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The metaverse, the multiverse, and the end of your free time – The Verge

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In a decade, entertainment will try to be everything
It’s impossible to predict what the biggest movie will be in a decade. The same goes for games and music, even sports and social networks. Given the speed at which culture moves, it’s really anyone’s guess. Maybe superheroes will continue to reign supreme. Maybe in 10 years, frisbee golf will finally get its due and blow up on Vine 4.0. But there is one thing that could very well happen: the most popular movie, game, social network, and sport could actually be the same thing.
The idea of products that span different mediums isn’t new. There have always been licensed video games, and Marvel’s entire model involves putting stories about Captain America and Spider-Man in as many places as possible, whether it’s comic books or blockbuster movies or a new streaming series. But the last few years have given rise to a new kind of all-encompassing entertainment experience that tries to give you everything and demands all of your time in return. It’s a highlander mentality: in the eyes of the biggest entertainment companies, there can be only one. And right now, this comes in two forms. You’re either sucked into a multiverse, or you’re spending your life in a metaverse.
Often, this starts out as a video game. A little over a decade ago, Riot released League of Legends, a five-vs.-five strategy game set in a fantasy realm where players took control of various magical beings in an attempt to destroy the other team’s crystal. In many ways, it was just another multiplayer PC game, one that didn’t seem all that unique compared to Valve’s Dota 2.
Today, it’s something completely different. The game remains fundamentally the same, but everything around it has changed. There are League of Legends comic books and a Netflix series. The game has three virtual bands with albums you can stream on Spotify, ranging from metal to K-pop, and a character that started out as a virtual influencer on Instagram. Those bands have “performed” through the magic of AR and holograms while decked out in Louis Vuitton, at the annual League of Legends World Championship, an esports event with tens of millions of viewers and professional teams across the globe, each of which competes in their own regional leagues.
League of Legends is no longer a game — it’s a lifestyle.
The same could be said of Fortnite, which began life as a battle royale and now hosts movie festivals and concerts and copies any game that challenges its place on top. It’s one of the most popular hangouts for teenagers, to the point that developer Epic even added an area devoid of violence where you can virtually party. It’s the metaverse mentality: the idea is to create a game or virtual world that has everything you could ever want. Fortnite and League are stories and sports and social spaces and more.
Concepts like transmedia and virtual worlds have floated around for years, but they’re taking off now thanks to a mix of improved technology (Fortnite is a lot more fun than Second Life ever was) and proven success (when every Marvel movie makes $1 billion, everyone wants their own cinematic universe). Couple this with the pandemic, which saw entertainment and virtual communication skyrocket, and you have a huge shift in how we interact with each other and the stories we watch and play.
The success of these games and comics turned-all-consuming-entertainment-experiences has changed the way companies approach new ideas. Sure, standalone blockbuster movies still come out from time to time, and single-player video games haven’t completely disappeared. But they’re becoming increasingly rare. Everything competes with everything; it’s Netflix versus Fortnite versus TikTok. In order to stay relevant, you can’t be just one thing. When Krafton, the company behind PUBG, announced it was licensing the Korean fantasy novel The Bird That Drinks Tears, it didn’t reveal a game or a movie but rather plans for a multimedia franchise. One of the goals of Amazon’s game division is to come up with a property that can become a Prime Video series or movie. Netflix and Amazon are making games; Riot and Ubisoft are making TV shows. A Pokémon Unite esports league is likely to happen at some point. Facebook just rebranded its entire company around metaverse software that barely exists.
This is only going to get more pronounced. Companies are investing more and more into projects, thinking of them as genre- and medium-spanning franchises from the very beginning. You can’t listen to a modern media executive talk for more than a minute without hearing either “IP” or “metaverse.” This is great news if you happen to love Fortnite or Star Wars. But there are very obvious drawbacks, and they’re already happening. Disney’s blockbusters are pushing smaller and mid-tier films out of theaters. Netflix is suffering from content overload, making it hard to find all but the most popular titles. Live-service games have become so lucrative that large publishers are chasing the Fortnite high with their own never-ending titles. The problem is that when these things become so large and all-consuming, it doesn’t leave much room for anything else.
The way things are going, it doesn’t seem like these projects will get any smaller. Instead, their scale will likely grow to absurd proportions. You’ll go to see the trailer for the new Fortnite movie on a screen inside Fortnite, sipping an IRL can of Slurp Juice while your friend sits beside you and talks, looking like a deepfaked version of Peely. It’ll be a new kind of verse, where multi and meta combine, and free time is nonexistent.

