VR Writing, Writing for the Metaverse

How the Metaverse Makes Megaprofits

Roy’s Metaverse Convenience Store offered virtually everything imaginable. 711 GENIES was a small store, given that retail space in the metaverse shopping center was expensive. But it accommodated Roy’s avatar, A-Roy, and an imaginary near-naked genie. Roy had modeled her after his girlfriend’s sister.

“Where do I put my card?” The teen, dressed in body armor and peacock feathers, was leering at genie’s breasts.

“Here, let me.” A-Roy accepted the credit card. “Now, what do you wish for?”

“Thanks. Uh, I can wish for anything, right?”

“Literally, it has to be a thing. Any thing you wish for, the genie will summon.”

Looking around the store, the kid saw an offering of items based solely on his demographics and personal preferences. “I want a Glock 19.”

“No problem.” A-Roy handed the card to his sham genie, which immediately transferred real-world money from the bank account of the kid’s father into Roy’s own, minus various fees and taxes, and then placed a non-existent Glock into his customer’s hallucinated hands.

Wow. Thanks!”

This went on around the clock. People avatared in 24/7 to purchase make-believe things with real money, most of which went into Roy’s real account.

Roy used some of his real money to support his father in a rest home, which impressed his dad.

“Let me get this straight, son. You have a business that exists only in peoples’ minds. You sell them things that exist only in their minds. They pay you real money.”

Roy nodded. “I couldn’t make this up.”

end of story

So what?

I think a big question in writing is one of identity. Writers and readers define characters based on the character’s behavior. If they say one thing and do another, it’s what they do that defines them. Because that is how it works in reality. But in the metaverse there is no reality. Future writers will have fun dealing with how that affects character identity.

Writers can cash in…

Because selling books in the metaverse will be easy. Attend book fairs.
As usual, people will want books they can relate to, so stories about life in the metaverse will be popular.
The book fair will exist only in their minds, and you will sell them stories that exist only in their minds. But the latter is not so different from now, is it?
Besides, your book could be made into -not a movie, but- a metaverse adventure.

Lucasfilm has a useful slant on writing in the metaverse

The metaverse will feel alive once ‘storytelling’ becomes ‘storyliving’
“You’re in a world, making meaningful choices, and you’re driving the narrative forward.”
– Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge at ILMxLAB Lucasfilm
Star Wars is now a virtual reality experience.

P.S. The thirty million people who today play Blizzard Entertainment’s video game, Diablo Immortal, do purchase imaginary items to use in their imaginary world. In the first two months, the game earned Blizzard over 100 million dollars.
(I couldn’t make this up.)


55 thoughts on “How the Metaverse Makes Megaprofits

  1. Mimi,
    Imagine that you found a publisher who turned your books into tabletop books that people with homes in the metaverse could put on their imaginary coffee table, leaf through, read your stories, and wow at your drawings.
    I think Sly would become a must-have.

    Liked by 4 people

    • mimispeike says:

      Thanks, GD. I’ll comment later. I just bopped down to put the finishing touches on my next Showcase. I’ve been wrestling with it all week. I believe I finally have it in hand. Now back to bed for a while.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I love it GD, It’s actually very relatable.
    In the early ’90s I met my second husband. He was essentially a computer nerd for the Air Force. I learned about the Metaverse and the Internet from him. I also played a text based game with people from around the world (but mostly San Diego and Baltimore). Since then the gaming world has exploded with games like WoW (World of Warcraft) Final Fantasy etc. There was even a game for awhile, that essentially resembled your Metaverse, called Second Life. That platform allowed users to create homes, Fashion paradises and afford the corporate world a virtual meeting place for things like Board Meetings etc. Not sure what happened to Second Life … honestly, your post made me think of it again after all these years. At any rate, your story is reality. Your scene has likely been acted out across many platforms already.
    Indeed, I just picked up a new project last week helping a fried revitalize a text based MUD (Multi User Domain). He needed me for room description writing. Consequently, I’m learning the nerd, code writing as well. At age 57, I wonder if I have the braincells left for it! lol. At any rate I find the description writing for the “rooms” a lot of fun.
    Keep writing your Metaverse GD, I think I know where I am going to find Roy!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. MamaSquid says:

    I don’t know. Nothing about the metaverse appeals to me. Who, on their deathbed, is ever going to say “I wish I spent more time in VR?” I can’t even play MMOs because I don’t enjoy interacting with unkind strangers or being harassed. I assume the ‘verse will be a thousand times worse.

