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.
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
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.)