This Week in the Metaverse (W46.2022)
The One Item from Yon - Tuvalu turns to metaverse as rising seas threaten existence; Latest on Into The Metaverse Podcast; Other News from Around the Metaverse
Welcome to Letters - commentary, analysis and ideas from Into The Metaverse.
The One Item from Yon - Tuvalu turns to metaverse as rising seas threaten existence
Latest on Into The Metaverse Podcast
Other News from Around the Metaverse
Let’s dig in!
(1) The One Item from Yon: Tuvalu turns to metaverse as rising seas threaten existence
At the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, the Foreign Minister of island country Tuvalu, Simon Kofe, told the summit’s participants that it was time to look at alternative solutions for his country's survival due to rising sea levels. These solutions include Tuvalu becoming the first digitized nation in the metaverse - an online realm that uses augmented and virtual reality (VR) to help users interact.
"Our land, our ocean, our culture are the most precious assets of our people and to keep them safe from harm, no matter what happens in the physical world, we will move them to the cloud," -Simon Kofe
As reported by Reuters, Tuvalu, a group of nine islands and 12,000 people halfway between Australia and Hawaii, has long been an example of the risks of climate change and rising sea levels. Tuvalu will be the first country to replicate itself in the metaverse but follows both the city of Seoul and the island nation of Barbados which last year said they would enter the metaverse to provide administrative and consular services, respectively.
Why It Matters
Tuvalu’s government has initiated efforts to ensure that not only its citizens will always have a connection to the state, its history and identity, but also to ensure that Tuvalu continues to be recognized internationally as a state and that its maritime boundaries, including resources within its waters, are maintained even if the islands are submerged. The aspect of what happens to the physical element of the state of Tuvalu and the nature of the relationship its citizens continues to have with the state is of great importance. The other interesting aspect is what will the purpose of the state be in the future when its physical presence is no longer the same, and its metaverse presence holds a longer term importance for a State <> Citizen connection.
The Internet is undoubtedly changing the role of the nation state and what it actually means to be a citizen while information flows mostly openly and at a large scale, online communities at times create deep connections between people in a way that even a nation state doesn’t necessarily create, and in many cases there is more in common between a millennials in certain countries than millennials in certain regions in the same country. The Nation State is going through major transformations caused not only by the emergence of the metaverse but also due to other technology advancements such as AI, as well as changes to geographic borders in the coming decades due to climate change.
The case of Tuvalu is but a nascent example of what nation states might be facing with in the decades ahead due to the potential implications of climate change but also technological advancements such as the metaverse and artificial intelligence.
(2) Latest on Into The Metaverse Podcast
We had a fantastic week on the podcast with two fascinating conversations:
Episode 31: Joost van Dreunen (Author & Entrepreneur) - Gaming’s Role in the Emerging Metaverse
Joost van Dreunen is an entrepreneur and author. He teaches the business of video games at NYU Stern School of Business and wrote a book called ONE UP: Creativity, Competition, and the Global Business of Video Games. He spent the last two decades as an industry analyst working with all of the major firms on strategy.
We cover in detail the growing role of gaming in helping to realize the metaverse and why “video games” are a key pillar in the paradigm shift of human experience on the Internet.
Listen also on: Spotify / Apple / Google / Anchor / YouTube
Episode 32: Marketing in the Metaverse with Candice Beck - Director of Social, Influencer and Web3 at Chipotle
As Director of Social and Influencer at Chipotle, Candice Beck drives the brand's strategic, rapidly growing social media marketing program. Candice strategizes first-to-market social and digital programs that drive brand buzz and amplify awareness for Chipotle's global campaigns.
My co-host Jane Bernhard and Candice covered in detail how Chipotle seeks to create authentic experiences that give consumers tangible value, the way Chipotle experiences within Roblox merge the physical and digital worlds, and the massive opportunities for brands in this new frontier.
Listen to the episode on: Spotify / Apple / Google / Anchor / YouTube
(3) Other news from around the metaverse
No, the metaverse is not dead – it’s inevitable (link). In this VentureBeat piece, Louis Rosenberg, an Into The Metaverse guest, makes the strong argument that the metaverse is not about NFTs → expand on this item with episode 30 of Into The Metaverse in which I cover with Louis in detail what is the metaverse and how can we build a non-exploitative virtual realm.
Ready Player Me's CEO Timmu Tõke on Meta's layoffs and policing the metaverse (link) → expand on this item with episode 27 of Into The Metaverse in which I cover with Timmu in detail why avatars will be a big deal in the metaverse.
Yahaha raises $40M more for its user-generated, low-code immersive gaming platform (link)
Charlotte Tilbury Pushes Deeper Into Metaverse With 3D Holiday Store (link)
Nike Will Let People Design and Sell Sneakers for the Metaverse (link)
The Generative AI Revolution in Games (link)
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