If Web1 represented the Golden Age of a democratized access to information, and Web2 witnessed the reign of content creation and social media platforms, Web3 will see the realm of the metaverse, connecting people, places, and things in a 3-dimensional, “phygital” (physical and digital), secure, decentralized, and AI-powered environment. All these promises give us hope that a more human-centric and inclusive internet can emerge: Are we heading toward a “betterverse?”
As new business models emerge, a whole economy is being created. While this new internet is a goldmine for artists eager to promote their artwork and make a living out of it in the form of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), some wonder how a student can earn $1 million dollars by selling a series of selfies or how a pair of virtual sneakers (by RTFKT Studios) can reach the amount of $100,000, while there are still 690 million people worldwide who are undernourished. RTFKT Studios was acquired by Nike in December 2021 for an undisclosed amount.
And what about representation and inclusion? Avatar creation and the ensuing market of digital artifacts bring along infinite possibilities of reinventing oneself, therefore opening to more gender equity and gender fluidity. Yet we already notice an underrepresentation of women, disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community. Avatars that are female, or have darker skin tones, tend to sell for less than masculine and white avatars despite being less common. To counterbalance the trend, digital design studio Daz 3D created 8,888 female and non-binary “Non-Fungible People”.
In a decentralized system still led by major business players attempting to achieve interoperability, who is handed down the responsibility? Facebook – rebranded Meta – aims to build the metaverse responsibly, collaboratively, with wellness, safety and diversity at heart. Will these intentions be enough? What governance can we put in place to make the Internet a better place? What ethical futures can we envision and contribute to building as Web3 becomes a reality?
Because the world is now phygital. Web3 only makes sense if it is built in close relationship with our physical reality. We ultimately believe that to create beautiful art and offer meaningful immersive experiences, we will always need to be in touch with our exterior world, the millions of species that exist on Earth, the treasures we discover as we explore space and the deep ocean, as well as the very specificities of real-life human interactions.
Read the full article on wagmas.xyz’s blog and join our effort at Silicon Humanism. Our Founder Sylvia Gallusser will be present at web3summit in San Diego May 18-20, 2022, and bring the topic of Humanism of web3 to the stage. web3summit is an initiative from Deborah Perry-Piscione and Val Bercovici.