    Sometimes I think you’re entirely too optimistic about technology. Social media has been a disaster for humankind, I doubt 2.0 will go any better. But you’re absolutely right that the writers life will change even more. Maybe it will help with us introverted creative types and give us more opportunities. I suppose anything’s possible.

    Liked by 6 people

    • You are right about unkind strangers on the metaverse, of course, but since the people paying trillions to create it want their money back, my guess is that it will be unusually well policed.

      I do see bedridden people, shut-ins & the elderly on it. It’ll be a great way for them to escape into the wide world, see places they’ve not seen in years, spend time with their kids & grandkids, even visit places they wish they had.

      You are absolutely right about us being entirely too optimistic about technology. But people are complicated. New technologies are greeted with suspicion and yet I can’t think of any technological discovery we did not adopt.

      As for writing metaverse stories, the mind boggles. It’s too new for me to understand. But I can see horror stories taking place on the dark web of the metaverse. Me, I’ll stick with the light & happy.

      Liked by 6 people

  4. I’ve been Meta-averse, but I’m beginning to envision a real world with vastly improved air quality — leading to some increased hope for lessening effects of climate change — due to citizens of the wealthiest nations spending their lives indoors, working from home, ordering in, and spending their time and discretionary income in the metaverse. On a personal level, that scenario suits me just fine.

    Liked by 6 people

    • The changes will be -um, it’s hard for me to foresee, actually. Improved air quality 🙂 probably. The effects of 8 billion people on the planet may well diminish when 3 billion (that’s how many now play video games) or more of them go somnambulistic. Outdoor and sporting industries should take a hit. Less clothing sold, although maybe more pajamas. Automobiles? Too expensive. Cheaper to meta to work. Easier on the shoes, too. Public transportation could probably be replaced by rickshaws. There will always be manual labor available. The metaverse will require a double-digit IQ. Housing will be replaced by IKEA closet nooks. The postman will never ring. Mass shootings will cease. Crime will move online. Scammers & hackers will proliferate. Those caught will be banned from the ‘verse and forced to pull rickshaws for a living. Whew. Those are only physical changes. What about social mores, morality, government? And who’s gonna raise the kids -oh, wait. Sex will be virtual. nm. No kids. Too much real trouble anyway. Hmm, I see meta madness eventually ending on its own. T S Eliot may have been right.

      Liked by 4 people

      • But I think real life restaurants will thrive among the non-meta population as the hungry double digit IQ crowd orders pizza and wings. Maybe the occasional Thai delivery. Theatre goers will still patronize live theatre, because they’re more of a triple digit IQ crowd. I worry for the frail geriatric in nursing homes, though. Submersion in the metaverse may be too tempting to resist — and cheaper than medication. The administration will probably report VR activity as “therapy”.

        I think we should begin thinking of the potential of the metaverse diversion as self-culling of the herd. After all, 3 billion is less than half the world population.

        I can hear them whimpering already.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Perry Palin says:

        I’m trying to understand life in the Metaverse, and I am failing at it.

        Is there enough online work to employ 3/8ths of the population? The 3 billion people who are sitting at home, in their pajamas, with little exercise and no real contact with the outside world, are not producing anything real. And this is from someone who was paid a salary for many years for shuffling papers, drafting documents, and talking to people.

