In the history of mankind, the tie-in between the economic, virtual, and material worlds have evolved, and they became increasingly intertwined. The gadgets we use every day give us keys to nearly anything we like or want and are just one click away. In futurism and science fiction, the Metaverse is a theoretical understanding of the Internet as a single, versatile, and immersive virtual world boosted by the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets. In everyday use, a Metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connections.

“The Metaverse, it turns out, is less cryptographic origami and more high-tech medical exam,” tweeted Vytas Jankauskas, an artist, designer, and researcher interested in how emerging technologies inhabit and shape our domestic mundane (@veetautas, Twitter). The Metaverse is possibly the subsequent, next-level boundary in social connection. It is being built with ingenious ideas, and functional applications are being developed every day by all sorts of creative people.

Now let us dive into a simple explanation of the Metaverse itself.

It is a vision of an online, 3D, virtual area for uniting users in all aspects of life. The Metaverse connects multiple platforms, similar to getting different websites available via a single browser. Neal Stephenson created the concept of the Metaverse in the science-fiction best-seller “Snow Crash”, where the word “Metaverse” was first used. Nevertheless, although the concept of a Metaverse was just fiction in the past, it is now becoming the wonderland we are going to live in in the near future. With augmented reality as the guide for the Metaverse, users will have avatars and personalities to express themselves through, which signifies that we have reached a new level of communication where users can interact with each other and create virtual communities based on their 3D interpretations.

Attraction to the idea of the Metaverse spiked up in 2021-2022, prompted partly by Facebook, after its decision to rebrand itself as “Meta”. The early 2020’s technological advancements and social conversions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed the expansion of the Metaverse into the spotlight, leading to tens of billions of dollars in investments and nudging predictions that the Metaverse is “the tomorrow of the internet” or “the next battlefield of the internet”. Multiple industries can use the Metaverse to make their services better and become more productive. These include gaming, social media, digital marketing, e-commerce, education, sports, fitness, health, digital art, NFTs, virtual fashion, and entertainment – TV shows, movies, concerts, etc.

“Metaverse” is not now, it is tomorrow. However, big companies and brands have already started the race for hegemony in the business sphere of the Metaverse. The latest news about Nike sales in the Metaverse demonstrates how the well-knitted marketing strategy can lead your sales to the top even if you sell virtual items at virtual stores and spaces. With over $200 million in revenue, Nike is currently leading sales in the Metaverse, leaving behind such brands as Dolce & Gabbana, Adidas, etc. Other famous brands, such as Balmain, started collaborating with 3D specialists and experienced graphic designers to prepare outstanding products ready to be sold on the Metaverse platform.

Qualified graphic designers and 3D specialists currently have higher demand than ever in the fast-growing and transforming digital world. At the same time, cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens will take over the economies of countries and easily adapt to the new realms of the Metaverse. A non-fungible token (NFT) is a record on a blockchain, which is related to an individual digital or material asset. The property right on an NFT is registered in the blockchain and can be transmitted by the owner, permitting NFTs to be marketed and sold. Being a digital investment, an NFT can come in several forms, e.g. art, items for games, music, tapes, and more. They can be bought and sold online, often with cryptocurrency. Even though they’ve existed since 2014, NFTs are achieving fame now because they are evolving into an increasingly widespread way to purchase and trade digital works of art. The market for NFTs was worth a staggering $41 billion in 2021 only, an amount that is hovering around the whole value of the complete global fine art market.

An NFT is produced, or “stamped”, from digital entities that represent both tangible and intangible objects like graphic art, GIFs, videos, sports highlights, collectibles, virtual avatars and game skins, designer goods, music, etc. Digital art is encountering new challenges that will bring digital assets on top of the marketing campaigns with the assistance of NFTs.

Armenia keeps up with the trends and has already gained popularity and success in the NFT world. In December 2021, the producers of the Armenian ten-episode satirical comedy series Musk Factor depicting the startup life and the colonization of Mars sold an NFT for approximately $8,000. I had the honor to have a discussion with the film’s general producer Rafael Tadevosyan

– Mr. Tadevosyan, tell us a bit about your dabs with NFTs.

– Our first work in the field of NFT was dedicated to NFTs itself where we portrayed Mona Lisa being replaced with an NFT in the Louvre. Now we are shooting a TV series that takes place in the future, where Crypto is a major part of it. We even started our own line of fan art and to our surprise, we received coverage from worldwide media, with plenty of shoutouts about our work.

– What is the purpose of the Musk Factor?

– Musk Factor introduces people to the marvels of modern technology through various art mediums. Using our creative projects, we can show audiences how technology can be sexy and easy to use.

What inspires you and your team in work and creation?

– The world’s biggest developments, including the ones that scare the public, that’s our source of inspiration.

– Tell us a memorable moment of the process, a challenging one.

– Pitching our show to Netflix.

– When did you first hear about NFTs and what inspired you to create them?

– In January, we understood that NFTs are like toy boxes for rich people. So if rich people have the desire to play around with this new toy, we’re ready to create these toys for them.

– Give us your thoughts on how NFTs have changed the world.

– We look at NFTs as a good tool for promoting art. NFTs have to advance alongside crypto, as they are a great stimulant for artists who have trouble promoting their work. With NFTs, they can do this with ease. NFTs haven’t changed the world yet, but are currently in the process of doing so. Currently, we’re creating our Metaverse, which is based on the Codism ideology, and all our NFTs are going to be hosted on our Metaverse. Any owner of our NFTs will be able to use them in the Metaverse. And as the Metaverse expands, so will NFTs. So basically, your NFTs will be the items that you will be able to use in the Metaverse. They are interconnected.

– Tell us about your achievements in your contribution.

– I am proud of the coverage our projects have received. Worldwide news outlets have covered our comic books, NFTs, and TV series projects. We also consider each purchase of our NFTs to be a huge achievement, as it tells us that there are people who believe in what we are doing and would like to see our projects come to fruition. This is important to us because if others see how we succeed on a global scale, they’ll also be inspired to create their own projects.

– What final thoughts would you like to share with our readers?

– Our Codism ideology is a religious ideology that believes that God is a coder and that we live in a simulation. Typically, any time the concept of living in a simulation is considered, it’s always in a negative light. But we wish to promote the advantages of the mindset that you are a part of a simulation. This means that by analyzing the world around you and breaking it down as you would with any other code, you can use this mindset to achieve greater things, whether it is in your own life or for all of humankind.

The success and ongoing growth of this Armenian company are inspiring for people working in the digital world, and we will continue watching the actions taken by Musk Factor to get to the top of the NFT world. 

Lastly, I would like to point out that just like jazz music and dance styles in the early 20s that quickly gained nationwide popularity in the US and conquered the world, NFTs and the Metaverse are now mainstreaming digital products that combine all genres of lifestyles, interests, and businesses in one. In the process of creating a bio-digital jazz future, they leave us right at the cusp of crossing the Rubicon of the digitized world. 

This is not Alice in Wonderland, but a Musk Factor NFT

Samuel Alexanian

Virtual Ambassador

Deem Communications

DeeMmag, December 2022