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    THE METAVERSE: All Around Us

    The Metaverse is sometimes a little hard to grasp, so this site has been created to help make it more familiar. Simply put, it is already all around us... hence the name of this page. Skip ahead if you are a crypto OG and want to read about how I think Web3 will impact education and the beverage industry.





    Let's start with things you might already know. There are some great resources that will help to better understand the Metaverse.


    These movies are key to understanding where Web3 and the Metaverse might take us.

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    Ready Player One (2018) explains how virtual reality works, and interoperability.

    I feel this movie is currently the best example of what a Web3 world will look like, minus the stacked mobile homes and repayment centers (hopefully). The ability to jump from world to world is a current challenge that needs to be solved, known as interoperability. Still, this movie suggests what could be achieved with modern VR headsets and equipment to fully immerse yourself in a digital world.

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    FREE GUY (2021) describes impact of gaming as part of the Metaverse.

    Throughout the entire movie you can see elements that are common to most games, including avatars, in-game purchases, etc. While some don't see games as Web3, millions of individuals are "in them" on a daily basis. Players develop friendships, altered personalities, and engage in commerce on a number of levels. Games have laid the foundation for all types of industries.

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    Valerian (2017) explains the idea behind Augmented Reality.

    About 20 minutes into the movie there is a scene that takes place in a desert where tourists are able to visit 'Big Market.' This giant shopping area happens to be in a different dimension. The tourists put on a special helmet and gloves which allows them to walk around and shop. In one dimension, it looks like a lot of people just wandering in the middle of the desert. But with the gloves and helmet they actually get to be in a different world entirely.

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    Minority Report (2002) suggests how sensors will be everywhere.

    About 46 minutes into the movie there is a scene where you see Tom's character being talked to by ads specific to him. Sensors all over the city scan everyone's eyes, and speak to individuals based on their identity. The eyes represent the unique identifier in this future, not too different than how Apple just used eyes as the core of their Vision Pro security access.





    Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Solana, and Bitcoin are used to purchase virtual land, fashion and other Web3 elements. This space is quickly evolving, so you will benefit from listening to podcasts that come out regularly. Twitter is also your friend when you are trying to stay on top of things. I will add accounts to follow shortly, but for now check out these podcasts.


    There are countless podcasts and episodes out there, most of which are trying to answer the question "what is the Metaverse?" Many people are still trying to understand cryptocurrencies, which is why I included the Business Wars series. It creates a great primer. The rest could be listened to every week, giving you an extended understanding of the space.

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    Crypto Wars

    While this page is intended to focus more on the Metaverse, this is a good primer related to cryptocurrencies. Several episodes, very accessible.

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    Future of NFT

    I like this podcast host because the host is always thinking about where things can go. NFTs are a big part of the Metaverse, not limited to just jpgs - some have a utility function which is often explored on this podcast. Jarrod is a little raw and sporadic, but his core ideas are worth listening to.

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    Welcome to the Metaverse

    These are frequent and short episodes exploring all types of movement in the Metaverse. I like it because it's accessible and spans every corner of the Web3 world.

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    The Metaverse Podcast

    These are solid interviews with people that are shaping the world ahead of us. Jamie is a very engaging host with excellent connections to those impacting the Metaverse.

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    Web3 with a16z

    Also an interview-based podcast more extended to ideas around where the Web3 landscape is going. Sonal and Chris do a great job with occasional guest hosts.


    The Metaverse is composed of many worlds that already exist - Here are a few...

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    Per Wiki: Roblox is an online game platform and game creation system developed by Roblox Corporation that allows users to program games and play games created by other users.


    Metrics as of March 12 2023

    • 217,529,984 users in the previous 30 days 


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    Per their site: SuperWorld is a virtual world mapped onto the real world with properties available to collect as NFTs. Users can buy or sell plots and monetize their activity in the Metaverse.


    No MAU available.

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    Per Wiki: Fortnite is an online video game developed by Epic Games and released in 2017. It is available in three distinct game mode versions that otherwise share the same general gameplay and game engine. Fortnite is distributed as three different game modes, using the same engine; each has similar graphics, art assets, and game mechanics.


    Metrics as of March 12 2023

    • 236,762,116 users in the previous 30 days 
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    World of Warcraft

    Per Wiki: Fortnite is an online video game developed by Epic Games and released in 2017. It is available in three distinct game mode versions that otherwise share the same general gameplay and game engine. Fortnite is distributed as three different game modes, using the same engine; each has similar graphics, art assets, and game mechanics.


