Amber's distinctive style and poignant narratives have already graced Massican's wine labels, and now they're officially releasing these designs as NFTs for each bottle of wine from their Spring collection. As a final flex, the collection has been brought to life by yours truly. That’s right. Me. Go

get them NFTs and perhaps we’ll drop a few for our wonderful newsletter readers (yeah that’s you) across the summer? What do you reckon? Free NFTs? Where should you sign up? Our newsletter would be a good start!

That’s enough metaverse for this week. We’re filling our inbox with your Machine Learning submissions, so thank you very much! Stay tuned for some absolutely brilliant bits over this summer and if you’re still really bored, why don’t you check out this timely piece I did for The Interline?


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