Covid-19 has brought death and economic destruction on a global scale and will forever change the way we travel, socialize, shop, live and work. Could the metaverse provide a light at the end of the tunnel?
One out of every six workers lost their jobs between February and May 2020. Being laid off, furloughed, or placed on unpaid leave accounts for 44% of job losses, followed by being unable to work due to coronavirus restrictions. Many of these jobs have been lost forever, either replaced by technology or vacated because workers have found a new way to earn money that doesn’t require driving to an office and sitting behind a computer for eight hours a day.
Today, at any given time 2.5 billion people globally are working, playing and socializing on their phones and these numbers are growing exponentially.
There is a wave of new economic opportunities being unleashed by the metaverse for people all over the world. Throughout this article, we will touch on the various new forms of employment that are emerging in this new world called the metaverse.
Metaverse Jobs: Real Employment in Fake Worlds
The majority of the jobs will be in the science, engineering, and business jobs required to build the entire value-chain, from semiconductors and basic materials to the enabling software; however, we’re concentrating on jobs that will be in the metaverse rather than jobs that will be required to build it… [Read more…] about because this is the aspect of the metaverse that has the greatest potential to transform the work that we all do.
Unity stated in a recent earnings report that the number of artists working in the game industry is already increasing significantly in comparison to the number of technologists. This has implications for how the metaverse will develop as well.
All contributors to the metaverse are considered members of the creator economy, but we’re specifically referring to those who create the components that other builders, performers, and participants will use in their builds, NFTs other creative endeavors.
Artists, modelers, dialogue writers, motion-capture creators, character designers, music composers, videographers, fashion designers, and a plethora of other forms of creativity are included.
Participants in the metaverse are people who take part in something.
Participants in the governance of DAOs such as customizers, guild leaders, traders, speculators, and modders are examples of those who participate in play-to-earn.
Currently, play-to-earn closely resembles the world of “gold farming” that has existed in MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft; players are leveling up and collecting characters, similar to the world of World of Warcraft. Instead of having to deal with an illicit secondary market, some games are now being developed from the ground up with this economic structure in mind from the get-go.
It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to see how games will have their own creator economies — with opportunities for participants to earn money through customization, experimentation, and exploration — that will be distinct from those found in other media.
- For example, an expert bladesmith, crafting magic swords for use in games, and making real money selling them as NFTs
While technically another type of creator, this one focuses on jobs that are performed in real time in nature (as opposed to previously-created or recorded). This includes live actors, musicians, tour guides, streamers, vloggers, educators, leaders, and coaches, among other things.
One attractive aspect of the metaverse is that it will merge creators and performers with members of their respective communities of participation. It is the responsibility of these employees to recruit new members, provide support, and provide assistance to existing members — as well as to stay on top of moderation, to prevent toxic behavior.
This will result in increased demand for community managers and leaders, moderators, influencers, advisors, and curators, to name a few.
Designers and organizers of experiences will be among those who work in this field, including video game designers, interactive experience creators, producers, hosts, curriculum designers, storytellers, and those who structure generative art.
Keep in mind that the metaverse is not just a place we’ll visit; we’ll be immersed in it. It will be akin to myriad alternate planes of existence, layered directly over our physical world and influenced by what happens in physical reality.
To pull this off, a large number of people will be needed, including avatar developers, geotaggers, cartographers, naturalists, spatial mappers, historians, traffic analysts, data providers, and spatial mappers. Their role? To help guide people from one world into the other by providing a seamless transition through all the work done on the backend, for lack of a better term.
For us to understand the evolution of the metaverse we’ll need to recalibrate our views on solo games and the march towards social gaming as an economic engine. Indeed, we need to view games as economies in and of themselves. Gaming is only part of it, but perhaps gaming is what will lead this world into the next world, the metaverse.
The pandemic has devastated our world. We’ve lost millions of lives, economies have been wrecked, some forever, and people are now seeing work and life in a different light.
Just as adventurers and pioneers left behind the old ways to sail to or trek across strange new worlds seeking a better life, so too does this new world, this metaverse offers the same opportunities for those brave enough to take the leap.
I write about blockchain, crypto, NFTs and other disruptive technologies and innovations.