Reggie continues to make the rounds promoting his book Disrupting the Game, now three months old as his press tour treads on. And while in his latest spin with Inverse he talked a bit about accessibility and some other important topics, he spent much more time asking us all to really, truly, think about giving this metaverse thing a shot.
“I believe the true metaverse will have a common currency and common development infrastructure. It will be highly social in a way that’s digital but also allows you to interact with your real-life friends and real-life experiences,” says Reggie. “That’s the way I define the metaverse, and I’m a believer in that vision.”
Now, before you @ him on Twitter linking that one Dan Olson video, Reggie’s vision of the metaverse isn’t different from, say, Mark Zuckerberg’s. He seeks expansion and connection for game worlds like Roblox and Fortnite that already act as a sort of hybrid between games and social platforms. In his opinion, people overuse the label “metaverse” itself, comparing it to the time in the ’90s when people overused the term “internet” because they didn’t yet understand it. And he believes that companies in the industry need to be open-minded about new technologies to capitalize on it.
He extends his cautious idealism not just to the concept of a virtual metaverse, but to the blockchain and NFT technologies that have been so controversial over the past couple of years. “I am a believer in blockchain technology, and what it can potentially unlock in terms of keeping your content attached to you versus attached to the software or platform,” he says. “As a way to have content that I own, and that represents some sort of badge value, I think NFTs can be very interesting.” He does note, however, that these technologies need to be baked into the game design from the start rather than slapped on haphazardly post-hoc. He ends his discussion of the topic by noting that the poles of the game industry are shifting, naming China in particular as a place innovating in such technologies.
I’ll refrain from editorializing much. Reggie’s just one guy with his own sensibilities, and this isn’t even the first time he’s gone on the record stating he’s interested in these possibilities for the gaming sphere. But I will note that he doesn’t explicitly outline how he envisions blockchain or NFT integration in a game, or that he has a specific idea of how a platform could develop into a metaverse he envisions. Not that it’s his job to do that, per se, but his words come across as more vague optimism than a truly considerate plan. And it’s unlikely that such nebulous hope will inspire those deadset against blockchains and the like to give it a shot.
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