Into the Metaverse

Casimir Stone
January 25, 2022

Pictured above: a Metaverse ‘live rave’, shared with no apparent irony by entrepreneur Alex Moss to his 10k followers. The future is a beautiful place with boundless possibilities. It also does not exist, because we’re perpetually in the present. And, when those possibilities do arrive, they don’t always look as promised. Sometimes, we ask for a solution to global inequity and get pixelated argyle print pants instead. 

But any shaman worth her ayahuasca will tell you the key to peace is acceptance. So rather than raging against the blockchain, for once, I’d like to dedicate a few words to working with the lackluster state of our potent, laughable culture, circa 2022.

There’s an interesting theory floating around called ‘state of play‘ — all our beliefs, values, and cultural norms create the rules of our game of life. You believe in the original sin? Value basic decency? Don’t want to get doxxed on TikTok? Cool. You probably won’t go all American Pie on your Big Mac in the middle of a food court. You physically could. Perhaps you even want to. But you won’t, because it’s against your rules. It’s outside your state of play. The Internet has expanded almost everyone’s, in both major (Arab Spring) and minor (normalizing masochism for clout) ways. 

The Metaverse, then, is like an expansion set, complete with a whole new board. Even though it looks dully and somewhat depressingly similar to the old one — awful for the earth, run by capitalists, the aesthetic equivalent of a Brokencyde song — it is a new frontier with few rules set in place. A web3 state of play doesn’t exist yet. 

There’ve been attempts to define it, of course; cringe at best, cheese-grater-to-the-face-feeling at worst. (See the island nation DAO trying to abolish age of consent if you’re unsure.) But we can chalk it up to the current frontiersmen being all anarcho libertarians and lizard people, which has the unfortunate side effect of scaring off the demographics who could shape the landscape for the better. At the same time, there are some bright sides to the Metaverse’s state of play — racial diversity, rising gender balance, and a general sense of optimism and enthusiasm for the future of which the mainstream media is all but bereft. And while I could take or leave the live raves, I’d like to keep a little hope… even if it comes in breaker pants. 

So, r̶a̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶n̶  in addition to dunking on PFP projects, I’d urge you all to at least dip toes into some of these communities, no matter how ridiculous they all may seem. From the outside, you can fire off some one liners on Twitter for quick dopamine. From the inside, you can make new rules for the game, the one you and the rest of us are always playing.

And, in case you need a little help getting started, here are a few communities that aren’t out to sell you a racist generative PNG or legalize statutory:

  • RefractionDAO, a diverse and tight knit collective of artists working to build an equitable corner of the creator Metaverse. The Discord channel is open invite. 
  • Crypto Writers Discord, a welcoming hub of poets and artists, with a few web3 natives down to mansplain crypto basics to the n00bs. DM the founder to join.
  • Our very own Sn0bsDAO, because self-promo is and will always be our state of play. Also, we’ll like airdrop you an NFT, or whatever the cool kids do. 

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