October 26, 2022
Etienne Kiefer is creative director at the Whatsapp marketing agency Charles from Berlin. For the NGO WWF, he designed a metaverse experience that aims to draw attention to the plastic crisis. A conversation about the differences between meta and metaverse and tools for creatives.
Facebook is investing 10 billion in development this year and is trying to appropriate the idea of the metaverse. It’s not that easy, right?
Metaverse is not a term that can easily define such a gigantic company. We have nothing to do with meta. The term metaverse is currently being defined by everyone together. Later there will probably be something like a Google for many metaverses.
How to define the metaverse independently of meta?
The Metaverse is a virtual space to meet people. The internet was a place of information. The social web made it possible for the user to help define the content. Now add the immersive experience. Immerse yourself in a real-looking digital world.
Internet mainly works through smartphones. What’s next?
There are new approaches to VR and AR glasses. Your mobile phone projects directly onto the glasses. That probably comes down to using the Metaverse.
Impressions of the WWF Metaverse
The Metaverse, like internet worlds of the past, will be critical for many brands to thrive. But do they understand how to properly use the metaverse?
Most metaverses don’t yet have that playful aspect that games bring. But they need it so people want to come back. Web 3 is exciting for brands because they can map everything related to their business on the internet. Gucci has a Metaverse with its own cryptocurrency. Every brand dreams of that! And imagine Lufthansa having a metaverse where you can talk to virtual flight attendants and order your menu. The virtual world needs to be connected to the real world for people to benefit from it.
However, your WWF Metaverse is not about selling products.
The new approach is “Play to Donate”. You can purchase digital collectibles that reside in the Metaverse and can be used there for interactions that increase the value of those collectibles. Similar to Play to Earn. These can then be traded as NFTs on marketplaces.
In World of Warcraft it was the other way around…
Yes, that was the ‘play to earn’ principle. You had to acquire a specific weapon in the game. You could then resell them for real money.
How do you actually build a metaverse?
I need some understanding of 3D games. The usual programs for this are the free Blender and Cinema 4D. Applications such as Unity or the Unreal Engine are then used to build a game from the 3D models. It’s kind of like Apple and Android. With Unreal you can build even more beautiful worlds. Unity is a great way to deliver experiences on mobile devices.