After another long day of work, I’m thrilled to start my commute back home. At the bus station, I take out my phone and load up The Gulch, where my avatar is waiting for me in Gaia, the forest biome. Everything is as I left it after playing “Hunter: Call of the Wild” last night before going to sleep.
A couple taps on the screen pulls up my navigator and I use it to teleport back to Prime, the Gulch’s main social hub. Once I’m settled in my usual seat, I visit the Tech News district to catch up on what I missed since lunch — for some reason it’s bubbling with more activity than usual. I look around for any notifications that might explain the commotion and see that the Apple store is broadcasting that they’re hosting a promo event. I fast travel straight to Apple’s digital storefront.
As I get closer, I drop a message in the local text channel asking what the event is about. SteamerInfinite, an avatar rocking an amazing steampunk outfit turns at me and shows me a holographic video of the latest Macbooks dropping today. The first 1000 to pre-order will get a limited edition animated M.2 processor t-shirt and nav theme! Sounds exciting, but I don’t have the budget to pre-order it yet, even though the hordes of people I see putting the t-shirt on after their purchase does make it really tempting… I thank SteamerInfinite and ask him where he got his outfit: “Bioshock: Infinite. It’s on sale all week, and you get the outfit when you complete the 10 hours played achievement”.
Bioshock!! I loved that game — I remember binging it for hours when I played it a few years ago — but I never ended up having enough time to try the sequels after getting my first job… my nostalgia is hard to ignore so I pull out my navigator and search for Bioshock. The game is indeed on sale! I apply SteamerInfinite’s referral code to send him my thanks for letting me know about it. The discount is nice, but I have more than enough game tokens in my account wallet to impulse buy it.
Once the transaction is complete I hit enter and am immediately teleported right next to its portal in Utopia, the post-apocalyptic themed desert city. I’m not the only one who heard about the event apparently, and especially because of the amazing new Steampunk skin, there’s a constant stream of avatars jumping right though into the the portal. I follow the crowd and jump into it myself, and after a brief moment in the loading screen, I’m back inside the Bioshock universe for the first time in over 10 years.
I’m pleasantly surprised that they remastered this version for the Metaverse. The 4k textures and improved global illumination make a huge difference, and thanks to the upgrades it easily contends with more recent titles in terms of visuals.
At this point I clue in to my “real life” surroundings and realize I only have one stop left on my bus route… I tuck my phone away, and eagerly walk the last few minutes home. My evening is going to be so much better than I expected.
Eager to play, I throw my backpack on the couch and turn on my 4K smart TV. While I throw together a quick evening snack, I launch The Gulch, where it loads me instantly right where I left on my phone. I play Bioshock for an hour that felt more like 5 minutes, and I get a message from my friend telling me that the CS:GO Finals are starting at the Tesla Stadium back in New Rome, the Esports city in the Metaverse..
Liquid is playing Astralis today — no way I can miss that! I pull out my navigator, switch my avatar’s outfit to my Team Liquid hoodie and hat, and off I go to the Tesla Stadium entrance. I meet up with a couple friends there and we all walk in together. Despite having attended dozens of events here before, I’m still amazed at how huge this place is… And the event is so full! We went through more than 10 different parallel zones and each one had over a hundred thousand live spectators taking all the free seats! Good thing the stadium has huge screens scattered throughout the space and offers personal nav broadcasts if you felt like being lazy.
Once we settled in our seats, I slip my REXR VR Headset over my face and sync up so I can enjoy full audio-visual immersion with my buddies. My display flickers to life just in time, and I crane my neck to get a better view as Elon Musk’s Avatar himself walks on stage — I can’t believe my luck in catching one of his surprise guest appearances! He gets inside his Tesla Truck straight out of Mars, pulls out his signature flame thrower and points it towards the sky through the open roof. The air above the massive crowd of spectators ripples with digital electricity and wild cheering as the ceiling opens up to allow a huge Space-X Rocket to descend through dense fog into the middle of the arena. Enormous doors at the base of the rocket lift slowly and the players of Liquid and Astralis come down the ramp to sit at their virtual computers. The entire sequence was amazing to witness, especially in VR!
It was a close match, and obviously Liquid won in the end! The post-game show will begin shortly, but we’re way too stoked to stay in our seats — instead, we head to the merch booth where a limited edition Elon Musk flame thrower: Team Liquid edition is available for purchase. A holographic tooltip indicates that we can play around with it as a flame thrower in The Gulch, but also use it as an M4A4 skin in CS:GO. As a special bonus, it can also be purchased as a physical object and shipped to your real life house for an extra (although rather hefty) price! My friends and I get the digital version without hesitation and jump right into CS:GO through our navigators. I beg them to wait a few moments before starting the match so I can remove my VR headset and move over to my Chromebook instead. It’s hooked up to a 144Hz monitor and my Roccat mouse & keyboard… we don’t kid around here! I launch the Gulch, and again, I’m instantly where I was before removing my headset. I fire off a quick emote to my friends to let them know I’m ready — let’s go, squad.
All of this sounds absolutely mad when you think about it. It seems straight out of a science fiction movie or novel, yet I’ve just spent my whole evening with friends playing one of my favorite 2000’s games, watching esports finals with an unexpected virtual show featuring Elon Musk, got a limited edition flame thrower in-game that I could also get in real-life, and played competitive CS:GO with my friends. It started on the bus, transitioned to my living room, to my VR headset and to my bedroom gamer setup without having to download, wait or update a single thing. My digital identity exists seamlessly across all these interactions, and my personal inventory reflects all the experiences and achievements I’ve earned across the digital ecology of the Metaverse. Before going to sleep, I head back to Gaia, the forest biome, and play some “Hunter: Call of the Wild” on my phone before sleeping, as that game has a very soothing, relaxing effect on me.