As individuals spend more time online, daily habits, from the mindful to the mundane, are being transplanted into the digital realm, giving rise to extended selves and lifestyles. As much of our lives can now be replicated in the virtual world, we are acquiring virtual possessions and seeking relationships, health and wellbeing in the metaverse. What might “metaliving” look like?
Wunderman Thompson Intelligence (WTI) published a report which identifies ways that individuals are extending their identities and daily lives into the digital realm.
As individuals spend more time online, they are acquiring virtual goods that mirror their physical world possessions. Examples include digital clothing for their avatars and even virtual real estate.
Companies are taking note and creating these virtual possessions. Digital fashion house The Fabricant is already creating virtual-only clothing and accessories, including a $9,500 digital dress. The company has also worked with mass-market brands, such as Adidas, Puma, and Tommy Hilfiger, to create digital fashion items. High-end fashion brands are also creating virtual fashion items. A digital-only Gucci bag sold on the gaming platform Roblox for over $4,000.
WTI notes that, on average, consumers would pay $76,000 for a digital house, $9,000 for digital art, and $2,900 for a digital handbag.
Why would people pay so much money for items that only exist virtually? Possessions, including clothing, are often a form of self-expression and status. Individuals are merely mirroring their physical lives in digital space.
It’s not just clothing, either. Luxury car makers like Maserati, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, and Tesla have launched virtual models of their vehicles for online gaming.
Virtual reality (VR) technology is being studied for its possible use in improving both the physical and mental health of individuals. A prescription-strength video game was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to help treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. VR games are also being evaluated as a treatment for COVID-19 patients experiencing brain fog.
Further applications for VR video games being studied include their use in curing insomnia and boosting memory in senior citizens. Other studies have found it useful in lowering blood pressure, treating eating disorders, combating anxiety, and curing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In the future, we may see VR pharmacies staffed with virtualists administering doses of VR, or techceuticals, to treat specific maladies.
Social media forged the path for people to connect through technology. VR will likely expand and intensify that link.
Games are increasingly becoming key places to meet people. They are incorporating elements to increase personal connections and even to encourage acts of kindness.
Some digital platforms are even incorporating haptic technology to simulate physical touch, deepening the social aspect of metaverse technology.
The Metaverse May Become Party of Daily Life
Metaverse technology may likely become interwoven into the fabric of our daily lives. As such, companies that create and adopt such technologies may be poised to benefit from these trends.
 All data sourced from: Into the Metaverse, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, 9/14/21
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