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.
https://www.oculus.com/star-wars-tales-from-the-galaxys-edge/

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.)
https://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-immortal-hits-30-million-players-estimated-to-have-raked-in-over-dollar100-million/

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VR Writing, world-building, writing technique

Writing for the METAverse

PHOTO: Buzz Aldrin walking on Mars. Virtually, of course.
https://www.space.com/32563-how-buzz-aldrin-took-a-virtual-walk-on-mars.html

The METAverse is coming. You know, totally immersive virtual worlds; computer-simulated environments populated by people who simultaneously communicate with others and participate in shared activities. They are working and shopping and vacationing, all without leaving home.

The METAverse is the world as you wish it to be. Pour yourself a real drink and you can drink it while sitting on a beach, or in a bar with friends or, hell, on Mars if you wish. Instantly. That’s how long it takes to go anywhere in VR.

I can imagine sitting at a table outside the Café de Flore, at the corner of boulevard Saint Germain and rue Saint Benoit, Paris, with people from the Writers Co-op. We talk about writing virtual reality stories for this new ‘verse. The problem is we have to write stories where we do not control all of the characters because every “reader” enters our story as a character. (Wrap your head around that!)

It’s simple, really. The story just has to move forward only when a user (aka reader) does or says the right thing. We are creating the story, but not all of the characters. (And we’re not doing the programming. Programmers do that, based on the story created by the writer.)

Here’s some tips from those currently writing for VR.

“In VR, the space is the story. Spaces are pregnant with sensory detail, ideas, behaviors, and narrative possibility—your job is to put that all to use. We encourage you to think less about generalized “realism” and more about specificity of vision, manifested in space. We can’t express this enough: the space is as (if not more) important than your plot and characters. While composing your story, think about the ways you can build environments capable of making the viewer imagine stories of their own—even without any other human beings in the picture.”
Writing for VR: The Definitive Guide to VR Storytelling
https://vrscout.com/news/writing-vr-definitive-guide-vr-storytelling/

“In VR, you can’t just talk at your user. Well, you could, but that’s not especially exciting and they can probably get that level of experience from a bog-standard YouTube video.
So, you need to think more carefully about the different ways you can tell your story – and how to guide them around it. In a 360-degree experience, you can’t guarantee that your user is going to be looking in the right direction. In fact, you can almost guarantee they won’t be, unless you point them to it.”
How are you communicating with the user?
https://radix-communications.com/virtual-reality-script-writing/

Example:
The following story changes as you read it. It’s interactive. Try it to see how environment and choice are used in VR stories.
“Trapped & Transformed in Virtual Reality”
https://www.writing.com/main/interactive-story/item_id/1930286-Trapped–Transformed-in-Virtual-Reality

The METAverse will not replace books any more than did the movies. But now may be the time to make a name for yourself by being one of the early writers in a new medium. Me? I’ll just settle into a seat at the Café de Flore and read a good book.

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