    Metrics as of March 12 2023

    • 151,385,197 users in the previous 30 days 
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    Per Wiki: In Minecraft, players explore a blocky, procedurally generated, three-dimensional world with virtually infinite terrain and may discover and extract raw materials, craft tools and items, and build structures, earthworks, and machines.


    Metrics as of March 12 2023

    • 181,226,546 users in the previous 30 days 
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    Per Wiki: Decentraland is a 3D virtual world browser-based platform. Users may buy virtual plots of land in the platform as NFTs via the MANA cryptocurrency, which uses the Ethereum blockchain. It was opened to the public in February 2020, and is overseen by the nonprofit Decentraland Foundation.


    Metrics as of September 2022

    • 56,700 users monthly
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    Per Gemini: The Sandbox metaverse is one of several blockchain-based virtual worlds attempting to change the dynamics of the gaming market and reward creators for the value they produce through user-generated content.


    Metrics as of March 12 2023

    • 63,600 users monthly
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    Per Wiki: Second Life is an online multimedia platform that allows people to create an avatar for themselves and then interact with other users and user created content within a multi player online virtual world.


    Metrics as of March 12 2023

    • 9,300 users monthly


    If you want another look at stats as it pertains to the Metaverse, read this article and check out the "leaderboard"




    I see a world in the near future where students and educators will be able to converge in the same place at the same time, without (as many) economic, political and access barriers. Most schools are still trying to figure out how distance education can work using learning management systems. My goal is to explore what can be done to expand education in a mobile-first world using virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality.

  • What education could look like...

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    OG Metaverse: Second Life

    To fully understand where this all started and where it can go, it's important to explore Second Life which is the origin story to the Metaverse (much like the Minitel was the predecessor to the World Wide Web). Education has been taking place there for almost twenty years.

    Explaining The Metaverse

    From Meta to Disney, major entertainment companies are exploring ways to be in this space. This video does a good job of explaining things from top to bottom. Pick up on the elements that speak to education possibilities.

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    Superworld: Virtual Real Estate

    Prediction: In 2025 colleges and universities will own virtual land in the Metaverse and begin offering classes at their virtual campuses. This is made possible through platforms like SuperWorld and technology like Microsoft "twins."






  • In the future we'll attend events and classes as if actually there. No borders.

    • Online education already gives students the ability to take classes from a distance. 
    • Even for students who live a few hours away, providing other options for 'attending' courses, talks, and other student activities can make a significant difference.
    • Access however is still largely limited to those in the 'global north' - those with a land-based technology infrastructure; cheap or free Internet access, and less expensive devices.
    • Some learning management systems are doing a good job of making courses available on mobile devices, but still they lean heavily towards needing laptops/desktops.
    • There is still a heavy cost involved with accessing higher education around the world.
    • If a student doesn't have to be on campus to take the course, they have less overhead.
    • If the overhead associated with delivering courses was reduced, naturally the cost to a student could be reduced as well.
    • If the instructor doesn't have to be physically on the campus, or even in the same country, they could theoretically be paid less. We have learned that people will take a pay cut in exchange for greater flexibility (i.e. living in a place where the cost of living is far less). 
    • When the college experience is delivered through smart phones - everything changes.

    BUT... we do have to consider how all of the above impacts student development.

    • How do we ensure that students grow as human beings? 
    • What can we do to virtually so that they come out the other end adequately well-rounded?
    • Depending on the industry they are headed into, what they need will be different.
    • We will need to embed diversity, equity and inclusion guard rails.
    • How do we create new opportunities for community (and make them safe)?
    • To what extent do we create in-person opportunities?
    • How do we train the next generation of college student personnel educators to create real and engaging programs?
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    Virtual Teachers & Presenters

    What if we made the Metaverse where education happens?

    • Students, instructors can tune in from anywhere.
    • Courses become more 'global' with perspectives beyond local borders.
    • Financial implications shift.
    • Student networks expand beyond their local community. Their peers are now across the globe. 
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    Hospitality Focus: The Beverage World

    As a hospitality and tourism professor and Web3 enthusiast, one of the areas that captivates me is how beverage brands will operate in the Metaverse. Just like Web1 and Web2, how companies adapt to new technology will likely have a huge impact on their long term success.


