DID you know that the term “metaverse” originated in the 1990s? The term was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans control programmable avatars to interact with each other and software agents in a three-dimensional virtual space.
Sounds familiar? Ironically, while a movie based on the novel has yet to be released, Ready Player One featured a game called the OASIS, a virtual world so compelling that people would rather “live” there than in reality. Contrary to what many believe, the metaverse isn’t just a single game, virtual space or entity created by Facebook—Meta—but rather a multitude of digital platforms that world builders hope can someday be stitched together to form a cohesive, interoperable whole.
But Facebook’s rebranding did make “metaverse” one of the buzzwords of the year and now the marketing industry seems to be obsessed with the metaverse, and brands are scrambling to establish their own virtual environments, sell digital collectibles, and stake their claim to the virtual world of the near future.
Last week, even the holiday celebrations have become part of the “metaverse,” so to speak, via non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
MetaverseGo in partnership with SM Megamall announced the availability of Astro NFTs via the first Christmas 3D Billboard in the Philippines. In the 3D show which you can watch on SM Megamall’s giant billboard until January 6, 2023, Santa Claus and his adorable little helpers Astro and Metmet ride across the metaverse, bringing gifts from Santa’s Mega In Space factory—including the Astro NFT.
Jake San Diego, MetaverseGo co-founder and chief business development officer, said the Astro NFT is the very first NFT execution of a mall in the Philippines. Astro NFT is an art collectible with an actual utility, allowing shoppers to own their first NFT, or add to their existing collection. Astro NFT is free with no spending requirement. To avail, all you have to do is scan the QR codes placed across establishments within SM Megamall to redeem your own Astro NFT. Astro NFT holders are entitled to a free spin per scan per unique establishment that entitles them to win gift certificates from Uniqlo, The Moment Group, Slimmers World, Plains and Prints, and Crocs. They are also entitled to a free 1-day Game Pass which they can use to play within the MetaverseGo app.
FENG SHUI IN THE METAVERSE?
WITH the popularity of NFTs, even feng shui is making its way to the metaverse. Feng Shui Queen Marites Allen is bringing one of the oldest beliefs to the future by incorporating augmented reality and NFTs into her wildly popular Chinese Zodiac books.
Marites partnered with Kaloscope, a new social-media platform, to introduce augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and extended reality (XR) experiences into her annual Feng Shui convention happening online this December 17 and 18, 2022, to help her followers prepare for the coming Year of the Water Rabbit.
Initially, Marites will be launching her Golden Zodiac books during the event. This set of 12 horoscope books comes with QR codes which, when scanned with mobile phones, will transform flat images of products into three-dimensional objects—the closest one can get to holding and feeling their animal signs. The horoscope books, feng shui planner and almanac are annually updated to include important indications for the Chinese New Year and how to use them as guides for prosperity and success during any given year.
“I realize that many Frigga followers have been collecting these references over the years, which is not surprising because each one contains valuable tips and insights that readers find very useful,” Marites said at a recent press conference.
“Now, ownership of these Golden Zodiac books will set the stage for launching a non-fungible token (NFT) collection that will soon include exclusive benefits or perks to owners or holders, including access to events, discounts in shops, or private consultations with Marites Allen.” Marites also shared the probability of further using AR to let shoppers try on her Frigga charms and Frigga fashion line without the need to visit her shops.
Internationally recognized for Feng Shui and Chinese astrology, Marites brings with her a wealth of training under various masters from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and China. Earlier this year, Marites became a member of the Philippine Women Innovators in Blockchain. Blockchain technology, along with AR and VR, plays a big role in the Metaverse as it allows the use of NFTs and cryptocurrencies to trade any virtual asset, while it keeps an enterprise well-managed and sustainable.
Also, at the presscon Marites shared some of her 2023 forecasts, declaring the coming year as “the year of letting go.” Marites explained that 2023 is the time to let go of things that no longer serve us and people who do not bring peace into our lives, though she did say that the center sector of 2023 has romance at its core. “This is the year that a lot of people who may have separated may reconcile. For some who may be delaying their weddings because of Covid, this may be the time to do it,” Marites explained.
Chinese astrology sources say that the ruling animal sign of each year has qualities that may have important indications for what’s in store for the entire year for different individuals, businesses, and even world affairs.
The Rabbit is seen as calm, gentle, quick and alert, and this animal sign has become a symbol of peace, prosperity, and longevity in Chinese culture. Thus, 2023 is also predicted to be a year of hope.
“Wholistic is the way to go in 2023 and beyond. With the adverse effects of the pandemic years still hovering around us, we need to be able to manage ourselves and our surroundings. With this awareness, we hope to inspire participants to use those feng shui indications to their advantage. So that, whatever challenges there may be, there will be reasons to jump for joy in 2023,” she concludes.
You can get tickets to the online event via www.frigga.com.ph or www.frigga.co.uk.