The National Football League is making big strides into the metaverse with partners including Roblox and Fortnite Creative.
The NFL Zone is the headline endeavor of the league, a metaverse environment built in Fortnite Creative. Fortnite Creative allows users to build their own games and experiences that can be published and shared with the wider Fortnite community.
The NFL and Fortnite Creative
The NFL has partnered with Visa to offer a digital landscape appealing to football fans and Fortnite players alike. The hope is that these experiences will appeal more to Gen Z, which is showing less interest in traditional sports.
Ed Kiang, the vice president of video gaming for the NFL explained the rationale behind the move.
“We believe in meeting fans where they are at,” said Kiang. “The metaverse, its experiences, and its technology are going to be key in engaging the next generation of fans as more of their time is being spent in persistent virtual experiences as a new way to socialize with others and consume content,” he added.
“We see the metaverse as an extension of the NFL’s real-life engagement platforms for emerging social connectivity, providing a new, always-on, virtual hangout destination with activations tied to NFL events and initiatives,” Kiang said.
The NFL Zone has been built with the help SuperAwesome, a subsidiary of Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite. The San Francisco 49ers are the first team featured in the game, with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, and further teams to follow.
Each team will have a unique home. The 49ers area is designed to resemble an old gold mining town.
NFL Tycoon hits Roblox
Fortnite is not the only metaverse that the NFL is exploring. Earlier this year the company launched NFL Tycoon via Roblox. In NFL Tycoon players can build and play in their own NFL-branded stadiums.
The next game on the NFL’s agenda is a targeting game called Quarterback Simulator, allowing armchair quarterbacks the chance to become virtual quarterbacks from the comfort of their armchairs.
Twitch Streamer Controls Elden Ring Video Game With Only Her Thoughts
Twitch streamer Perri Karyal has started playing Elden Ring using only her thoughts and nothing else to control a character in the popular action role-playing game.
To do this, the British-Canadian attached an EEG to her brain, which she uses to monitor her brain functions. She then maps specific types of brain activity to various actions within the game, giving her control of a character without the use of a controller, mouse or keyboard.
Tasks such as summoning allies or casting spells, inside Elden Ring, can all be done without using a controller, according to videos on her Twitch account. An electroencephalogram, or EEG, is a device commonly used in the medical industry to measure and record brain waves.
“I’m using an EEG to monitor my brain activity live on screen. It works by picking up electrical activity from my brain on the sensor pads on my head, made conductive with saline solution. I then trained it to recognise certain states and binded it to my attack key!” Karyal said on Twitch.
Elden Ring mind control
Perri Karyal describes herself as a “full-time streamer in my twenties.” She says to have a master’s degree in psychology, with interests in physics, current events, “or real-world need-to-know stuff like how to survive a zombie apocalypse.” She also plays games.
She is playing Elden Ring… with her brain. Twitch streamer @perrikaryal has hooked up an EEG to her brain, where different brain activity is key bound to different abilities in game
I am frikin mindblown pic.twitter.com/lzquC2DdV4
— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) January 23, 2023
In the video, the streamer is keen to prove that she is playing the game via EEG, and not using some other form of controller like dance pads. She demonstrated an action in which she attacked and killed the Elder Dragon Greyoll using only her EEG-wired brain.
Karyal commands an attack, and the character attacks. While the streamer and psychologist shouts some of the actions, the game is not responding to her voice commands. It responds only to her brain activity as monitored by the electroencephalogram.
“I’ve gotten a lot of stuff online, people being like, ‘Oh, no that’s cap. Are you for real?’ So as a final demonstration, no controller. Even, no foot pads or dance pads or anything. Focusing in…” Karyal averred.
Every time she wants to attack she has to think the right thought to push the brain activity through the EEG, which has a key bind to attack, said Jake Lucky in the video.
Not a first, still some ways to go
Elden Ring is a 2022 action role-playing game developed by Japanese firm FromSoftware. In the game, “players control a customizable player character on a journey to repair the titular Elden Ring and become the new Elden Lord.
The gane is thought to be difficult, according to some gaming experts, but another streamer on Twitch known as “MissMikkaa” reportedly “completed two copies of the game at the same time, one of which was played exclusively on a dance mat.”
Perri Karyal mentioned the use of dance mats by some players to manipulate the game. She also revealed to Jake Lucky the goal is to be able to control all in-game abilities through an EEG, but that will take time. It requires several hours of training to implement every action.
The future would be to attach different brain activity to multiple different in-game abilities, but it's very difficult for the program to differ such activity, Perri tells me it takes hours of training and refining for each action. pic.twitter.com/KZHdiFvNuJ
— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) January 23, 2023
Karyal also admitted in one of her demonstration videos on Twitch that some actions on Elden Ring cannot be executed through mind control just yet. She also said this was not the first that a video game has been played online using an EEG.
