Despite the many obstacles that currently make mainstream adoption seem impossible, the metaverse will eventually “mature when gateways that form the access point for entering the myriads of metaverses come onstream,” Lucaz Lee, CEO of Affyn, has said. Lee suggested that when this point is reached, entering and exiting the metaverse will be as easy “as ordering dinner from a takeaway app.”
Why P2E Has Not Lived Up to the Hype
Lee also said he believes augmented reality (AR), rather than virtual reality, will play a key role in the metaverse. The boss of Affyn, a play-and-earn metaverse, said this is because AR is capable of being “seamlessly integrated into the apps we use every day.” All of this will happen with users being none the wiser.
The CEO also offered his thoughts on why the play-to-earn (P2E) model has not lived up to the hype and what he sees as the more sustainable Web3 gaming model. He also explained to Bitcoin.com News why he still believes in the metaverse despite the many false starts he has seen so far.
Below are the rest of Lucaz Lee’s responses to questions that were sent to him via Telegram.
Bitcoin.com News (BCN): It has been said that the metaverse will become part of our daily lives, yet there seems to be no consensus on what the metaverse is all about. In your view, what would you say is the metaverse and how do you see this playing out in our day-to-day lives?
Lucaz Lee (LL): Like the internet itself, the metaverse is not a single URL, server, or platform. Rather, it is a series of independent and interconnected worlds, or metaverses, that can be visited and interacted with by anyone with a web connection. Because the metaverse can incorporate elements of both VR and AR, it is best experienced on a device that supports these technologies.
Nevertheless, the core elements that make the metaverse so immersive are not the technology it’s built upon, but rather the communities that coalesce around it. Just as newsgroups united people with shared interests in the early days of the internet, so metaverses will bring together like-minded individuals to interact, hang out, and bond over shared experiences.
BCN: What do you think are the biggest barriers to the adoption of the metaverse and how can these be overcome or removed?
LL: Because there is no universal jumping-off point, it can be hard for users to know where to start with the metaverse. Which world do you choose and how do you access it? As the metaverse matures, this problem will solve itself as gateways come onstream that form the access point for entering the myriads of metaverses that are currently out there in cyberspace. In the near future, it’s likely that entering and exiting the metaverse will be as effortless as ordering dinner from a takeaway app: pick your favorite metaverse and in a couple of clicks you’ll be exploring a virtual world that satisfies your tastes.
BCN: The play-to-earn model, despite all the initial hype, has not lived up to expectations. What economic model do you believe is more sustainable or suitable for Web3 gaming and why?
LL: The P2E model was always destined for failure since it attracted speculators rather than players and the tokenomics were ultimately unsustainable. Despite this failure, P2E has been responsible for evolving the industry’s understanding of token incentives and fueling a new wave of GameFi releases that aim to iterate upon v1 titles such as Axie Infinity.
I expect web3 games will gravitate to a Play-AND-Earn model. Using this framework, developers are motivated to create games with true playability and longevity, while still incorporating tokenomic elements that have made crypto, and specifically DeFi, so attractive to millions. For example, there will still be elements of randomnicity and gamification that spur players to keep returning in search of rare loot, limited edition skins, and token rewards for completing levels. At the same time, however, these rewards need to complement the gameplay rather than being the object of the game itself.
BCN: Do you think augmented reality (AR) is going to play a more vital role than virtual reality in the metaverse and if so can tell our readers why you think so?
LL: To a large extent, AR has yet to make a lasting impression on web users, most of whom would struggle to name an AR-based app beyond Pokemon GO. Augmented reality has advanced in leaps and bounds since then, as has the capability of smart devices to support it. Just as the cloud came to be subsumed into everything, rather than viewed as a standalone platform for off-site storage, the same will happen with AR. It will be seamlessly integrated into the apps we use every day, and in many cases we won’t even be aware that we’re utilizing it.
BCN: Do you foresee AR’s influence going beyond just gaming and if so can you illustrate how?
LL: AR has a vast array of use cases and gaming is just a small subsection of that. AR can enhance learning experiences by overlaying digital information in the real world. It allows students to visualize complex concepts, explore historical events, and conduct virtual experiments. Additionally, we will see AR used to provide interactive training simulations for various industries such as medical procedures, industrial equipment maintenance, and military training.
Pick an industry and there’s a viable use case for AR. Take e-commerce, which it enables customers to visualize products in their own space before making a purchase, reducing the need for physical samples and enhancing the overall shopping experience. Or real estate, where AR can help buyers visualize properties by overlaying virtual furniture, decor, and other design elements onto a real environment. From healthcare to manufacturing and prototyping, the industries and applications swiftly stack up.
BCN: Your company Affyn has launched Nexus World, a geolocation-based metaverse. Explain how this can bring people closer in the real world.
LL: One of the problems with many existing metaverses is that they’re set in futuristic realms that have no connection to the world around us. This is fine for players who were raised on MMORPGs and enjoy fantasy games, but have little relevance to the majority of web users. With Nexus World, we’ve tied geolocation-based plots to real world cities, starting with Singapore and then London, Glasgow, and Dublin with more to come.
Because owners of these plots are incentivized to acquire virtual land that maps to their real-world neighborhood, we’re creating a digital community that is connected through proximity as much as through shared interests. The friend you’re chatting over the garden fence with in Nexus World, in other words, could well be living just a block away from you. This has the potential to forge powerful synergies between landowners and residents both in meatspace and in cyberspace, which is a first for a metaverse project.
BCN: How do you see the metaverse changing or influencing the way we work, play, and socialize in say, 10 years’ time?
LL: In hindsight, the metaverse will be obvious and inevitable. It’s the natural evolution of the internet, but like any nascent technology, it will take time for the metaverse to become accessible to everyday users. For this reason, industry developers are very much in a “build it and they will come” mindset. There will be false starts and not every metaverse will make it, but the ones that thrive will establish themselves at the heart of the social web for decades to come.
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