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The Meaning of Metaverse

The Meaning of Metaverse

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The most common human reaction to being confronted by the unknown is fear. Or instinctive fear of the unknown is as old as time itself. Such it is, for some, with the arrival of radical new business concepts, be that mechanisation, electricity, computerisation, the internet or, most recently, the metaverse. As for NFTs… WTF…? So, in keeping with our wish to educate, entertain and inspire, let’s reduce this Metaverse business down to its bare bones.

In simple terms, the metaverse is a virtual reality space in which users interact with a computer-generated environment and also other users. So it’s basically the internet in 3D, where experiences can be developed to simulate the real world or imagine worlds beyond reality.

Impact upon the gambling industry

Examining how this new digital landscape might impact upon the gambling industry, and most specifically online players, it is not difficult to imagine that the possibilities are virtually endless. Imagine being a developer of gaming content, taking your players into that ‘actual’ (virtual) bonus game environments and enabling them to immerse themselves in the ‘playing’ of feature games. Or an operator, ‘building’ a casino or themed/branded environment for your metaverse players, raising the entire experiential and entertainment elements to previously unimagined heights. At last, the true artists whose brilliance evolves the industry will have a totally blank canvas on which to paint.

Replicating the live experience

There will always be a demand for the thrills, spills and drama of the live gaming experience and, at present, this is still impossible to authentically recreate. This of course means that, quite rightly, there will always be a strong place for the live, in-person experience. But not everybody wants this; some players prefer anonymity; some want to play a different role, and some just want to observe others. The metaverse opens up channels that the live environment cannot, and that can be no bad thing.

How will players pay to play?

The automatic assumption seems to be that because the metaverse is a virtual platform, players will use virtual currencies in order to play. But this is far from being necessarily the case and may also be scaremongering by the fearful. As recently reported here in Global Gambling News, the owners of the iconic Atari gaming brand are planning to ‘build’ a casino within their metaverse space, using an in-house token as its currency. But an established gaming operator could just as easily build their own virtual space and adopt conventional ‘fiat’ currencies for payments.

The risks remain largely the same

In operational terms, the risks associated with metaverse gambling will be fundamentally the same as those in the established online and land-based worlds. Are the players old enough to play, can they afford to play and are they in any danger through playing? These new virtual spaces will still require licences, and the core criteria will remain unchanged, so as has always been the case, only those who choose to do business with the dark characters will be unprotected and at risk.

Example: Asia Tigers Club enter the metaverse

Macau’s leading gaming equipment supplier, Asia Pioneer Entertainment Holdings, has launched Asia Tigers Club, the Group’s first NFT (Non-Fungible Token) to enter the metaverse.

Asia Tigers Club NFT Project

Asia Tigers Club is an NFT project consisting of 8,800 uniquely created tiger Pictures for Profile (PFPs) based on the Ethereum block chain. The pre-launch starts by the end of May and the full series will be sold via the official website www.asiatigersclub.com via direct minting only.

Holders of Asia Tigers Club NFTs will have priority access to metaverse offerings in APE’s Mini Macau environment, and also the Group’s future Resortverse metaverse. Collectors of Asia Tigers will also receive Resortverse tokens, redeemable for real-life resort travel, hospitality, entertainment and dining experiences in Macau and across Asia.

APE Holdings CFO & Executive Director Mr. Tony Chan says: “We are proud to be one of Macau’s first major NFT projects that is building a community of digital art collectors and linking them back to travel and leisure in Macau. After many months of travel restrictions, we hope Macau will be the first holiday destination in travellers’ minds. Asia Tigers Club will allow collectors to first experience a digital Macau via our metaverse offerings and, as travel restrictions relax, be among the first travellers to Macau and gain real-life benefits via our Travel Token marketplace.”

Mini Macau is APE’s first metaverse project, built on The Sandbox. It consists of digital representations of Macau tourist attractions such as The Ruins of St. Paul’s, Macau Tower, Senado Square and Ah Ma Temple. Visitors can play interactive games in Mini Macau to win real-life Travel Tokens.

Resortverse is the Group’s future travel and hospitality metaverse platform, scheduled for launch later in 2022, where metaverse travel is transformed into real-life travel rewards.

The Sandbox is one of the decentralised virtual worlds that is fuelling the growth of virtual real estate by partnering with brands such as Adidas, Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, Atari, The Smurfs and more. The Sandbox has more than 40m global installs on mobile and offers creators an intuitive platform on which to create immersive 3D worlds and experiences, and safely store, trade and monetise their creations.