The next generation of web technologies, collectively known as Web3, including blockchain, smart contracts and artificial intelligence, will allow people to connect directly with each other without having to become a corporate customer. This is primarily experienced in the virtual world, also known as the Metaverse. For next-generation interactions in the Metaverse to be popular and effective, people must be able to establish emotional connections with each other and with their own digital selves. It is realized by an avatar, a digital representation of oneself in a virtual world. Why is this emotional connection important? Is your ideal avatar a representation of your actual image, or an act of escapism? What is the avatar’s role in remote work, branding, social interaction, and education?
In a class of experienced and ambitious master’s students, I was leading the exploration of business opportunities in the virtual world.we started with Decentralandis a metaverse based on open-source software that uses blockchain and smart contracts, allowing participants to buy and sell services, virtual accessories, and virtual real estate using their own cryptocurrencies. It seemed like the perfect place to start this adventure, as it’s accessible in a two-dimensional format through a computer without the need for a VR headset or a fast computer, and it’s not owned by any particular company or code. rice field.
The concept was solid. My lesson plan was weak. The class progressed poorly. Many students concluded that the virtual world was a trivial game, inferior to most modern multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. This virtual world pales in comparison to children’s games like Roblox and Minecraft.
input Camila BrossaShe is a former (better) student of mine and is now a program manager at Web3, a California company that provides tools for creating avatars. Her visit to my classroom and her introduction to Avatar changed everyone’s mind and convinced my students (and me) that the virtual world is neither trivial nor inferior. She made two important points. The first is that the virtual world is not yet ready for prime time. They need several years to mature to a level of experience acceptable to most visitors.
Camila’s second point wasn’t about business, it was about humanity. It takes more than communication and fruitful deals for people to consider spending time in virtual worlds. They expect emotional connections with other people. This is the role of an individual’s avatar, a digital representation of a self-selected identity. (Camilla’s company is only referenced at the end of this article to ensure the reader that this article is objective, but not an advertisement, for the role of avatars in virtual worlds.)
Digital avatars are nothing new. Gamers have used it in video games for decades. If we define an avatar as a digital representation of one’s identity, selfies edited using filters and touch-ups available on every smartphone are the first generation of avatars. Second-generation avatars deliberately morphed images to express emotions. For example, someone expressing grief over a recent life event sent a “picture” of themselves crying over a pile of tissues with a wreath of cartoon birds circling their head. To do. Generation 3 avatars are simplified self-images using a wide variety of skin tones and clothing. It moves semi-realistically, but only with one speed and one expression of her. (The image on the right is my amateurish avatar.)
You can see a 4th generation avatar with more elegant and realistic movements and fashions.The image at the top of this article is Camilla’s avatar.
In extreme cases, avatar creation can take one of two approaches. On the one hand, an avatar can be a tool for communicating a digital, ultra-personalized, realistic representation of someone’s self that matches their IRL (real world) self. According to a survey conducted by the Institute of Digital Fashion, more than half of his 6,000 interviewees expressed a desire to have their avatars fully represent themselves in the real world. Most avatar tools enable his non-binary gender options, religious clothing, inclusive skin tone and body type, and even tools to overcome physical challenges such as crutches and wheelchairs.
Avatars, on the other hand, are completely fictional characters and bear no resemblance to real people. for example, Michela is a CG character created in 2016, currently has 2.8 million followers and is the first virtual influencer.she is one time magazine’s Voted one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet, he earns about $9 million a year.
Similarly, Lu do Magalu has 47 MM followers and is known among Brazilian audiences for her kindness and innocence. K/DA and Pol Songs are virtual girlfriend singers who have released multiple successful albums and collaborated with global brands such as Adidas. Noonoouri is a 19-year-old digital activist who has participated in several fashion events as a Louis Vuitton model.
This fiction has several advantages. First, it reflects the external appearance of a person who sees himself in an idyllic dream. Second, you will be able to experience the dialogue in someone else’s shoes. In the real world, I am a white, middle-aged American male who prefers navy suits. At DecentraLand, my first avatar was a young Asian woman in fancy polka dots (see image to the right). Third, avatars can be instantly changed to suit a person’s mood, situation, or ambitions.
One of the most useful applications of avatars is connecting people emotionally and intellectually to each other and to products and services in virtual worlds. Several fashion brands have opened digital stores.For example, Nike built Nikelandthe virtual sportswear space in Roblox’s metaverse, bloomingdale Digitally immersive store opens in virtual world launched by Emperia and Adidas virtual gear, the first digital collection of virtual worlds. These stores allow users to try on virtual apparel, personalize it, and purchase both digital and physical versions. Food and beverage companies can view their entire supply chain as a virtual experience, from raw material origin and harvesting to final product processing and packaging. Imagine an immersive virtual journey through Colombia, where coffee beans go from field to market to roaster to cup. Avatars can interact and listen to employees in the value chain, obtain evidence of sustainable processing through embedded smart contracts, and ultimately click. About “Add to Cart”.
Avatars also enhance the remote worker experience, allowing them to express their identity in the virtual office, interact with their colleagues’ avatars, and feel a greater sense of belonging to the company. The current zoom screen (whether live or static) faced by teammates could become a virtual kitchen with its own virtual water cooler.
Social interaction will see a whole new way of hanging out with friends and meeting new people. For one thing, online dating takes on a whole new meaning, allowing users’ avatars to spend time and get to know strangers virtually while increasing user safety. Communities can interact and exchange ideas about politics, climate change, music, or fashion. This is the dawn of a new wave of globalization.
As a final example, in some parts of the world education is inaccessible, very expensive and even prohibited. Virtual worlds can overcome most of these barriers for those with high-speed internet connections. The potential for skill-based, immersive online education is just around the corner.
These examples are indeed utopian. Avatars in virtual worlds could also take a much darker path. Fortunately, Web3 technology allows users to enter and exit dangerous environments anonymously and instantly. The real world and today’s Internet have shadows. The metaverse is no exception.but those people
The next few years will see a rapid acceleration in the adoption and potential of virtual worlds. Experts like Camilla Brossa and her company, who contributed many of the lessons and examples in this article, genieProvides tools for creating avatars.