It typically starts like this: You are at a party and someone asks you if you want to try it. You’re not sure. You’ve heard a lot about it and people say you feel awesome and in a totally different world, but you also remember the words of advice from your parents: Be careful! And never give in to peer pressure!
But that’s easier said than done right? So you end up saying to yourself that you’ll only do it one time. To see what it is like.
But here you are. Not only did you try it out at a friends party, you were so blown away by the other-worldly experience that you got all the necessary equipment to make such trips again and again. In the comfort of your own home.
We’re no talking about illegal (or legal) substances, but about Somnium Space, the open and persistent virtual reality world, which is so addictive that it will hold your brain hostage. But it’s a positive addiction, one that you do not want to quit. No matter what your mom says!
5 reasons why you can’t stop
Somnium is an adventure
Some of my fondest childhood memories are when my brother and I went on adventures and got lost. Not ‘I can’t find my way home’ lost, but lost in the moment, lost in our imaginations. During summer time. It was when we imagined we were soldiers or pirates or space travelers. When we went exploring and roamed the lush green meadows of the Dutch countryside in the warm, bright summer sun. Or when we sailed its lakes and canals in our tiny boat, conquering islands too small for even a single house, pretending they had to be defended against evil villains.
I believe children need adventure, away from the supervision and prying eyes of grown-ups. Insulating them from any harm or danger doesn’t do them any good, doesn’t prepare them for the realities of life. Life is full of obstacles, dangers and mysteries and to overcome, face and unravel them, to discover what is behind life’s many doors, one has to explore and take risks.
For many of us, the sense of adventure slowly seeps away as we get older. Is it because we have opened all doors? Or is it because we have barricaded ourselves behind predictable, routine-filled lives, driven by our desire for stability, certainty and security? Are we too burdened with responsibilities?
Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing – Denis Waitley
But what happened to living life to the fullest? Where are those daring adventures from our childhood? What about our curiosity?
Somnium Space feels like an adventure and this is one of its main attractions as far as I am concerned. It appeals to that little boy in me, the pirate, the space traveler. I recognize the excitement that I felt when discovering something new. That’s the surprising power of virtual reality in general and Somnium Space in particular. It’s uncharted territory, a wonderland of experiences, magical buildings and friendly people, ready to be explored. I am not the only one who feels like that. There’s even a Somnium Explorer Club, for explorers and thrill seekers alike, for grown-ups who want to (re)discover their inner adventurer.
Somnium is real
One of the misconceptions is that VR is not real. At least that is what some people say to me. I usually ask them to clarify what they mean with that, because VR is definitely not fiction. It is not something I imagine and only exists in the depths of my mind. I have plenty of (virtual) photographs to show for example.
Well it is fake, they argue, a fantasy world without any relevancy for the real world. What they really mean, I believe, is that they don’t understand it.
I’ve had similar comments when I was composing electronic music, quite some years back. For some people that couldn’t be real music as it wasn’t produced by a ‘real instrument’. Yet when they listened to it they often used words like ‘beautiful’ or ‘moving’. Nowadays, electronic sounds are an integral part of music.
Somnium Space doesn’t have the physical manifestation like the tree in your backyard. But neither does the money on your bank account. Yet no one would argue that it is fake, non-relevant money.
Somnium Space is real because when you are in-world you have a deep sense of connection to your virtual surroundings and everything that happens inside of it. It affects you emotionally. You remember moments in virtual space the same way as you remember experiences outside of it. Also, Somnium Space is real because it is a platform where you meet real people, have real interactions, build real friendships. And it is real as well, because there is real value. In a monetary sense that is. People open virtual galleries for digital art in Somnium (among other things). They get paid in crypto. Ultimately that translates to a number on their bank account. It’s that number that allows them to buy that real ice cream on a sunny day in the park. And while they enjoy that ice cream they contemplate what their next exhibition in Somnium Space should look like. That same day, in the comfort of their home, they jump in and start building and preparing.
My point being that Somnium Space isn’t something separate or abstract, it is an integral part of people’s lives. It moves them, it has value for them. Real value.
That’s why I keep coming back. Not so different from coming back to the Internet again and again. But this is just next level. The Metaverse. There will be a time in the not so distant future where most people will be jumping in and out of virtual spaces on a daily basis. And we’ll consider it normal.
Somnium is an incubator
Somnium as a platform is very much an incubator and a catalyst for creativity and innovation. This is one of the key attractions for me personally. People have different reasons for joining Somnium. Some love to socialize. Others love to build. And then there are people who love to earn money by starting businesses. Or all three. These are not mutually exclusive activities as you can imagine.
I have this constant desire to create. If I cannot create I become restless. Sure, I love to read and watch Netflix shows, but what really makes me tick is turning ideas into something tangible. This doesn’t have to be spectacular. Some days I paint. The next day I write something. On the third I make music.
I also built a mining rig (for mining for crypto currency). And last week I made a ‘day bed’ for my balcony so I can lounge in the summer sun while drinking home made cocktails.
Yesterday I designed and built a huge 5-story building. In Somnium Space.
To go from concept/idea to reality is a pretty addictive process. Especially if it involves acquiring new skills. And Somnium Space is this giant, immersive playground that allows you to learn, create and build, turn your ideas into reality. Want to be a gallery owner? No problem. Want to be a landlord? Same thing. Always dreamed about opening a nightclub with the coolest dance music? What is stopping you?
Somnium Space allows you to do it all. And we have only scratched the surface as far as use cases are concerned. Somnium will continue to grow, which will manifest itself by an abundance of creative ideas and solutions that we can only imagine at this point in time.
Somnium is first
Part of the attraction for me is that Somnium is pushing bounderies and leading the way towards a future where VR will play a role in people’s daily lives, just like Internet does that today.
I remember back in the nineties, when I had started to design and develop websites and tried to convince small businesses in town that they should have a website, ‘why in the world would we need that?’ as a response was more common than not. That’s an understatement. Virtually no one understood the revolution that was already happening at that point in time.
Right now the same is happening with block chain technology and the development of decentralized applications. Not many people understand the changes that are already washing over us and the way they will affect the way we socialize, work, do business.
Virtual reality is right there in the same league. In the not so distant future, VR will be used by most people and it will be as normal as using a smartphone today. We will be jumping in and out of virtual worlds to socialize, shop, work and be entertained.
Somnium Space is not the only VR initiative of course. But Somnium resonates with me in ways others don’t. Their focus on immersion in a persistent, spatial environment that resembles a world we know with lakes and mountains and well known natural phenomena that go with it, is second to none.
That’s also why I am addicted to Somnium.
Somnium is ….
This one I will leave up to you, the reader.
There are plenty of reasons why Somnium is so addictive that you can’t stop going back. Drop us a comment and let us know your view.
See you soon in Somnium!