Can you hold a Memorial Day celebration in the metaverse? Of course. Should you? That’s another question — and one with a lot of question marks.
In some ways, the metaverse is a perfect spot for such celebrations — particularly when some of the veterans being honored, such as those from the Second World War that ended 72 years ago, are reaching an age when a big parade can be difficult.
The technology, though still glitchy on occasion in blockchain-based metaverses like Decentraland and The Sandbox, can certainly handle it. The million-plus attendee concerts held in the massively multiplayer online game world Fortnite — which is morphing into a non-blockchain metaverse — last year prove that.
Whether you should is another story. For one thing, there’s an argument that those who fought for this country deserve having people show up in person, rather than the “immersive virtual realities” that at this point aren’t much more than a World of Warcraft (WoW)-style game world — that whole 3D experience either doesn’t truly exist yet, often being very clunky and basic.
For another, if you think trolls are bad online and in video games — there was WoW’s infamous Funeral Raid, when players holding a well-publicized celebration for another player who had died were attacked and wiped out — imagine it in a more immersive setting. Or, just read this probably-less-than-evenhanded report from last week about Meta’s Horizon Worlds pre-metaverse titled, “Metaverse: another cesspool of toxic content.”
That raises another, bigger question about the blockchain-based metaverse projects that claim they will be censorship-resistant: Can a shared virtual world designed for socializing, entertainment and commerce survive the behavior of people who can act without consequences?
The flip side of that, however, is the ability to gather safely for events like Pride Month for LGBTQ+ people who can’t always do so in real life.
The group People of Crypto has worked with blockchain-based metaverse The Sandbox to create a youth center called the Valley of Belonging, Cointelegraph reported. Decentraland, meanwhile, is debuting Metapride Land, with a June 11 Metaverse Pride celebration, the report added.
“This will offer a permanent safe space for the global LGBTQIA+ community to engage and meet other members around the world,” said Iara Dias, head of Metaverse Pride and senior producer at Decentraland. “Users will be able to access the space year-round, not just during Pride Month.”
Payments Arrive in Decentraland
While you have been able to pay for stuff in Decentraland for a while now, using its MANA native cryptocurrency, now you can learn about payments there.
French payments firm Worldline opened what it said is one of the first virtual showrooms of a payments industry firm in the metaverse.
Located in Decentraland’s Crypto Valley “neighborhood,” the project aims to “bridge the gap between the network of virtual worlds and the real world for eCommerce enterprises and provide its merchants with the opportunities needed to benefit fully from the incredible potential the Metaverse has to offer,” according to a press release.
Meanwhile, Brad Garlinghouse, the outspoken CEO of cross-border cryptocurrency payments firm Ripple, told Cointelegraph that the non-fungible token (NFT) space was “underhyped.”
While he acknowledged that there is “obviously a lot of hype in parts of the NFT market,” Garlinghouse argued that the non-fungible tokenization of assets doesn’t get attention it deserves.
Charting the Metaverse
South Korea may not have the most laissez-faire attitude towards crypto when it comes to regulation, but it’s betting big on the metaverse, CNBC reported on May 30.
The country’s Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technologies is pouring more than $177 million into a fund to encourage and support businesses in the fledgling metaverse industry. Its Minister, Lim Hyesook, called the metaverse “an uncharted digital continent.”
The fund is staring small, however, with Seoul’s metropolitan government planning to roll out a virtual world focused on accessing government services.