        I can see this as an entertainment medium but as a way of life? I am a backyard beekeeper. I suppose on the Metaverse I could pay someone for the VR experience of starting a couple of colonies in the spring, watching the bees on the trees and flowers, adding honey supers as the populations grow, treating for disease, and pulling the honey supers and extracting the honey at the end of the summer. Maybe I could experience the pain of several stings on the Metaverse. Now, the way I do it costs a little money too (most of my equipment has been amortized over several years), but I finished the summer with healthy exercise. a brick of wax and 150 pounds of honey. How can the Metaverse compete with that?

        Liked by 5 people

        • Perry,
          Start with work. Any work processing information (shuffling papers, drafting documents, and talking to people) can be done in virtual reality without real paper or commuting to work. People will work from home. No need for the expense of offices. Meaning, companies will use VR to save money.

          As a way of life? Who knows yet. But I can see beekeepers meeting one another in VR to exchange information. (VR is strictly information. No real bees.) And beekeepers will probably sell honey in VR stores. (Like selling things on Amazon now.)

          No actual fishing or riding horses in VR but people from all over the world will meet and share interests there.

          To discover VR, buy an Oculus headset or try one in a demonstration or just go to YouTube and search the word “metaverse.” Major corporations have put up videos explaining what they are doing and why you might want to visit them in VR.

          Me, I’m too lazy to “experience” much virtual reality. I prefer sitting quietly at my computer with a traditional video game and letting my imagination fill in the details. Which makes me think VR is artificial imagination. I’m a little uncomfortable inside someone else’s imagination.

          Liked by 4 people

          • Perry Palin says:

            I understand paperwork and administrative work being done online. I’ve done that. My point is, I don’t know how any real physical product or service can be produced and delivered to consumers in the Metaverse. And I don’t know if we have enough paper shuffling to gainfully employ 3/8ths of the world population.

            I don’t sell honey. I give it to family, friends, and neighbors. They say they like it. I can’t be a beekeeper in the Metaverse and have pails of real honey in my closet. I could give honey to my neighbor in the Metaverse and then have him come over in VR and plow my driveway after a blizzard. But in the real world, he has no honey, and my driveway is still under a foot of snow.

            I admit I play a computer game or two myself sometimes. But I’d rather ride a horse, fish for trout, or keep bees for real, and get a little exercise in the process, than buy a VR experience for the entertainment value and end the day with only a shorter bank balance to show for it.

            Liked by 5 people

            • I don’t believe any real thing can be produced in the metaverse. (Now, anyway.) But anything that can be ordered online can be ordered in the metaverse. Services that are information can be rendered there. Like legal consultation. Employment? I have no idea.
              Oh well, it will be interesting.

              Liked by 3 people

              • There are those 3D printers… I understand you can produce actual houses with those. I know a few years back my union represented machinists arguing the printer work was their scope of work… not sure how it turned out but I think they won their grievance.

                Liked by 4 people

            • I agree with you, Perry, that the real world is far more satisfying and productive for most people than the Metaverse’s potentials may ever be. I don’t think GD is suggesting that we can accomplish real things like beekeeping and snow plowing in the Metaverse, but any real work you can do online could also be done in the Metaverse — maybe even ordering and delivering honey or legal services or snowplowing services from real companies that create a presence in the Metaverse.

              Maybe the point is that people who spend time and real money on nothing real in the Metaverse probably would prefer to obtain their real needs online as well.

              Liked by 3 people

  5. mimispeike says:

    I continue to fail to see the charm of the Metaverse. Like I never saw the charm of video games. Maybe I’ll figure it out, maybe I won’t.

    Paying real money for a virtual product? You’re buying an experience. I guess. Am I on the right track? How is this better than just imagining, for free?

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Here’s my take on the so-called “Meta-verse”: It will always ever be a gimmicky experience, albeit–at times–a very intense, engrossing experience.

    The first thing I want to note is that, by and large, the average person hates working in VR: https://kotaku.com/vr-metaverse-working-virtual-reality-stress-productivit-1849072819

    Having said that, however, I certainly can see its attraction for paradigm-shifting gaming, faux-presence at sports & concert events (front row seat!), touring museums and other cultural institutions/sites (no crowds!), career/vocational training and (excuse me, but it must be said) porn.

