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Doug Thompson on the Importance of Story in the Evolving Metaverse
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Doug Thompson on the Importance of Story in the Evolving Metaverse
In this episode of #StoryFirst we're joined by Doug Thompson, well-regarded Metaverse thought leader, and co-creator of Echocore, a unique "narrative adventure where [community] contributions have a direct impact on the [story]."

In this episode of #StoryFirst we're joined by Doug Thompson, well-regarded Metaverse thought leader, and co-creator of Echocore, a unique "narrative adventure where [community] contributions have a direct impact on the [story]." The Echocore story is being told via graphic novels, videos, live streams and gameplay. Doug is also an advisor to StoryPrima DAO.

In this podcast, Doug focuses on:

  • The evolution of the Metaverse over the last 15 years
  • Why story has been, and will continue to be central, to the Metaverse
  • The Metaverse as a cultural rather than purely technological movement

Doug Thompson Links
-Out of Scope
-Open Meta DAO

StoryPrima and #StoryFirst Links
-About StoryPrima DAO
-Interested in appearing on the #StoryFirst? Contact us via Discord
-Subscribe: Spotify | Stitcher

Speaker 1: 15 years ago, we were super concerned about the tech. It was all about figuring out interoperability, how to get my avatar to move from one, uh, world to another world. And we just thought that if we could solve the tech problem, everything would be, uh, uh, the metaverse would emerge. And I think what's interesting about the last year is that we've seen that this is just as much about culture, is that convergence of story or all coming together, uh, to open up this new era,

Speaker 2: Welcome to story. First, a podcast where we shine a light on the web three Mavericks that are leveraging the power of narrative to create immersive NFT world. We investigate the art and science of story building through insightful interviews with creators, collectors, and investors. For those who seek a richer NFT experience. This is your portal to a vivid new realm of fiction. Story. First is a production of story. Prima doubt, whose mission is to encourage the growth and success of story focused NFT projects through research, education, and project incubation story prima brings you the blockbusters of tomorrow.

Speaker 3: Hello, and welcome to the hashtag story. First podcast, a weekly show where we talk about web three NFT projects focused on storytelling. We believe story focused, NFT projects are built to last and will form the foundation of a new breed of hugely influential properties in gaming entertainment, art, and beyond the story. First podcast highlights the Mavericks and leaders who are leveraging the power of Ft to tell the blockbuster stories of tomorrow. My name is Devin Sawyer and I am joined by a esteemed co-host and co-founder James Devon.

Speaker 4: Hi guys, my name's James I'm the art director of, and, um, founding member at legends of cipher. And I'm a member of Sur prima.

Speaker 3: Yes, together we represent, um, half of the founders at story prima, which is a decentralized autonomous organization with a mission to accelerate the growth and success of story focused NFT projects through media research, education and project incubation today on story first, we're honored to welcome Doug Thompson from the echo core community. We're honored to horse this podcast because echo core is a really great story. A really great example of deep, lower storytelling in web three and leveraging NFT technologies, but even cooler is the fact that ju Doug is a metaverse OG going back a number of years. And today we're really excited to learn more about the history of the metaverse the relevant market conditions for today and where we see it going in the future. So, Doug, uh, welcome and thank you for your time and joining us today on the podcast.

Speaker 1: This is amazing. Thanks for having me

Speaker 3: Guys. Yeah. Appreciate it.

Speaker 1: Good to see you both.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Um, amazing. And you've got a beautiful and serene background and, um, disclaimer to the audience, um, minor technical difficulties today. Um, so things are a little bit jitter, jittery bear with us. So Doug, um, let's get right into it. Um, let's start with you. Tell us about yourself, your origin story.

