NFT Art and the Metaverse
At its simplest, the ‘Metaverse’ can be thought of as a three dimensional (3D) model of the internet, which is made up of a series of interconnected 3D virtual worlds which people can visit, interact with, and socialise in real-time. This would be experienced in a similar way to that seen in the 2018 movie ‘Ready Player One’ and the virtual reality world called the ‘OASIS’. This interconnection of the real physical world and virtual worlds is intended to be developed through a ‘Web 3.0’ internet design, founded on decentralised networks that operate as virtual economies featuring a blockchain cloud design.
In the Metaverse, people will be able to interact socially in radically new ways. For example, they will be able to visit and shop in virtual stores and virtual shopping malls; they will be able to make virtual appointments at virtual banks; and they will be able to meet with and socialise with people who live in different countries all around the world. The development and evolution of the Metaverse therefore presents a range of new and exciting opportunities for NFT art.
Sotheby’s virtual gallery in Decentraland
(featuring ‘Visor’ by Mad Dog Jones)
‘Decentraland’ is a 3D virtual world which was opened to the public in February 2020. In June 2021 it was announced that one of the world’s most famous auction houses, ‘Sotheby’s’, had opened a virtual gallery in Decentraland (in the Voltaire Art District). In time, the launch and further development of 3D virtual worlds within the Metaverse is likely to revolutionise NFT art in so many ways. This is not only because of the opportunities that this presents for NFT artists to showcase and sell art through 3D virtual worlds, but also the opportunities to interact with art collectors and fans via virtual events and exhibitions, e.g., art week, interactive artist exhibitions.
José Delbo Exhibition at MakersPlace Gallery, Decentraland
(featuring Batman from DC Comics)
Individuals such as artists, digital artists, designers, graphic designers, and illustrators, will all potentially be able to benefit by leveraging new opportunities in such 3D virtual worlds. For example, by designing and creating avatars for people to buy; by creating virtual advertising for virtual digital billboards; by creating NFT virtual goods for use within such 3D virtual worlds (e.g., wearables, equipment, property); or by creating NFT items for use within virtual reality games and Play-to-Earn (P2E) games, e.g., Alien Worlds, Axie Infinity, Splinterlands. These possibilities are not just theoretical at present. There are many stories that have been reported of NFT artists profiting from these new developments.
It was reported that one individual purchased a virtual plot on ‘Cryptovoxels’ and created a virtual art café where he displayed his own art, and sold digital art he had purchased — he made over $1 million selling NFTs (CNBC 2021). In theory then, there will be an increasing demand for new NFT-based products in the emerging meta-economy, ranging from NFT avatars to endless digital products, and even designer virtual world wearables. This will in turn create a huge range of opportunities for the creator economy. Clearly, NFT art in the Metaverse will mean so much more than just digital artworks by NFT artists.