An 8-year-old explains the metaverse


But I can have embarrassing parties in real life. I wanted a more gripping glimpse into our supposedly fantastic future in the Metaverse, so we tapped into Adopt Me !, a creation of a game with Candy Land-esque graphics, where users collect and take care of. pets, some ordinary, some mythical, from eggs. “I just got offered a fluffy kitten,” Anton said, moments after logging on. “It is how child friendly it is.

On the surface, the game seemed to put enough emphasis on early childhood development and affordable health care (you actually get paid to take your pet to the hospital, Anton told me) to please. all progressive to the red rose.

But on a deeper level, the game seemed to be buzzing with a spirit of “Succession”-level intrigue and greed. As in Mr. Zuckerberg’s metaverse, a lot of the good stuff is for sale, in this case in the in-game virtual currency, which Anton told me, can be earned by completing in-game tasks, or with real money, which can be siphoned off from parents. . (Last year, a 6-year-old Roblox lover in Australia racked up an $ 8,000 bill in his parents’ bank account.) The real goal isn’t to win or lose, but to covet and to acquire.

And there are a lot of come-ons, just like in the real world. Anton explained that his starter egg, which sired a puppy, was free, but if he wanted a cooler pet, he had to pay. I could barely keep up with the moves he was making, but soon he informed me that he had lost more money (around $ 3.50 in US dollars) to make this a Winged Fly Ride Dog that he could hover, like a Pegasus, through the game’s Whoville-esque village, ringing money as he took water for the animal or a shower.

However, an honest day’s work doesn’t go any further in Adopt Me! The more exotic the animal, the higher the cost. Artificial scarcity drives up prices further. Anton, for example, was just supposed to have a limited edition frost fury, a wingless white dragon that once traded for $ 800 Robux ($ 9.99 in real currency), but is now highly coveted and only commercially available. for a large transport. Because it is beautiful? – Because it’s rare, he said.

This explains why players young and old alike look for any angle to build a spectacular menagerie that even the Joneses would want to follow. Anton and his friends zealously trade assets, viewing charts of values ​​online such as pint-sized Wall Street quants.


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