In 2020, American neurotech startup Neurable launched Awakening, a virtual reality (VR) experience. In order to play, a user is required to wear a headband with six electrodes that register the brain’s activity.
This allows the player to control “the first-person video game via thoughts, emulating the protagonists’ super powers.” There is an increasing body of research that has converted brain wave sensors meant for research and medical applications in video game control.
The $450M Bored Ape Metaverse Collapsed Servers at Launch
Dookey Dash, a game where players trudge through a messy sewer system in search of a key to a treasure that a monkey excreted, has gone live. The Bored Ape Yacht Club, or BAYC, launched the game on Jan. 18 to a collapsing server.
According to the Bored Ape Yacht Club trailer on Twitter, the game evolves around the story of Jimmy the Monkey, whose “atomic shit or excretion” during a party at the yacht club accidentally opens a spacetime continuum.
Long story short, a mysterious figure appears, presents a box and a key to open it. For some strange reason, Jimmy the Monkey ends up swallowing the key and attempts to excrete without success.
With the key stuck in his alimentary canal, players have to traverse through the sewer that is the human system – well, monkey system really – and navigate the various bends to uncork Jimmy from below.
ApeCoin (APE), the native token of the BAYC metaverse, rose 7% to $4.92 on the news. The asset has plunged more than 81% from its all-time-high of $26.70 on Apr. 28, 2022, according to CoinGecko.
Heads up, Apes: Our video explainer for the latest update on the Sewer Pass and Dookey Dash can be found below and on our official Yuga Labs YouTube channel! Take some time to watch it through once… Or twice. pic.twitter.com/QIeGMw7Oqa
— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) January 14, 2023
Dookey part of $450M Bored Ape metaverse
Like Temple Run, the popular infinite runner that crossed one billion downloads in 2014, Dookey Dash is another one in the genre. The game will be the first that Yuga Labs, the company behind the popular BAYC, has launched as part of its $450 million metaverse initiative.
It remains to be seen whether the game will be as fun as its storyline. Dookey Dash players will need what is being described by Yuga Labs as a “Sewer Pass” NFT to play. Those who already own a Bored Ape or Mutant Ape NFT can automatically play the controversial game.
Another option will be through the acquisition of one from someone else who has the Sewer Pass. By surviving the run, collecting “fragments,” and avoiding obstacles, a player can also accumulate points.
In the fashion of Temple Run, Dookey Dash will also have small transactions where players can buy things like boosters with cryptocurrency. In three week’s time, players must attempt to achieve the highest score possible by collecting items and completing quests in the game.
After that, a process of validating sewer passes will commence on Feb. 15, with the highest scorer winning a key to a “mysterious and very important box.” The sewer passes boast of four different tiers. Of these, the higher tiers award players with higher scores due to multipliers and also allows users to purchase power-up packs for 2 APE, or about $10 at prevailing market prices.
“On February 15th, validated Sewer Passes will be eligible to transform into a mysterious new power source,” the official BAYC account tweeted.
‘Too much excitement’ crashes servers
The game’s launch has not been without problems after the server collapsed owing to what the company described as “too much excitement for the server to handle.”
“Server issues have been fixed, Dookey Dash is back online. ApeCoin boosts that expired during the downtime will be refunded its full amount back to the wallet they were purchased from,” the company said in a tweet.
Server issues have been fixed, Dookey Dash is back online. ApeCoin boosts that expired during the downtime will be refunded its full amount back to the wallet they were purchased from. For questions about refunds email [email protected] https://t.co/ItKXBwrs9t
— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) January 19, 2023
It seems players are having a good time. “First run through Dookey Dash, already addicting af Super clean UI on mobile, even through MetaMask browser! Well done Team Yuga!,” reads a tweet from Chris.
BAYC says it is not joking about monkey turd. “We’re taking this shit seriously and won’t tolerate any monkey business on the leaderboards,” it warned.
“We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled throughout the activation for any cheating and hold the right to remove any suspect scores after our auditing process.”
Metaverse Tokens Plunge More than 90% in Value in Industry-Wide Bloodbath
Metaverse tokens with more than $1 billion in market capitalization plunged more than 90% in value throughout 2022 due to an industry-wide tanking of the crypto and metaverse markets.
Among them, ApeCoin (APE), Flow (FLOW), The Sandbox (SAND), Decentraland (MANA), Axie Infinity (AXS), Enjin Coin (ENJ), and Internet Computer (ICP) which brought so many gains to sophisticated and unsophisticated traders and investors in 2021 were hit hardest.
Also read: Metaverse Investing: Tokens or Stocks?