Speaker 1: Well, how about, how about where I've ended up, which might explain some of the jitteryness today. So I'm in yeah. Uh Formentera, which is a little island south of Abitha in Spain, in the Mediterranean. It's been beautifully sunny here. Um, and my wifi is some kind of weird contraption on the roof of this, uh, Villa thing that I'm staying in and who would've imagined like four or five years ago, even, uh, being a digital nomad. And for a lot of people, the, the idea was like totally crazy. Uh, but I've actually been a nomad for a few years now and it kind of speaks a little bit to what I think the life and the metaverse is gonna be like. And what's interesting about the last year or so, especially since Facebook announced it was going big on the metaverse. What I think's interesting about the last year.

Speaker 1: I, and the difference to 15 years ago, 15 years ago, we were super concerned about the tech. It was all about figuring out interoperability, how to get my avatar to move from one, uh, world to another world. And we just thought that if we could solve the tech problem, everything would be, uh, uh, the metaverse would emerge. And I think what's interesting about the last year is that we've seen that this is just as much about culture. The metaverse is as much about a cultural space and have always been a believer. That story is the most powerful communicator of culture. So it's kind of an exciting time. Uh, it's the convergence of story all coming together, uh, to open up this new era.

Speaker 3: Yeah, definitely. Um, we, we did, we did lose you on a couple of spots there, so let me just, uh, try and recap what we caught. Um, you know, it sounds like you're, you're building metaverse technology that that enables, um, significant collaboration, uh, and experiences. Um, you, we miss you, we, we caught a bit about the military. Can you talk a little bit about that program as an example?

Speaker 1: Yeah, so, um, about years ago I was working with, uh, the us military to help veterans coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq to recover from military amputees. They were called mil military amputees. So these were, you know, people who had, uh, amputations because of war. And we used the metaverse as a source for telling a story. Um, we actually created this virtual place. It was, uh, it was modeled after and in a old camp and the Carolinas and it was this play and they could have a peer support group together. They could attend, um, you know, therapy sessions and things like that. So it was this combination of letting people express their bodies through avatars, which was super important for this group of, uh, veterans, a source for socializing and a source for storytelling.

Speaker 3: Amazing. Um, and so, you know, these experiences you've had have kind of, um, kind of given you the background and understanding, and you talk about the, the metaverse being, um, kind of a cultural phenomenon, so grounded today, what are some of the examples that you're seeing in web three that are enabling the, the metaverse to be a reality today versus kind of the burgeoning start of it 15 years ago?

Speaker 1: Yeah. Well, let's, let's talk a little bit about what the meta involved in something called, oh, the open meta Dow, and it's a Dow that's devoted to making sure that the met is open to companies. And one of the things that we say at open meta and that Ryan says is that the metaverse is the internet built by game developers. So it's a S spatial experience. You know, it feels like a place, but if you think about the metaverse, um, and what the tool, what the things are that are needed in the metaverse, there are things like identity, which I can express through an avatar, right? You need a wallet, you need inventory, you need friends.

Speaker 1: And I would propose that with web three, a lot of the infrastructure for the metaverse is being built even before the 3d spaces are necessarily there, which I find super interesting. And it started a lot of this has started with profile photos. And of course the kind of the most is probably the broad apes, right? My identity, I have my wallet, uh, you know, my meta mask wallet. So I'm, I'm building out this infrastructure, uh, for all the things I'm gonna need once I enter that 3d space that we call the metaverse. So I think it's kind of an interesting time because it's a cultural phenomenon that's happening. It's a cultural movement that's putting, um, that's creating the conditions where the next generation of, uh, online experiences.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I couldn't agree more. Um, and I remember when we were talking because, you know, when you think of identity and wallet, um, and then, you know, the way the community comes together around cryptocurrency, decentralized, autonomous organizations, it's very much community based collaboration. Um, and, and I believe you mentioned when we spoke that you, um, were quite interested back in, back in the early days about the E the economics, um, and that would've been really pre cryptocurrency, you hosted a show called meta economics to you share a little insight about what that was about. Cause that's certainly as OG as a guess.