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BlackRock digs further into crypto with metaverse ETF – FinanceFeeds

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BlackRock digs further into crypto with metaverse ETF  FinanceFeeds
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Money Laundering via Metaverse, DeFi, NFTs Targeted by EU Lawmakers’ Latest Draft – CoinDesk

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Lamina1 Presents Inaugural “Open Metaverse Conference” Connecting the Worlds of Blockchain and the Metaverse for a Next-Gen Internet – Business Wire

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Featuring a keynote from co-founder and futurist Neal Stephenson, the first-of-its-kind event aims to empower creators and coders to build the Open Metaverse together
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lamina1, a Layer 1 blockchain optimized for the Open Metaverse, today announced its role as founding sponsor of the Open Metaverse Conference, a first-of-its-kind industry event bringing together the worlds of the Metaverse and Web3 to build a more open and immersive Internet. The two-day conference will take place from February 8-9, 2023 in Los Angeles, California, and will gather experts and builders spanning Metaverse experiences, Web3, and entertainment.

Co-founded by Neal Stephenson, renowned futurist and science fiction author who originally coined the term “Metaverse,” and cryptocurrency pioneer Peter Vessenes, founder of the first VC-backed Bitcoin company, Lamina1 will provide the infrastructure to empower rapid expansion of the Open Metaverse. As the founding sponsor of the Open Metaverse Conference, Lamina1 will provide a forum for critical conversations around identity, privacy and interoperability, while exploring how audience engagement, creative storytelling, and the technicalities of blockchain can work hand-in-hand to make the vision of the Open Metaverse a reality.
The Open Metaverse Conference will feature keynotes from renowned technologists and storytellers who are pioneering visions for the next era of the Internet. Attendees will hear from Lamina1 co-founders Neal Stephenson and Peter Vessenes, as well as Philip Rosedale, founder of virtual world Second Life (Linden Lab) and co-founder of virtual platform High Fidelity, John Gaeta, Oscar-winning VFX pioneer (The Matrix) and CCO of character persona company Inworld AI, Cathy Hackl, Metaverse and Web3 strategist and founder of design consultancy Journey, and other industry crossover leaders to be announced. Keynote sessions will be complemented by diverse speakers and side events spanning games, art, entertainment, and commerce. To connect these key areas of culture with the technology that enables them, the Open Metaverse Conference will also facilitate technological deep dives for attendees from leaders in Web3, immersive computing, and technology standards groups. Presenting partners include the Metaverse Standards Forum, the Open Metaverse Interoperability Group, and the Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3), all organizations fostering interoperability.
“We are at a moment in time when developers, creatives, and producers can finally design the seamless and persistent experiences we’ve dreamed about,” said Jamil Moledina, Vice President of Games Partnerships and Media at Lamina1. “The Open Metaverse Conference will serve as the big tent for everyone who’s thinking about creating never-before-possible experiences that allow creators and consumers to enter unique virtual worlds on a level playing field.”
“OMA3 is pleased to collaborate with Lamina1 and the Open Metaverse Conference in promoting interoperability,” said Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands. “OMA3 looks forward to developing talk tracks to encourage the creation of a more open and immersive internet.”
The conference will encourage interdisciplinary dialogue through debates, pitch sessions, roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities to help drive new ideas and connections.
“We felt a real sense of urgency to facilitate discussion with our colleagues and creators across the spectrum,” said Rebecca Barkin, President of Lamina1. “We know that the Open Metaverse will be built collaboratively and with a set of shared values, and we’re happy to provide this forum to address the needs of the community and to solve big problems together.”
For more information on the Open Metaverse Conference, visit www.openmetaverseconf.com.
About Open Metaverse Conference 
The Open Metaverse Conference (OMC) is an industry-first event presented by Lamina1 focused on bringing together the Metaverse and blockchain technology. The conference gathers key stakeholders spanning developers, creatives, producers, product owners, and executives to ask and address big questions around the development of a truly Open Metaverse that leverages open-source, collaborative principles and blockchain decentralization.
About Lamina1 
Lamina1 is a Layer1 blockchain optimized for the Open Metaverse. The brainchild of legendary futurist Neal Stephenson (who first conceptualized the term “Metaverse” in his 1992 best-selling novel Snow Crash) and Peter Vessenes, a foundational leader in the crypto space from the early days of Bitcoin – Lamina1 is on a mission to deliver the blockchain technology, interoperating tools, and decentralized services that will establish it as the preferred destination for creators building a more immersive Internet. It is the first provably carbon-negative blockchain in the world.
K.C. Maas
Wachsman
kc.maas@wachsman.com
K.C. Maas
Wachsman
kc.maas@wachsman.com

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