Part Three of the Metaverse series – Reality sucks, except when it doesn’t | M&M Global

Part Three of the Metaverse series – Reality sucks, except when it doesn’t

This is the third instalment of Erik Londre’s Metaverse and events series, which is going to focus on the complex relationship between realism and fun.

Since the dawn of video games the allure of recreating reality has driven many a game developers. In fact realism was the holy grail of much of early gaming. However, with increasing computing power simulation games kind of ate themselves. Try a modern flight simulator with the realism settings maxed out and you’ll need hours of flight school time just to be able to safely take off and land. Fun if you want to become a pilot, not so much if you just want to play a game.

So hyper-realistic simulations are often just as boring as reality. There will always be a niche market for hardcore sims, but the rest of us just want to have fun.

The best example is the classic Battlefield wargame series and how impressively realistic it is. However, players have found ways of performing epic and totally unrealistic stunts like jumping out of your fighter jet, shooting your enemy out of the sky with a bazooka and still making it back to the cockpit and keep flying. Developers DICE seemed to have finally embraced this when the latest instalment of the franchise was announced and the initial reception from their fan base and the inventor of the move was predictably ecstatic (less so to the finished game itself though, but that’s another story).

Other good examples are Rocket League, a fantastic football game with cars, is a more developed and popular esport than the realistic FIFA franchise. The most popular content creators in GTA V offer super-complex custom car obstacle courses in the sky that defy all logic and realism. My point here: reality is fine, but fun is… well, more fun.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep this in mind when considering the new medium of In-Game Experiential Marketing and Virtual Events, there is no need to abide by the laws of physics, or the budget constraints that dictate real-world brand experiences.

In the Metaverse, we can do anything. I’ll repeat that, in the Metaverse, we can do anything!

If the best way to communicate your brand is by hosting an event in a 900 meter-tall floating gold-plated Tudor castle on Jupiter’s moon Titan, do it. It won’t cost much more than recreating your store in the shopping mall down the road, and most importantly a lot more people will want to visit it.

I know, I know. It’s exciting to see your HQ, shop, restaurant, stadium or concert venue recreated inside a popular video game and the brand safety aspect of it might be tempting too. But, to your audience, it’s likely not to be that interesting. Why recreate a reality no one is really excited about visiting in the first place? I am looking at you, Chipotle & Carrefour with your restaurant in Roblox and Healthy eating supermarket map in Fortnite.

Think about what you’d do if you could do anything and make it fun for your audience.

As always there are exceptions when realism has its place and context is important.

A while back someone recreated one of the world’s most legendary nightclub in Minecraft. Berghain in Berlin is notorious and famous/infamous for many things like being really hard to get into. If by some miracle you make it past the face-tattooed superstar security guard Sven, you’re in for something special.

Inside, a literal temple of Techno and a sex dungeon awaits you. Now recreating a venue like that in the wholesome world of Minecraft is instantly funny in itself and it’s also really interesting to the 99.9% of us that have basically no chance of ever seeing the inside of the real place in any shape, or form. Not only is gaining access hard, but there’s also a strict no photography and filming policy in place possibly due to the presence of the aforementioned sex dungeon.

Apparently, the recreation is as realistic as the Minecraft platform allows and realism is no fun, right? However, people still flock to the experience. Why? Because the Berghain experience is inaccessible to most of us. This means that recreating reality suddenly becomes interesting and fun.

The same principle applies to the Roblox sub-culture of recreating 1980’s Michael Jackson concerts we talked about in another part. The original experience is inaccessible due to it being in the past and the recreation of every nuance and move of the original event becomes crucial to the experience. In fact, history is an untapped mine of exciting, potentially brandable virtual experiences where realism counts, not least in sport, but also culture and history. Let’s see… Hendrix at Woodstock, Pelé in his prime, the fall of the Berlin Wall…

Key points to take away: In Metaverse marketing events and branded experiences fun beats realism almost every time. To make realism fun recreate relevant real-world experiences that are inaccessible to your audience, or combine your realism with surprising and exciting elements.

Next, we’ll talk more about how the Metaverse will change the music industry and why most virtual concerts so far have sucked.

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