    One of my favorite books is Good to Great, as there are a few examples of how businesses either embraced or ignored technology. It's not always as simple as adopting or not adopting, but rather how companies leverage available technology to move forward. Technology is an accelerator. Companies that are slow to embrace what is coming may still be successful, but perhaps not as successful as they could. While Walmart and Amazon aren't profiled in Good to Great, imagine how different the world would be had Walmart embraced e-commerce sooner.


    So here are some thoughts related to the hospitality industry with a particular brand as the impetus: Hennessy.



    An iconic brand, Hennessy has largely been a brick and mortar operation with a global reach. In the last couple of years however, they have been experimenting with parts of the Web3 world. Here is a breakdown:

    • Launched a new platform called H3NSY which pulls together all of their projects under one channel.
    • It's a membership platform for creators and communities.
    • This article explains it well and this post shows one of the activations.

    Watching what Hennessy is doing makes me curious as to how brands and storefronts will plant their flag using augmented and virtual reality. It also makes me think of what we can do as educators to equip students for the opportunities that will present themselves.


    To better appreciate what we could be heading into, I looked at where we are and have been:



    • Brands have their entire inventory searchable via website or app
    • Restaurants, bars and clubs have online menus
    • Countless videos of mixologists and "bottle reviews"
    • Podcasts on every topic related to beverages
    • Omnichannel - ability to buy brands in more places; store, online, app


    Web3 Possibilities

    • Seeing info about a bottle through enabled glasses or phone lens (floating in the air)
    • Taking VR or AR tour of a distillery or brewery
    • Instant ingredients and nutrition info through enabled glasses or phone lens
    • Brands have a more global presence because anyone can be in the Metaverse from anywhere
    • Brands can be 'visited' in stores within the Metaverse
    • Beverage managers in restaurants, bars and clubs can look at bottles using enabled glasses and measure contents - updating inventory and projections instantly



    • VR headsets will become less bulky and seamless
    • VR headsets will become less expensive with mass adoption
    • It will become a normal option to get prescription glasses enabled with AR



    • With global reach, supply chain may need to include international delivery
    • More decentralized teams
    • Virtual tasting experiences will focus more on lore of the brand rather than the actual taste
    • Project to simulate taste - liquid in glass gets “programmed” to deliver flavor
    • Twin bottles in metaverse are customized for individuals (NFT 1of1s)
    • Taps can be replicated for use in virtual bars, restaurants, clubs
    • Entire worlds can be manifested in Metaverse
    • Game opportunities are endless; characters, tie-ins, NFT prizes



    • Twins of the facility (Microsoft)
    • Customers can walk through virtually, browse options
    • Staff can be present or virtual
    • Focus on experiences
    • Can expand beyond physical limitations (square footage)



    • Create even more individual experiences
    • Instant glob reach
    • NFTs with utility; e.g. 10,000 people who own X NFT get first rights to new batches
    • Jobs that exist or will become more common (think of social media managers)
    • Community managers
    • Attendants will work in virtual venues
    • Virtual brand ambassadors - present in Roblox, Decentraland, SuperWorld, etc.
    • Designers and coders of course
    • Digital merchandisers
    • Virtual event planners
    • Guides - helping people step foot in these worlds



    • Think of how many courses, degree programs and certificates grew out of social media
    • New courses: Hospitality & Tourism in the Metaverse, Virtual Event Planning, Commerce in Web3
    • VR simulations for students to visit far off places
    • VR to participate in skill development; virtual hotels, restaurants, breweries, etc.
    • Student projects will change. Instead of drawing or doing a PPT, they can build and show it within the Metaverse
    • Event participation through VR/AR; attendees from elsewhere can be in person using VR, attendees on site can “see” virtual participants and speakers using AR.
    • Campuses can build satellite structures in the Metaverse
    • Implications for admissions, cost of education


    Skills we need

    • Navigate different Web3 environments
    • Think of design and packaging beyond bottles and holders
    • Understand line of sight between production and how individuals interact with brand in metaverse



    • Anonymity factor
    • DEI implications
    • Ensuring fair pay
  • What's Next?

    It will take some willing institutions to think differently about how they structure courses, perhaps a spin-off collaboration much like the MOOCs. High schools, colleges and universities are fearful of doing something that threatens how they make their money. But I believe the bold will find that the future of education will require sacrifices and risk.


    Let's keep the conversation going!