Speaker 1: Yeah. yeah, it was a show. It was called menos. It was a it's was hosted by, um, uh, a core, a professor at Cornell university who was actually a professor of accounting. And he was fascinated with, he was fascinated by game economies. And so he and I, you know, I produced the show and I sometimes hosted it. Um, and we had guests on that included, you know, nom, Chomsky, the head of the world bank, uh, senior executives at Microsoft, uh, Jesse shell, uh, always kind of different disciplines that were interested in these emerging game worlds. And, you know, back in the day, like world of Warcraft did either of you guys ever play world of Warcraft?

Speaker 3: I didn't no.

Speaker 1: Oh, oh my

Speaker 3: God, no, I haven't played it

Speaker 1: Either. Cause back in the day like, oh man, you missed the, you missed the glory days because back in the day, world of Warcraft people were like, wow, this is, this is a huge economy. Hundreds of millions of dollars of value was being exchanged in world of Warcraft. And there were factories in China with people on computers, farming for gear and farming for gold and stuff like that in world of Warcraft. And people suddenly realized that these game worlds were creating these really huge economies. And so people started writing about what's gonna happen if the virtual economy, uh, starts to starts to become big enough that it may threaten the real world economy. And so there was this huge interest and a lot of academic study in how these game worlds were creating their own alternative economies. And of course now, uh, Jensen Wong and Vidia says that the metaverse economy will probably exceed global GDP, you know, which is crazy.

Speaker 1: Um, so meno was based on the idea that the metaverse, isn't just a game world that it's gonna involve all kinds of different disciplines from storytellers to architects, uh, musicians and artists to gamers and AMS. And so we, you know, we ran that show for, I guess we probably had a hundred episodes similar to this show, just meeting with really cool people and talking about, uh, where all of this stuff is going. And that was 15 years ago. And it's uh, yeah, I, I could probably take the, I could probably take the show list and if I, and if we did that, it shows today it would still be relevant.

Speaker 3: Yeah. True. Is that something you could pull out of the archives? Just curious.

Speaker 1: Yeah. I, you know, I've been trying to, trying to get it. I think it's actually trapped on iTunes.

Speaker 3:

Speaker 1: Right. And it, I have to, I have to UN trap it because it, yeah, this is an old email that I don't have access to anymore. Right.

Speaker 4: I was having this conversation, uh, with my friend earlier and it was kind of, it was kind of like an argument. Okay. He doesn't believe that the metaverse is gonna, is gonna catch on and I was giving him all these reasons why, why it's gonna just, as you say, you know, uh, exceed global GDP. Okay. And here are a couple of my ideas and, and, and see if you see, if you can riff with this, um, the, the, the wor the world is fascinated by continual by continual growth. Okay. But we know that in, um, with, uh, uh, expanding population, continual growth, exponential growth, just as impossible. Okay. So what we need to move into is a world where you can grow and expand and increase as much as, as much as you possibly want to, but it doesn't use physical land, and it doesn't use, uh, natural resources.

Speaker 4: Um, and, you know, I put forward this proposition that the metaverse would be exactly the, the sort of place where this could happen and people could unleash their creativity and AI could go wild and generate billions and billions of different landscapes for people to exist in, um, and clothing for them to wear and items for them to have and houses for them to live in, um, without, without inflicting our presence, um, upon our environment anymore than we are doing so already. But my friend was determined that people would not unhinge themselves from reality to, to that degree. They wouldn't live their lives in the, metaverse not a hundred percent, not 90%, not 80%. He said, you know, may maybe, maybe 20% maybe like, like you scroll through Facebook or Instagram, what do you think? Do you think we could see a 50 or above percentage life spent in the metaverse? And if so, what, what would technology need to do in order to get us there? Are we gonna be head to toe advisors and, and suits? Are we gonna be complete immersion, or is it gonna be something that we're more familiar with, like on our phone or on our TV screen, or maybe just in the bottom layer of our glasses, what you think?

