What's your Metaversonality?

JC Oliver
May 25, 2023
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women are merely Players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.
- William Shakespeare

We all live multiple lives. All at once I’m a husband, father, son and brother. Thankfully not to the same person, but the role and responsibilities for each of these mammoth characters is very different. And whilst I play each of those different roles I’m still me. As Emma Watson says in the latest Prada campaign, “I’m never the same, but always myself.”

Even in the Web2 world, who you are matters. Instagram charges you $12 and Twitter $8 per month for that marine blue tick of authentication. As we shift gears into Web3 and the Metaverse(s), identity is a basic requirement for being able to show up, communicate and navigate these new worlds. Shifting the transference of value from centralised to decentralised systems means we need to know the people we’re dealing with, especially if they have not been authenticated by Facebook, Google, Barclays, or the government.

But what if I don’t necessarily want to be who I am in this world? Many of us escape today through a book or a film, but a central promise of the metaverse is that we really can become someone else in a much more immersive sense. With many of these worlds and game engines lacking interoperability, you can be whoever you want to be in each. I like to call this set of alternative personalities, your Metaversonality; the various parts you play in the narratives you write across the metaverse.

These worlds can alleviate the pain of gender identity, for instance. If in the real world you are born biologically male but identify as a woman, your avatar can be female in appearance. Many users are already doing this in Eve Online.

The gamified mechanics of these worlds appeal to children. Alpha gen have yet to fully form their real world identities; they are experimenting with who they are and who they want to become. In the Metaverse, these multiple metaversonalities can find a place to flourish. On the other hand if you’re a genXer, perhaps you’re running away from the person you actually have become.

It’s easy to change your appearance and that’s why fashion brands have been some of the earliest exponents of these worlds. We have seen theBritish Fashion Council go all-in on Roblox, and a number of our clients were busy launching and designing ranges for MVFW (Metaverse FashionWeek ) in Decentraland last week.

I could be a Dior aficionado in Roblox, and a Hilfiger Hound in Decentraland. Who would know I live these separate lives? In the metaverse we can design new appearances, and corresponding personalities. In the real world I may be branded a schizophrenic fashionista.

The biggest challenge is whether these metaversonalities will ever become your true personality. My belief is that these worlds are far away from becoming our primary-verse.

There are 3 stages for full metaversonalities to become reality:

Stage 1: Experimenting in virtual space

Stage 2: Making meaningful social connections

Stage 3: Transference of consciousness

At this nascent stage of development the characters and characteristics of these worlds can be a little gnarly. People & brands are experimenting.Throughout history humans have always desired multiple personalities, it’s part of our condition. Shakespeare told us so, so it must be true.

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