APE, the novel token of the ApeCoin ecosystem built on the success of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and its sister project the Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) and the Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC) shed 90% of its value in 2022.
APE was launched on March 17, 2022, and reached a peak of $39.40 on the same day. A total of 150 million APE was airdropped from March to mid-June to BAYC and MAYC NFT holders to help promote the coin to millions of traders and investors.
Ape and Gucci collaborates
Eventually, APE gained the support of major exchanges such as Binance, OKX, BitMart, Coinbase Pro, and Huobi Global among more than 60 crypto trading platforms.
As the primary token which will be overseeing all future activities in the ApeCoin ecosystem which includes the Otherside Metaverse and upcoming blockchain-based games, APE was accepted by fashion brand Gucci in August as a payment option for its products through a partnership with blockchain payment technology BitPay.
Aside from Gucci, TIME Magazine also accepted ApeCoin as payment for digital subscribers earlier in the year.
Despite these milestones, the collapse of TerraUSD (UST), an algorithmic stablecoin by Terraform Labs did not help the fortunes of the token in May. FTXs collapse and subsequent bankruptcy in November plunged APE further into deep losses for investors that bought the token during its peak. On Dec.31, APE was exchanging hands for $3.64, ten times below its yearly high.
The Flow blockchain has been an integral part of the non-fungible token (NFT) industry as well as the transition into the metaverse. Unlike other blockchains such as Ethereum, Algorand, and Avalanche that has multiple use cases, Flow is primarily tailored to the needs of NFTs.
After opening at $8.80 on Jan. 1, Dapper Labs, the development team behind the protocol finally launched NFL ALL DAY in a partnership with the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) in August.
NBA Top Shot highlights NFT platform
NFL ALL DAY which is similar to NBA Top Shot is an exclusive digital video highlight NFT platform that allows fans to buy, own, and trade officially licensed digital video highlights NFTs called Moments. These moments feature some of the greatest NFL players and most sought-after plays in the modern game and throughout the sport’s history.
While NFL ALL DAY added more than $70 million to the total NFT sales on the Flow blockchain in 2022, its sister project in the form of the NBA’s Top Shot failed to impress. Top Shot’s total sales of approximately $211 million throughout 2022 were below February 2021’s $224 million.
With decreasing sales due to falling global NFT market sales, traders responded negatively to FLOW. After reaching a peak of $9.44 on Jan. 2, FLOW closed 2022 with a new price of $0.6535, a 93% plunge in market capitalization from $2.9 billion to $677 million.
Metaverse Token the Sandbox (SAND) Was Not Spared
The Sandbox began 2022 strong with a trading price of $5.85. During the first month of 2022, the Sandbox announced a $50 million fund for what it called its startup metaverse accelerator program. Projects were allotted $250,000 in investments and additional incentives were given to the top-performing projects and this included The Sandbox (SAND) digital asset and LAND, a digital real estate housed in The Sandbox’s metaverse.
The Sandbox became a behemoth metaverse platform in 2022 as Warner Music Group partnered with the platform to create music-themed LAND in January.
Aside from this, the Sandbox partnered with another NFT project called the World of Women to drive the mentorship of females through education in March.
Within the same month, multinational universal bank and financial services holding company HSBC entered the metaverse via the Sandbox to offer educational finance games to its clients.
Several new metaverse platforms saw the light
The second half of the year saw new partnerships formed with the latest coming through Playboy. Playboy announced in July that it will be creating a MetaMansion social game inside the Sandbox with NFT collectibles and special experiences for the Playboy community.
Despite the new milestones other metaverse platforms will be envious of, the damage done by Terra and later FTX which culminated in the search for Do Kwon and the arrest of Sam Bankman-Friend respectively reflected negatively in the value of SAND, the novel token of the Sandbox.
While the Sandbox brought in more than $90 million in NFT sales in 2022, there was a significant decline of 93% in SAND’s price from a peak of $6.01 on Jan. 1 to $0.383 on Dec. 31.
Other coins followed along down
Other metaverse coins such as MANA, AXS, ENJ, and ICP also saw double-digit percentage losses throughout 2022.
ICP, the cryptocurrency of Internet Computer, a project which aims to decentralize everything on the internet plunged by 83%.
ENJ, the novel token of Enjin Coin, an ecosystem of interconnected blockchain-based gaming products shed 90% of its value while AXS, the native asset of Axie Infinity, the highest-selling NFT by all-time sales also went down by 93% due to a drop in the average sale value of Axie NFTs.
MANA, the token behind Decentraland, a virtual destination for the buying and selling of virtual land, estate, and avatars also plummeted by 90% due to an industry-wide bloodbath that has wiped more than $2 trillion off the total market capitalization of the entire decentralized finance market.
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