Speaker 1: So the question was, um, whether we'd spend all of our time in the metaverse, uh, and certainly it's kind of a, sort of a dystopian ideas and that this idea that it's, it's gonna be better to just log in, have a, have a nice beach house, uh, do fun stuff in a digital world rather than a physical one. And there's something dystopian about that. And look, I'm a, I'm a digital nomad and I like experiencing different places and different tastes and different smells and sounds and so on. So actually, I mean, I'm kind of hopeful that we don't all end up logged in to the metaverse that's the, that's the, that's the dystopian version of how this turns out it's ready player one, isn't it, it's where, where they put their goggles on to enter, what's it called, uh, to enter the Oasis, because reality is so crappy and hopefully that's not how it turns out, but there's an interesting point here, which is where do you define where the metaverse begins?

Speaker 1: And one of the kind of leading lines of thinking about the metaverse is that it's, it's the final blending of physical and digital realities. And it means that as I'm wearing glasses and walking down the street, walking down the street itself can become a process of walking in through the metaverse or the, the physical world version of the metaverse. So I kind of have this concept that, uh, our experience of the metaverse will be variable, meaning that sometimes we'll just engage with a tiny little bit of S spatial content, a tiny little bit of 3d content. Um, and sometimes I will log in because I'm going to, you know, a dead nose concert, uh, sometimes I'm logging in because I'm, you know, building stuff and the equivalent of something like Fortnite creative. So I actually think we will be spending over 50% of our time engaged with the metaverse, but that, that won't always look like we expect it to, like, it won't always be logging into the full experience that sometimes the metaverse will just kind of be around us in a more ambient way.

Speaker 4: Yeah, I can, I can definitely imagine that a, a set, a set of, um, uh, various focals where the, where the lower half is metaverse in the upper half keeps you on, on the right track on the sidewalk. Um, and I imagine, um, I imagine visiting visiting stores for, for, for clothes shopping, physical stores that are smaller than they currently are, but have the capacity for you to browse a, a, a, a limitless inventory of items that are, um, items that are, are made to order and items that are available for your, um, for your meta avatar as well. I think that it's absolutely. I think that it's hard to imagine just like the transition between, um, uh, just like the transition between physical, physical store places and internet store places was hard to imagine. I think it's the same sort of thing. It's difficult for us to see it now, but in, um, you know, what's the time horizon five years time, 10 years time.

Speaker 1: Yeah. They say, they say, yeah, I would, I would say, uh, in five years, they're predicting, um, you'll be able to wear glasses that will be able to seamlessly switch between virtual VR fully closed off virtual reality and AR so that these are glasses. And you saw that actually today, uh, meta was demonstrating their new Cambria glasses, which are mixed reality VR goggles. So they're goggles that I can log into a fully immersive VR and then, and then switch so that I can see the room around you. Now, imagine as that gets miniaturized and I can actually wear those glasses throughout the day. It means I could actually be, um, jump off into a virtual experience of some kind, let's say a game. And then I could transition back to the physical world seamlessly, and that would all happen on my glasses. And they're predicting that that'll happen within five years.

Speaker 4: And I think that this really does allow us to push forward in, you know, in, in this certainly in developed worlds where this, um, where this, uh, um, um, , um, there's a, a short, a shortage of space. There's a shortage of prime real estate, you know? Yeah. On the, on the, on the, on the main street, on the main, um, um, economic area of, of any city, you could have layer upon layer upon layer of metaverse shops that you could browse and could be hosted by, you know, a whole different number of businesses. It give, it gives equal opportunity to a wider variety of people without having to encroach into the physical world in order to, to, to do it, you know?

Speaker 1: Yeah. I've always been fascinated by the crossover between architecture and the metaverse. Um, there's a fellow named John Bruce showed who I did work with about 15 years ago. He helped us to design these spaces that we used for veterans. And, um, he was just so brilliant. And he was, he would do had a project called reflective architecture, which was to create architecture in virtual environments where the architecture itself would change based on who the users were that were going through that space based on how many people there were. So you could have a little seating area for three people, but then if five showed up, the space itself would transform. And, but 15 years ago, this was like revolutionary recently. Um, I've had a lot, I've had the luck of getting to know Pico Velazquez, who is one of our advisors at echo core. And she's an architect.

