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A Week In 18.10.2022

This week in starts with this new weird trend of everyone having an office in the metaverse. I would like to take full credit for it, but with companies like Sotheby’s opening galleries in the metaverse in 2020 and Sweden being the first-ever country to open an embassy in Second Life way back in 2007, it’s all a bit old hat. The FT doesn’t think so, and wants the world to know that if you want to do business, you should probably do it in the metaverse these days! Moreover, this space is driving up a deal of opportunistas in law and legal technology. From hot desking in The Sandbox to a conference room in Decentraland, the metaverse is the place to be - but is it?


Waiting to have your IP documentation checked over by a pro in London might leave you wanting as you wait to see them in January 2024 (it’s total f***ing Mexico in the Metaverse my dude), but on the flip side, it’s THE place to prospect and thrive. There’s none of this cold-calling malarkey anymore, no way, you are literally a teleport away from chillin’ in a hot tub in Festland, doin’ biz. Additionally, if you’re gonna espouse the wisdom of your law firm around a bunch of tech bros, you kind of have to know tech bro, right? But it's not just about sourcing new clients and new talent. It's about moving fast and breaking things before you pivot. I would say that if I was going to set up a virtual office (and yeah, I have one in Avakin Life) or a conference space, I would probably set up in rather than anywhere else. And the reason for that is that spatial has got fantastic video opportunities so you can do much more face-to-face and loads more PowerPoint, the types of it really are aimed at corporate rather than at this kind of end-user at large and also opening an office in the metaverse is the is only one way that law firms can embrace new technologies. Just my personal opinion.

In kind of dumb news, the Lowes show at Paris Fashion Week was something of a faux revolution, where digital fashion has crossed over to the in-real-life space - which we never really wanted in the first place. So now we're seeing pixelated hoodies, and T-shirts, and pants with shadows and edgy edges that no one asked for in the name of couture.

But here's the thing, it really doesn't take away from the fact that what these big fashion shows do is actually create waste.

Until they get their heads around the fact that all of these fancy glossy floors, these set designs, these incredible clothes, or this light pollution, and all of these people all in one place who have had to get private jets over to there is not taking away from the fact that the earth is dying, and climate change is pretty much more important than this real fake digital clothing nonsense, which is just literally becoming very incredibly boring. I'm sick to death of telling people that they've got to take care of the planet first before they take care of fashion. Play your games in Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week, or in Avakin Life, but please, stop being wasteful in this world. /Rant

Hey, remember when that guy was in that judiciary hearing or meeting, and he accidentally put a cat filter on his zoom and then couldn't get it off? And he was panicking like crazy on the call? Well, guess what? Now, this is a thing. It literally comes as a standard on Teams Premium (whatever that is), and I gotta be honest with you - this is why we can’t have nice things like the metaverse.

I just don't know how serious you can take people with their stupid cartoony moon faces when you try and have a conversation either with the local judge or discussing, you know, an entire firing process for a startup company where the CEO is only going to cry about the fact that he couldn't do more. Like the crying CEO, this is also just a load of crap, from a company that sees itself as being at the forefront of technology. Yeah, technology for my mum.

In a week where some game companies have decided that maybe they don't need an NFT strategy, I feel very inclined to agree with them. Look, NFT is not the alpha and omega of anything we’re doing in the metaverse. Neither is blockchain and nor is crypto. Web3 tools and enablers are just that. However, the loss leader is in the fact that most of these games companies don’t know how to make actual returns on their investment, let alone try to then make saleable NFTs too. Games cost money, a lot of money to make, and no amount of TCG/CCG/LCG-style NFT is gonna make you the next CD Projekt Red or Hasbro unless you are already, in which case, carry on. Also, you are not Nintendo.

But there are some kinds of companies that definitely do need some form of NFT or strategy to help them to make or monetize what it is that they've created, which isn't cheap, by the way, and try and recoup costs. NFT could be a way of doing that, but it's not for everybody. I'm personally not entirely sure it's for some of the biggest publishers in the world who already do something similar.

Additionally, I would say that a lot of game companies have massively shied away from the NFT boom because they simply don’t understand it, which is a real shame. In my career in games, I have always found that early concept art or level design is quickly confined to the great recycle bin: [insert your game studio here], never to be seen again. Such a waste! There's a great deal of really fantastic art that isn't being proliferated throughout our wallet collections worldwide as much as it should be. And, you know, eventually, like Earthworm Jim, those art styles will just end up being credited to the annals of a nostalgic past rather than staying golden. I would therefore call this snippet of news: Game Studios Can’t Be Arsed to Find Out What NFTs Are For.

My final piece of news is about the wonderful Ukraine via Vogue, who else? They have gone into the metaverse to support their country's burgeoning fashion empire. Slava Ukraini! Whilst my tired old mantra is about doing digital before physical, I feel my prayers are being half heard via The Dematerialised (aka DMAT), who have teamed up with 3 cool Ukrainian designers to translate their physical garments into NFTs.

This celebratory story is not without my side of beef though. Where are you going to wear this? Digital fashion houses (with little or no connective/games/software experience) are notorious for creating whales. These whales are high poly, walled garden items that have zero utility or interoperability. Something that's nice to look at is one thing, and yeah, that is a piece of art. But if it's fashion, and this project is, shouldn’t it be perfectly utilitarian too? You should want to WEAR digital fashion EVERYWHERE. DMAT is creating discoverability, yes I get that, but we have to push for interoperability and/or utility, otherwise, this ends up being a vanity point. I’m not sure how 2 .pngs and an .mp4 somehow make up the metaverse, but I’m willing to learn. DMAT is one of the better digital fashion companies that try really hard to create discovery rather than utility, and that’s ok for them. So, I’ll say some more mantras and a few more prayers and hope that my dreams of wearing Ienki Ienki, Gudu and Bevza in Zepeto will come true.

And that's enough mantraverse for one week back to!


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