    I am waiting for the churches/temples to become involved. Imagine how powerful a guided meditation/prayer session could be with your favorite saint? (Assuming, for this example, you are a devout, practicing Roman Catholic.) Perhaps one walks into a profusely flowered garden at sunrise to encounter a bald-headed, brown-robed saint sitting on a stone bench beside a pond fed by a softly burbling waterfall. The saint rises and greets you. You stroll together down crushed-bark garden paths to an ivy-covered prayer chapel and enter its stained-glass, statue-filled interior to a swell of music. The saint gestures to a stack of crimson-cushions arrayed on the marble floor before the altar. He intones: “Let us pray . . .” Afterward you reverse course back down the garden paths to the stone bench. You sit down beside the saint, who recites a Bible verse and inspirational color commentary regarding said verse. Perhaps a brief question-and-answer session follows.

    I can see a permanent place for VR in our lives, but I suspect it will in no way be ubiquitous, all-consuming or ever-intrusive. It couldn’t be. We would no longer be human.

    Concluding on a ruder, more prosaic and cynically honest note: People hate attaching shit to their faces . . .

    Liked by 5 people

    • And people being creative will find a way to ingest a pill that gets them there and creative hackers will find away to turn that idyllic saint to A. A spawn of hell or B. A joke about a priest, a rabbi and a bar…
      For the most altruistic and Pollyanna…. The metaverse is a beautiful place, then you get those like our boy Roy who wants to leverage a few bucks…
      Perhaps this is my cynic, but what ever cool neat thing one human devises, there are five more that are plotting how to manipulate the thing.

      Liked by 5 people

      • @Sandy: Sadly, yes. Crassness and poor taste shalt abound. I am troubled by the accounts of women who have reported being sexually assaulted in cyberspace, despite the many safeguards put in place to prevent just such an occurrence. Then there is the lurid iconography and avariciousness of the commercial/Madison Ave. impulse, which is more invested in pitching product to its audience then in educating or enlightening them.

        I am certain of only one thing: VR will take its place alongside other media such as books, radio, television and film as a tool: nothing more, nothing less. What the artist does with it will, I suspect, be as richly variegated and startlingly different in tone and content as the product produced for the aforementioned other types of media. Buyer beware!

        Liked by 6 people

  7. It just occurred to me, that in the world-wide metaverse, Nationalism may diminish. For the first time in human history, people from all over the world will be mucking about together. Socializing with a North Korean, an Egyptian, and anybody from a major refugee camp would empathize things we all have in common.

    Liked by 4 people

    • victoracquista says:

      For some. For others it will provide an opportunity to virtually arm themselves, oppress, blow things up, and live out fantasies of power, control, and abuse. Not unlike the real world when you think of it. Can’t have a real-world slave–buy one at Roy’s.
      It’ a slippery slope, GD. I think we’ll see a combination of good and bad (I acknowledge these are relative terms of judgement) in the metaverse.

      Liked by 5 people

  8. mimispeike says:

    I can see this used to great effect by the so-called ‘love rats’ – the men who convince never-met women they’re in love with you and, by the way, they’re in a financial jam, can you lend them ten-thousand dollars?

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I’m meta-sorry for all this.

    We mathematicos and coderati debated and argued about this mess decades ago. But then corporations paid good money to create infrastructures of numerical nothingness. And our meaningless nothing shoved paper pushing millions into Starbucks’ service, pouring coffee for more void-making elite.

    The meta-worrisome zero-sum cycles grew, one onion layer at a time, as the hidden mammoth machines shrank into ubiquitous view. Everyone has one now. Yet how ironic to forge limitless vapidity in miniature. We crushed Moore’s law to its limit, where circuit density crashed into reality (known as the square potential barrier). But physical laws escape their subatomic bonds, where quantum spin connects an infinite galactic calculator to divide the never-ending by the ever-infinitesimal.

    And so, the revolution continues, easily created, copied, spawned, purged, and destroyed. That is until the power goes out.

    Liked by 5 people

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