Speaker 1: Who's also bringing the architecture of the metaverse into the physical world of vice versa. And both of these architects sort of say the same thing, which is that you can no longer design physical space as a, I don't know, how do you put it as something that's, uh, static. Like I have to design physical space knowing that some people are gonna be wearing, you know, glasses, AR glasses that I can, that the space itself can change. She's done physical spaces that change based on how many people are there, so that you've got this really interesting, uh, rethinking of physical reality. Exactly what you're saying that physical reality itself is now blending with digital. And that has implications for everything from farming to how we experience retail, you know, so it's, I mean, kind of like, wow, you know, I can't, we can't even imagine we're at the very earliest days of imagining what this is

Speaker 4: Going. It's a, it's, it's, it's so difficult to imagine. We're just gonna have to see a play out.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And if you're not following Doug on Twitter, um, at do sand writer, uh, D U S a N w R I T E R. Um, Doug's got lots of great content, um, your blog there, um, was it out of scope? Yep. Bureau of bright Uh, absolutely. We're checking out, you know, that Doug is a thought leader in this space and, um, yeah, we hope to get you back on the show. We could absolutely blow up tons of more time and conversation around the space. It seems endless as it were, as the metaverse will be. Um, but I wanna, I wanna, I do wanna make sure we get into the echo core project, cuz I think it's, um, an important piece of, of the work you're doing. Um, and to pivot that I wanted to come back to something you said when we spoke last time, Doug, and that is you refer to the NFT as the Adam, um, in the web three space. Can we start there? What do you mean by that?

Speaker 1: Yeah. So typically in game environments, um, games are built up actually of this is a, this is a vast oversimplification, but games are actually built up of little atoms. You know, they're take, you take a square or you take a, you take a cube, you take a sphere, you morph them, you change them and then you can create a car. That's how a game is built. So I take a bunch of, uh, cubes and I can create a house and then I can create a game, you know, that where my character moves through that house. So, um, that's how games are built. They're built from the Adam up. And I think what I started to see with NFTs, especially with profile photos to start was that stories were being started with the absolute simplest pieces. You know, it was just a profile photo of a board ape. It was just a profo profile photo of, uh, you know, a, a, a punk or whatever.

Speaker 1: So if that was true, then you start to ask yourself the question, well, what other elements do I need to make up a story? And it's really not that complicated. I have characters, which is the equivalent of a profile photo or an avatar. I have locations. And I like to think of locations like, uh, the bat cave or Superman's fortres of solitude. It's these iconic locations that stories take place in, or a tea house or my living room or a beach, you know, where I meet somebody and then I, and then there's objects. And those can be everything from a chair to a gun, to a pet. Um, so stories are made up of these little components and then the only thing that's missing is our creativity to bring these elements together in order to, in order to create story and what we're, what we're doing with echo core.

Speaker 1: And I think more broadly, I think what all of the web three storytellers are doing is experimenting with this idea that we could take, uh, components and reconfigure them in interesting ways because of the capacity of the blockchain and that you can then attach those composable pieces. You can attach them to some kind of economic system, not necessarily because we all wanna get rich, but just because you have this out of the box incentive system, which I think is, uh, super intriguing and has not really been available online until now. Right? So it was very difficult to make money. Let's say, as a blogger, I wrote 700,000 words on the metaverse on my previous blog. And there was no way for somebody to tip me, right? The only there was no way to really make money off of those blog posts unless I threw up ads. And yet what web three and what the blockchain is giving us is this opportunity to, um, show our appreciation to each other, for the stories that we tell for the content that we create for the experiences that we provide. So that's what I meant by. I think we've got these new PRMs, so we've got these new atoms NFTs represent storytelling items. And if I put those atoms together, I can create larger and larger story structures.

