Tuesday Takeaway 19 April: Buckle up, the metaverse is calling 

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If you feel like living on earth is complicated enough, alt tab your way out of today’s Tuesday Takeaway tout de suite.  

You’re about to enter a world of funny looking ape figures, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and a virtual land boom in a place called The Sandbox.  

I personally just spent 20 minutes of my life discovering the joy that is ‘The Doggies’ (Snoop Dogg’s NFT collection comprising 10,000 programmatically generated Snoop Doggs, playable in The Sandbox) which I’m never going to get back… 

The Dogg is but one very visible brand blazing a trail in this thing called the metaverse many of you have seen pop up from time to time but are probably hoping will disappear into the cyberspace from whence it comes; the thought of investing US$300,000 for BitWine I cannot enjoy in the ‘real’ world is just a bridge too far right now.  

I imagine that’s how people talked about the Internet and social media in the Webs 1.0 and 2.0 eras, but here we are, and someone just paid US$450,000 to be Snoop Dogg’s ‘virtual’ neighbour so all us luddites are clearly missing a trick.  

In its simplest form, the metaverse is an “interconnected network of various real-time 3D virtual worlds which can be experienced simultaneously and persistently by an unlimited number of users all around the world”.  

You can engage with the 3D avatars of others in a more immersive way, meet, work, shop, and even earn money in worlds like Fortnite, Roblox, Decentraland and The Sandbox – all without having to lace up your takkies and walk out the door.

The appeal of ‘captive’ audiences in these virtual worlds has inspired brands like Adidas, Ferrari and Sony to set up their own experiences in the metaverse and expect many, many more to follow. 

Those of you whose children have had their nose in the gaming world for years are probably fully aware of the power of the society being built in the metaverse.  

The worlds your kids are engaging in couldn’t be further from the dystopian ones we see in films like The Matrix and Ready Player One; their reason for ‘playing’ less to do with escapism than indeed building social connection in a space that has as its base philosophy, decentralisation.  

The metaverse is becoming mainstream and is an extension of our physical world – no longer the preserve of anti-social teens gaming all weekend with the curtains closed.  

I say extension, not replacement because there are still things that will always be better in real life as Alex Perry so eloquently shares in this article: “6 ways the metaverse is trying but failing to replace real life”.  

Bar crawls minus the booze and fun is my personal favourite as Alex describes his incredible displeasure at the ‘lifeless’ virtual Miller Lite-branded metaverse bar in Decentraland because buying beer at a digital bar doesn’t magically put a real beer in your hands. I must agree Alex… this is sort of a big problem. 

Another thing that will always be better in real life is meaningful reconnection with industry friends and colleagues, and we were thrilled to have this opportunity this past week at both the SATSA Conference in Somerset West and a bumper Africa Travel Week.  

May as well give it up Zucks. There simply isn’t a metaverse you could build that would replace that.  

Mindful Musings

Tuesday Takeaway 19 April: Buckle up, the metaverse is calling  1

Marketing Musings

Selling travel to ancient Rome and beyond… 

It’s time for travel to enter the metaverse, says Skift, and the benefits for travel brands are clear: using VR to showcase a destination or travel experience is a no-brainer and allows travellers to virtually ‘see’ a place, which can ‘create the emotive drive to see it for real’.  

We are in the early adoption phase of the metaverse, so this is the time to start experimenting like Cape Town Tourism has with its virtual game, Find your Freedom.  

Are we going to build the slickest of virtual travel experiences and nail it first time? Unlikely – this is new ground for even the biggest of brands like Nike, Facebook and Microsoft, but it’s certainly an opportunity to evolve as the metaverse evolves. 

Tuesday Takeaway 19 April: Buckle up, the metaverse is calling  2

Who knows, as the author predicts, in the next five to 15 years, travellers really could be choosing whether to virtually travel to ‘destinations’ like ancient Rome… 

What the world was musing over this past week

Tuesday Takeaway 19 April: Buckle up, the metaverse is calling  3

Flood devastation in KwaZulu Natal 

Our hearts go out to the people of KZN this past week as severe floods and torrential rains have destroyed homes and infrastructure and claimed lives.  

Tuesday Takeaway 19 April: Buckle up, the metaverse is calling  4

WhatsApp upgrades for groups 

WhatsApp has launched “Communities”, a system to manage groups of groups under one umbrella and provide more power for group admins, like deleting messages.

Tuesday Takeaway 19 April: Buckle up, the metaverse is calling  5

Elon tries to buy Twitter 

Elon Musk has defended his offer to buy Twitter, saying that he wants to ensure it remains a “trusted platform for democracy” and he is not trying to make money from it.  

Tuesday Takeaway 19 April: Buckle up, the metaverse is calling  6

Baby, you can drive my car 

San Francisco police faced an unprecedented problem recently when an officer stopped a car that was driving at night with no headlights on, only to discover there was no one inside.