I Killed My Neopet
A Guide on Understanding and Investing in the Metaverse
When I was in grade school, I had an obsession with Neopets. Neopets was a virtual pet website where you could adopt animals and care for them. It wasn’t a typical game where you played to get to the next level. Your only objective was to keep the pet alive. You can think of it as a more intense Tomagachi that lived on your computer rather than your keychain.
I’d spend hours playing games to win coins, so I could buy food and clothes for the pets. And when I was running really low on coins, I’d ask my parents if I could borrow their credit cards to buy virtual currency to keep my pet alive. My dad used to get so nervous and say it was insane to buy a virtual pet food (remember, this was the early 2000s, so buying stuff on the internet was relatively new and intimidating). However, when I started calling the pets by name, he always had a bit more sympathy. I guess there is something very different when you ask, “Can you buy my virtual pet a hat?” versus, “Can you help me buy Lenny some food or else he is going to die?”
And that leads me to today’s topic - the Metaverse. Because there is value beyond the physical world even if we think it sounds insane.
WTF are you talking about?
The Metaverse refers to virtual space on the internet. “Meta” means “beyond” and “verse” is the root of “universe” meaning the physical world in which we exist. Therefore, the “Metaverse” is simply the world beyond the physical - it is a space that exists in a digital world. Neopets was an example of a Metaverse. Didn’t play Neopets, well Sims is another.
What Do the Metaverse and Neopets have in common?
They are Digital - Neopets.com was a digital space where you could own pets, build them homes, cook and clean for them, and have them make friends. Essentially, it was a virtual reality for kids. The Metaverse is just the descriptor word we use to describe where virtual reality exists. In other words, I physically live in reality within the physical universe. Neopets exist in virtual reality within the Metaverse.
They Seem Insane - Whenever I used to talk about my Neopets, my parents would say how odd it was that I wanted to play with virtual pets online rather than my own physical dog. There’s definitely a deeper philosophical argument to dig into here, but I’m no philosopher or psychologist. I am simply stating what I know, and at the time I loved to play with my digital pet. The Metaverse and it’s attributes are going to seem insane and I cannot try to cover all the topics in this one article. I can just say, keep an open mind.
There is Money Involved - When I was playing Neopets, I would buy Neopet coins (NP) to use as currency. I would use NP to buy Lenny jenny bean pizzas, chocolate omelettes, marshmallow cakes (honestly, if you don’t believe me, you can check out the menu here). Whoever designed the game knew exactly what 11 year olds were dreaming about. One time I charged $100 to my parent’s credit card to buy my pet a castle, which ended up being the end of my Neopet adventure (and the death of Lenny, RIP). Similarly, the Metaverse also involves a lot of money. You can buy things like pets, clothes, real estate, art, and even concert tickets.
They are Expansive - When I was playing the game, I used to have a lot of pets. I’d have tigers, dragons, foxes, you name it. However, in the real world, I only had 1 dog. And that’s the real power of the Metaverse - it’s endless.
What’s the Metaverse Today?
The Metaverse had gone through a lot of change in the last decade. What started as “virtual reality” is now experiencing a whole new rebrand thanks to VR (virtual reality) and blockchain.
Companies like Facebook are actually trying to become Metaverse businesses. Ever heard of Oculus? They are a virtual reality company owned by Facebook and their intention is to allow you to play games and even attend events like concerts in “the Metaverse.” I can’t really decide if I think this is cool or very Black Mirror, but I am also trying to keep an open mind. You can read more about Zuck’s plan here.
How is the Metaverse Related to Block Chain?
Earlier in this article, I talked about how I used to buy my Neopet food and clothing with Neopet coins (NP). Well, these coins weren’t so far off from crypto currencies given they were virtual currencies. The only major difference is, they aren’t on the blockchain.
Today, many Metaverse experiences leverage the blockchain for currency usage, trading, and collecting. For example, today you can attend a virtual art gallery in the Metaverse and buy a digital painting (an NFT) with bitcoin. While I know that’s a mouth full, it’s honestly not that far off from me playing Neopets and buying my pet, Lenny, a slice of chocolate pizza with NP coins.
Where Do I Start?
The Metaverse is complicated. In fact, I already know I’m going to receive feedback that I left out “xyz.” However, I can show you a few places to start including some games and marketplaces.
Roblox: A a game platform. It allows users to program games and play games created by other users.
Fortnite: A game where you can play in a world of many experiences.
Decentraland: The virtual destination for digital assets where you can buy and sell land, estates, avatar wearables and names.
Open Sea: A peer-to-peer marketplace for NFTs, rare digital items and crypto collectibles.
Sotheby’s Metaverse: An immersive destination for collectors of digital art, offering a curated selection of NFTs.
Can I Invest in It?
Long story short, yes you can. It simply depends on what you want to get out of it. You can play a game in the Metaverse for fun (kind of like I did with my Neopets) or you could attend a concert to see Ariana Grande perform.
You could also think of the Metaverse as an investment opportunity. Some are using the Metaverse to buy virtual land (think about Decentraland), some are buying art, and some are even buying music. It’s simply about what you want to do with it. For me, when I buy art, it’s usually for aesthetic rather than investing but that’s not to say you can’t make money investing in art.
If this whole article completely overwhelmed you, but you’re still interested in the opportunity, you can always invest in a Metaverse ETF like META.
Things to Be Mindful Of:
Keep An Open Mind - When email first came out, people had a difficult time conceptualizing it. They wondered how it would be possible to communicate with someone in another place via this thing called “the internet.” That’s why a brilliant marketer came up with the phrase “e-mail,” so consumers could better visualize the concept (they were hyper familiar with mail, so why wouldn’t they buy into electronic mail?). In the most meta of ways, that’s exactly what I do with this blog. I use a familiar topic like neopets or bad boyfriends and use them to explain something more complicated. The metaverse has done a very bad job at being uncomplicated because it is so new, but don’t let that scare you from learning about it.
Liquidity - Always think about liquidity when investing and the metaverse may or may not be very liquid. There is a lot of hype about the metaverse right now (which has led to a level of liquidity), but you may also want to ask yourself if you buy that NFT gorilla with the cool glasses today, will someone want to buy it from me 6 months from now?
It’s Not For Everyone - My goal is to keep you educated and updated on all things investing. That being said, the Metaverse is not for everyone and that is okay. Half the battle of investing is figuring out what you DON’T want to invest in rather than simply what you WANT to invest in. It’s a personal choice, so make sure you understand what you are investing in and make sure it’s suitable to you.
Thank you for reading!! If there is a topic you want to discuss, please DM me on Instagram at @notyourbfsinvestmentadvice or email me at email@example.com. I also recently Co-Founded a company called Aura - a financial wellness and investment platform. We are building for YOU. If you’re interested in joining the beta, sign up here.
See you next week lover!
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