August 22, 2022

Metaverse Highlights: Week of August 22, 2022

This week, the Metaverse continued to surprise and inform. The role cities are playing in the Metaverse reminds us of Richard Florida’s hypothesis on Creative Cities and  Michael Porter’s framing of clusters of expertise vis a vis cities of the futureFortune is predicting that the power of gaming in building teams and engaging individuals is rapidly becoming part of what makes a great workplace and Forbes emphasizes the team building opportunities associated with Metaverse spaces. A barrage of articles came out highlighting how marketing is being upended by the Metaverse (with a sample provided below). And finally, activity in the sports’ arenas continues to dominate the press, while real estate, tourism, and infrastructure-related news continue to draw attention.

Cities: Vladislav Boutenko, Richard Florida, and Julia Jacobson argue that The Metaverse Will Enhance — Not Replace — Companies’  or City’s  Physical Locations. Cities do matter and how they embrace the Metaverse matters, too. We are learning that cities can use the Metaverse to complement their location and maximize their strengths. Companies, in turn, have an opportunity to maximize the potential of megacities which have become centers of talent and innovation in the Metaverse. These authors highlight the strategies Dubai and Shanghai are launching – strategies that are aimed at attracting Metaverse-focused businesses and people. A battle for supremacy of the Metaverse is brewing among these same cities, and several others, who are all vying for leadership. Global cities highlighted in this Smart City article include Dubai, SIngapore, Shanghai, and Seoul.

Workplace: Fortune highlights how trends in gaming designed for shared virtual play spaces (to meet up, build worlds, battle on, buy virtual goods, dance off, and jam out) are migrating into the workplace. The article emphasizes how companies can embrace "work" in a variety of ways to build a sense of belonging and to foster a culture of connection, community, creativity, and productivity. This new approach to work  builds off of the gaming world and appeals to the Gen Z and Millennials who happen to be gamers.  In designing a hybrid workplace and building new values, it appears there is a lot to learn from the gaming world. The article concludes with a note emphasizing the importance of gaming to brands and to the creation of their virtual identities.

In its article, Forbes discusses the power of VR  in the hybrid environment and how the Metaverse is building teams and camaraderie with the whiteboarding of new ideas and the hosting of a “company headquarters” space that also serves as a digital analog to the office watercooler. The article also discusses  the power of the Metaverse inside an enterprise and its contribution to enhanced productivity, and not just for Gen Z.

Marketing: A slew of articles arguing that the rules of marketing are being changed and disrupted appeared in several media this week, including Ad Age,   AR Insider, Venture Beat, and Salesforce’s CMO. The arguments range from the power of brand influence in the Metaverse to the underlying components of trust that drive brand positioning.

Sports: The criticality of sports in the Metaverse is highlighted by Bloomberg in an article describing crypto currency as competing with automotive and beer in marketing to sports fans. Sportstechie wrote about student athletes receiving a cut of the NFTs being sold at Ohio State as part of the NIL arrangements. Golfweek revealed that Tiger Woods and Rory Mcilroy are putting together virtual tour events with the world’s top players to complement traditional, in-person golf tournaments. Sports Business Journal emphasized how the Minnesota Twins are experimenting with VR to build local engagement and community.

Music:  MTV Video awards have added a category for the best Metaverse Music.

Real Estate and Architecture: London-based Zaha Hadid Architects are moving architecture to the virtual world museums in Seoul highlighted.

Travel: Articles this week emphasized the way travel could utilize the Metaverse to enrich visits and broaden access in addition to enhancing destination marketing.

Infrastructure: A key determinant of the speed at which the Metaverse will move was in the news with articles touching a plethora of topics:

  • McKinsey’s interview with José María Álvarez-Pallete López, CEO of Telefonica emphasizes the criticality of delayering as telecoms really move from voice to data with Web3.

  • The Verge, wrote about the U.S. Treasury's action against the crypto mixer Tornado Cash who was arrested in the Netherlands and accused of "facilitating money laundering."

Job Market: The permanent jobs for Metaverse seems to have slowed while Gig jobs still seem plentiful.

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