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A Week In 21.03.2023

This week's news is a lovely mixed bag of hope. Hope that the O.G Metaverse has finally found its spiritual home, and hope that in order for me to add new metaverses to my ever-popular weekly metaverse chart; someone will do some engineering on the servers that support these brave new realms because frankly? I’m disappointed.

The Sound of Magic 🎼

An opera you say? In the Teatro Real? But I don’t live in Madrid. Wait, what? In the metaverse? What sorcery is this exactly? Well darlings, though I would love to tell you, this metaverse didn’t even load so I can only hope that something touting itself to be the first ever opera in the metaverse went well. Uttopion which is Spain’s first metaverse (there’s a lot of firsts around here—they’re so firsty!) has some server problems. It looks like it could be a nice space to land in, but not today because of an “invisible force”: I’m assuming Nikolai Gogol is using the force since this is Shostakovitch’s adaptation of his satirical masterpiece The Nose. I prefer Diary of a Madman and Dead Souls if I’m honest. I can wait.

Which games investment company has pulled its support for a well-known metaverse citing one brutal portmanteau? Vaporverse.

Because This is My First Life 🎮

Habitat, Whyville, Habbo, Entropia Universe, SmallWorlds and Kaneva, are just a handful of the dead and very much alive virtual worlds that shaped out 80s, 90s and 00s. But what’s missing? Second Life, of course, is like Johnny Five—and Linden Labs, the proud parents of possibly the OG of metaverses have just announced that they’re bringing us a mobile app. Along with Oliver Kern, I often harp on that the metaverse is mobile. It’s becoming an annoying mantra (because I keep chanting it whilst I write my new book)

Yes it’s taken 20 years (YES! 20 years!!) to get here but aren’t you glad? On paper, I am literally screaming for this to work, but in practice? I’m scared. I have so many questions more than they’re giving answers, but I had a sneak peek of how they’re trying to bring the classic desktop version in a streamlined deliverable for mobile. Should the competition be scared too? I would probably say yes. In a way I hope it doesn't look massively like the desktop version because I would love the opportunity to see some modernising of the current IP because if it modernises just a smidge it will kill all your silly self-indulgent metaverses.

Which web3 dev team forgot to grab the documentation for their soon to be launched top secret platform only to find it sitting pretty on a public github for all to use?

Arthdal Chronicles 🚀

I leaked this story on my LinkedIn separately, which tells me that as the news went fully mainstream on Ryugukoku; such was the deep joy that I felt looking at an actual ecosystem, I almost went meta on myself. Whereas I might usually get a million comments from people arguing with me about what an ecosystem looks like, etc, I was gobsmacked that nobody argued with me about this one, and rightly so.

Let’s bake the perfect ecosystem cake: take one Final Fantasy 15 game director (Hajime Tabata), the Japan Metaverse Economic Zone and an enterprise level rollout. How does it taste? Mmmm, so sweet. We’ve also got a new buzzword: DX, something which had previously stood for everything with Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Chyna, X-Pac, and the New Age Outlaws. DX, which is not D-Generation X but stands for Digital Transformation isn’t new to anyone, but I almost want to flip the script on this and call it GX because it’s games transformation, more than just digital. It’s using gamification to penetrate an entire sector of industry. Visuals and immersive experiences are one thing and make total sense, but expanding the Japan Metaverse economic zone using a “Xenoblade-esque headless angel”? That’s just ridiculously perfect. It boils down to gamifying business economics, and is no-brainer to anyone who knows their Gil from their Glimmer. I feel refreshed, I feel like the kindness of everything that we've learned inside the games industry has been passed over to business without having some academic tell us what business gamification is.

Who’s headed to GDC without the most important thing? Yeah, their product swag might not be in San Fran until Friday such is the nature of their (tight) budget.

The Fabulous 👗

When a press release lands on your editor’s desk and they tell you to write something good about Decentraland Fashion Week, here’s how you don’t do it. First you don’t come up with what you believe to be a snappy sub like “Metaverse fashion is on the rise, but for whom?” because that’s drier than my mouth after a 9-hour flight to Mumbai. Then, you don’t go massive brands first, because you should tease your reader into that false sense of security that the fashion brand you’re most dreaming of will be there. You don’t list use cases last because the fashion industry is reading this and they know it. And finally, and this is important, you definitely don’t and must never ever tell the world how metaverse-first generative AI fashion brand Nak3d is offering free, yes, free items for your inventory based on the Netflix’s Wednesday and DC’s Spider-Man: Across the SpiderVerse collections. Yeah you don’t ever do that.

The Tl;dr is simple: Metaverse Fashion Week is back, babies; and Nak3d is giving away some serious looks for your avatar in Decentraland for free during the MVFW, er, week.

Last year’s stats were mega with over 70 brands participating to incredible reviews from BoF and Vogue to the FT and Yahoo! This year the most loved brands including Adidas, Coach, Dolce and Gabbana and Nak3d are going to be there to engage with their communities offering NFTs and free collections for you to download (that’s Nak3d—we’re the only freebie kids).

Which heritage brand is launching the biggest under-the-radar web3 platform ever? You can bet that this is what most web3 startups can only dream of making.

Run On 🏃

Another day, another digital platform launches, another puppy dies. That’s just how it is in 2023. This time is the turn of Madeium which at first glance made me think of this guy. Anyway, Madeium is trying to support brands entering the metaverse, which you know, is just something that we didn't ask for, but somehow we're gonna get it. So we might as well just enjoy it. Madeium has developed its own creative economy with NFC based digital twin technology for the protection and monetization of both digital and physical designs. My, my, that’s a full house on Metaverse Bingo™ isn’t it? What will I win?

My flowchart is really simple: Do we need it? If we do, ok, but are we sure this doesn’t already exist elsewhere? If we can't find this anywhere else and we do need it, then yeah, it's a suitable use case. Any metaverse needs just one really cool thing to sustain its purple and blue or pink and lilac Tron-lines: it needs users. Lots of them.

Here’s what I think, this is the perfect Hypebeast metaverse if they’re willing to dip a toe in, but until then? Madeium is a vanity project and I’m worried that’s all it is.

Keep an eye out for a revolution in tv production over the next few weeks, the big broadcasters are looking for new ways to find their audiences and it’s right under their nose.

That’s enough metaverse for this week, I’m off to humbly brag about Nak3d. You can listen to selected articles whilst you do your thing via our spotify playlist and did you know that we’ve got a brand new fun 30 minutes called Metaverse Done Badly where we take the metaverse news of the week, add a total luddite to the mic and discuss.


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