Regular readers will know that I write (and run) not just to entertain, but also to inspire children to enjoy exercise, believe in themselves and express their creativity.
I have started my journey with the traditional medium of print and ebooks, as they play an important role in developing literacy. I am ambitious in wanting to expand into video and digital media such as TV and gaming, as I am acutely aware that popular culture and technology innovation are crucial indictors into the future intersection point where I can share my stories with a wider audience.
so where will children and young people most likely be spending most of their free time in the future?
It will not be lost on many of you that the ‘Metaverse’ has been in the news since Facebook rebranded their parent company to ‘Meta’. This has brought the concept of the Metaverse to the general public’s attention. But what is the Metaverse and why is it important?
The Metaverse is a portmanteau of the words ‘Meta’ meaning beyond, and universe. Investopedia define it as a digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually.
Evan Luthra coined the Metaverse eloquently at Defi Live London (Nov 2021) as
“The moment in time when your digital life matters more to you than your physical life”.
Whilst this may sound alarming it is not that far away, with over 50% of many peoples time spent looking at a screen.
This is a fundamental shift from the social media internet age of web2.0 to online worlds built around value, underpinned by blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies and Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs), allowing users to ‘play to earn’, ‘learn to earn’ or buy digital real estate, just like getting in early on a prime spot in Manhattan in the early 1900’s. These are just some examples, the opportunities are endless in what is the new era of ‘web3’.
There will be different directions that large corporates, such as Facebook, take and more decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) and it is important to distinguish between the two. The later will allow for power, decision making and wealth creation to be shared across the community, rather than a centralised model and this is where ,my focus lies.
We, as a society, led by the early adopters and younger generations, will ‘live’ in the Metaverse for a significant proportion of our online time. As such, the question I aim to answer is:
How do we inspire and encourage real world confidence, creativity and crucially, exercise, from an environment which is inherently sedentary?
Some potential components of the answer may come from:
- Presenting ‘edutainment’ content within the Metaverse and encourage real life activity through incentives such as offering NFTs with ‘in real life’ (IRL) utility
- ‘Play/learn to earn’ games
- Community built around DAOs bringing parents, teachers and other individuals passionate about empowering children together.
- Virtual reality and augmented reality to include exercise programs within the metaverse are likely to be components of the answer.
I’m excited about the possibilities and will continue to write in my ‘traditional’ medium to cater for the broadest possible audience. If anyone else is interested in this space, whether from an educational, parental or tech perspective, I’d love to share ideas and build the future together.