Imagine becoming whoever you want at the touch of a button? This may sound like a feat only possible on a Black Mirror episode, but now, it’s possible in real life. This is through the power of VR, blockchain and NFT technology.
NFTs are non-fungible tokens, unique digital assets of varying types and values, registered on the blockchain. The blockchain is an algorithmic leger that keeps a permanent record of transactions, whether it be a trade of digital assets, crypto-currency exchange, minting (or encrypting) a piece of art, a contract, or anything else as an NFT, facilitating thousands of users and VR avatars to be connected in a virtual world like Somnium Space.
Today, let’s talk to NFT artist Denevraut, an expert on said avatars. Denevraut has created full body avatars that enable the user to be a different age or gender, a pop icon, an animal, or even neon humanoid amphibian. His avatars can emulate what someone looks like in real life too – only a version that can climb mountains without breaking a sweat, that can breathe underwater, and that can fly off of skyscrapers at the flick of a joystick within Somnium Space.
His favorite creation is a hairy hyena that walks around on its hind legs, its tongue hanging out to the side cheekily. On special occasions, his hyena wears a tie and sunglasses. “I… feel very comfortable being him,” Denevraut says.
Denvraut’s avatars come with capabilities like custom facial expressions, custom movement and gesture animations, interchangeable clothing, and finger and hand tracking.
With avatars, not only can you be whoever you want and express yourself in brand new ways, but also enter Ready Player One-style car races, dance in a club to live music, explore custom neighborhoods designed entirely by Somnium Space users, and more.
With Denevraut’s help, you can even buy your own land parcel and build a house or venue to host your own events, display your NFTs, watch movies, and play games with new friends from around the world, or use your property to advertise your brand or business to other players in the growing Somnium Space community.
Clearly, the future of virtual reality is staring us right in our faces – our avatar faces – thanks to creators like Denevraut. Now that we’ve reached this new frontier, what do we have to look forward to?
Denevraut says, “I’m personally awaiting the ability to interact with the others avatars and the environments. For example, I don’t want to be a ghost that goes through all my friends- [I want to] just be able to touch people in vr…
I think VR is about [being] social and [an] experience of [the] world that we can’t live ourselves…
Also I would expect the art part of VR to be way more advanced… I can see 3D effects that [reach] the limit of imagination… An art that can be a world itself by example…
Also I would hope our facial expressions become more and more accurate to bring more emotion and more immersion.”
There you have it: We’ve discovered a parallel universe where total immersion is possible. It’s already a growing extension of our existing lives, waiting for us to expand upon it with our imaginations. After exploring the possibilities of the metaverse, it is clear that we ourselves, the artists and the collectors, determine its fate.
With the power to be anyone and create anything we want within the limits of technology, are we still human, or something greater? Choose your avatar, visit Somnium Space, and decide for yourself.
Written by Oly, interdisciplinary musician, writer and explorer.
Check out her music and other projects at solo.to/olysounds .
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