December 25, 2021 6: 40 AM
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This article was contributed by Noah Shin.
Full disclosure: I am a graduate student finishing his studies in media and communications. Although I am pro-internet, I don’t have any personal affiliations to any tech company and I don’t own any cryptocurrency. It is essential that the public understands the new digital age through independent research and ethical considerations.
The year was 2021; Webster Dictionary had added a slew of Gen-Z-related words and phrases like digital nomad, NFTs, blockchain, cryptocurrency, augmented reality, and my new personal favorite dubbed by Mark Zuckerberg, the metaverse. What is the translation? The internet is evolving to a stage that is more immersive, intuitive, and one step closer to completely immersive virtual reality experiences. Zuckerberg may make Meta the first big tech corporation to invest $10 billion in a virtual universe, but we are beginning to see indications that other major corporations will soon follow suit.
Technology has entered a new era in which all forms of technology communications are integrated into one seamless experience. This includes work meetings, social life, workouts and conference calls. In a study by Pew Research, 90% of U.S. adults say the internet has been essential for them during the coronavirus outbreak. The number of people who use the internet is increasing at an alarming rate, making it almost impossible to shift to a more immersive experience online. As digital technology was a lifeline to many Americans and corporations, it has helped accelerate online activity. Digital tools and the recruitment of young tech-savvy workers are now a major focus in all sectors, including finance, health care and manufacturing.
What does this all mean?
What does this mean? The approval of tech giants and corporations all around is proving that consumers are now in a digital age. Most of us now admit that the internet can be a powerful tool, and it even has a monetary value (hello cryptocurrency). Everyday Americans should be aware of the effects of digital immersion on their daily lives, from job opportunities to education art and science curriculum.
TECH NEWS: Technology companies look to incorporate video game elements
In his keynote presentation on Facebook company’s rebranding to Meta, CEO Mark Zuckerberg states: “If you ask people today what they thought the metaverse was…people that follow the space would say it’s about gaming, and that’s because gaming provides many of the most immersive experiences, and it is the biggest entertainment industry by far.”
The entertainment industry is dominated by the gaming industry. On January 17, 2019, tech-streaming giant Netflix company announced its biggest consumer company rival in a letter to shareholders, “We earn consumer screen time, both mobile and television, away from a very broad set of competitors…We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO…There are thousands of competitors in this highly-fragmented market vying to entertain consumers.” Since June 2020, Fortnite has surpassed over 350 million registered users, and gamers logged 3.2 billion hours in the game in April 2020 alone. Assuming people live until they’re 79, that is the equivalent of 4,624 human lifetimes.
Online video games, console and mobile games have billions in downloads. They continue to be one of the most popular media forms in society. Most console and role-playing games (RPG) already incorporate versions of their metaverse into their gaming structure. Roblox, Epic Games’ Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto have already created metaverse-like platforms that are dependent on their communities to support their business models. In-game purchases of character skins and other game assets are the majority slice of a game company’s ad revenue, especially free-to-play games. Because it creates a virtual world where users can interact with each other and the environment, open-world games are still a major player.
Online communication fosters positive interaction. Online gaming is highly social. Communication among friends and players online encourages cooperation and delegation for different roles to succeed. Gamers don’t belong in a single category. There is no fixed or rigid standard for role-playing games. Tech companies seek to emulate the online communication psychology that users use. This gaming integration also includes toy and child elements in gaming frameworks. These child-like effects, such as friendly-looking avatars and cartoon guns, can be integrated into gaming technology to create a fun and interactive experience. This is something that game developers are keen to implement into their metaverse.
Fortnite statistics are stats any company would love, and we’re starting to see other corporations do the same. Google, Microsoft and Apple continue to test virtual and augmented realities products. In the hope of creating a more profitable business model, large tech companies are investing in game platforms. Nike has quietly filed trademarks in preparations of selling virtual apparel, which apparel consumers can don via their virtual avatars. The Los Angeles Staples Center was given $700 million to change its name to Crypto.com Arena by the Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange app. Adidas partners with NFT gorillas Bored Ape Yacht Club and other NFT communities, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has publicly announced its work into their version of a virtual communication ecosystem with economic, cultural, tourism, and civic services, provisionally dubbed Metaverse Seoul.
TECH NEWS: Digital assets will skyrocket in value
The point is that virtual communities are what make these companies succeed, and it is more likely that Facebook’s metaverse, as long as they remain community-centric, will flourish and stay sustainable. Further attention is paid to the products of tech frontiers as they shift their focus towards building virtual worlds. This applies to all digital assets. I have a personal bias towards the role between game companies and implementing photo capture modes within their console systems or art developed to what is now known as virtual photography. As video games evolve to hyper-realistic models, the lure to capture the game world’s beauty and emotion follow a newly implemented innovation that might interest audiences outside the gaming genre.
Virtual Photography demonstrates its value by providing a form memorabilia and showing that still imagery can exist within a new, exciting digital medium. Photo-op modes on console games offer innovative compositional tools that allow you to include aspects such as painting, illustration, and graphic design. There is a practical use here that can aid workflow and design processes while offering engaging, interactive material.
Within current gaming audiences, where teen and gen-z consumers are the primary markets, game developers tend to focus on an important aspect: fun and entertainment so users can spend as much time within the virtual world. Role-playing games aim to expand the gaming experience beyond the basic story mode.
TECH NEWS: Redefining digital art
Virtual Photography is one example of how branding the modern digital artist has changed the perception of digital art. You’ll find a million titles when you search for media jobs on LinkedIn. Digital communications manager, social media strategist, graphic design manager, NFT creatives, multimedia specialists, et cetera.
Technological intuition and media fluidity are essential to navigate the industry professionals’ world. One summer I taught at a Palo Alto, California tech camp where students learned about vlogging, audio engineering, 3D building, design, and audio engineering. The most interesting classes were the video-game-oriented classes. Teachers taught students the basics of Roblox, an online game platform and game creator system. The camp taught students how to build, code, and design through the use of a videogame. While this is a relatively new trend, educational institutions are seemingly embracing the educational aspects of gaming.
The tech metaverses will prove valuable for its educational purposes. Institutions can use virtual realms to teach logic and problem solving, which is more than what many school curriculums offer. This educational category includes puzzle games, real-time strategy games and selected simulation games. Games with gameplay elements that require users to utilize creativity are called Sandbox Games. Minecraft (2011) and The Sims franchise are building task games with no true end objective. Gaming is a great way to combine the sciences and the arts in educational platforms.
It’s no surprise that digital immersion is expanding at an exponential rate, and many video game corporations have used similar business models for years. This game uses the most popular entertainment models to create a large user base. The most successful games provide open-world gaming environments that allow for interactive possibilities and maintain a compelling story with clear goals and objectives. Facebook and other tech companies will need to be able to replicate their success. This means that they must maintain a loyal, integral community.
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