Speaker 3: Love it. And you, you, you also, I, I think the, one of the themes you keyed in on around that, um, that's part of your vision is the interoperability, um, that, you know, an NFT at its core could provide, there's obviously still technical barriers to overcome, but I w you know, in, in the blockchain, in web three, if you will, um, the infrastructure's there that can enable it. Um, so how do you see, uh, interoperability evolving, um, to bring this kind of open metaverse idea to life?

Speaker 1: Yeah, actually, so we just, we just, with my work with open meta, we actually just did the global first test of bringing avatars from three separate NFT collections into a single game space. And it's a super technical and super geeky has to do with how the joints and the avatar meshes, how you map them, so that they're interoperable. So it meant that I could go into a game environment and I could easily switch between my different NFT collections, but I, uh, let's talk about it as storytelling. And I think the, this is similar to what we were just talking about with architecture. It's one of those mind blowing thoughts is when I play call of duty, it's I, you know, I'm, it's a story about call of duty and it has no application to what happens in red, dead redemption, right? Those story worlds don't merge.

Speaker 1: What's interesting. I think about this next phase of the open metaverse and of storytelling is that I'm gonna, as let's say, as a board a owner, or because I love my M effort avatar, I wanna take that avatar into multiple, uh, environments. And therefore, I wanna be able to tell stories about that character in different environments. So I think what's interesting as storytellers is that this starts to mean that our stories will start to transcend the worlds. You know, they won't always be contained to single worlds. And so the interoperable, uh, piece of this, I think becomes, how do we make story itself? The components of story, the results of story, how do we make the story components interoperable across different worlds? And that's what we're trying to do with eco core. So for example, in eco core, um, you can synchronize your brain to a quantum computer, right?

Speaker 1: That's the premise, that's the starting premise. And if you imagine that once you enter this quantum metaverse, we have partners. So for example, pixel links is a partner of ours, and I wanna be able to take my character and go from the echo core world. And I wanna go over and attend Amos for Richie hotten concert in the pixel links, musical metaverse. So those activities are part of the experience, part of the story that I'm telling about myself and about my avatar and about my faction, about the places that I go, and I should be able to min those stories. I should be able to capture them and, and have that contribute to the larger value of a story franchise. So it's a bit of a, kind of a big picture thing. Um, but it's really about, uh, uh, extending the thoughts about interoperability to being more than just avatars, but that our, our stories that we tell the stories that mean something to us, we wanna make those stories interoperable.

Speaker 4: This is no different from, although it's very different. It's no, it's no different, uh, it's, uh, it's core from what people do with their social media accounts at the moment they, um, uh, they take photographs to prove that they were somewhere and they tell stories in, in short form a about, about their lives. And what you're saying is that you're able to do that both in the real world and in hopefully in, in all, um, uh, realms of the, of the metaverse. And you're able to min these as, as NFTs on the blockchain, it's, it's gonna be a seamless transition, especially if people don't know that it is crypto based, if there's not, if there's not a barrier to entry. And I imagine that I imagine that the, the user experience will, will pro will present no barrier by that point.

Speaker 1: Yeah. yeah, that's absolutely you're right. The part that I think is interesting though, and I think like legends of cipher, for example, is its own story world, right? It's its own franchise that is, you know, owned by the people who are contributing to it. Similarly, you have echo core, which is its own story franchise. So as I contribute to that story of franchise, so it's not just necessarily about my own personal feed, but it's about my contribution to this bigger narrative franchise. And so why shouldn't I benefit from that? Right. So I, I often use the example of Witcher, you know, it was a great book and then they turned it into a video game and then there was a Netflix series made, but he, there was no there's no back, there's no back benefit to the players who play the video game from the fact that it's now a Netflix series, but shouldn't there be, I mean, I think there should be because it's all part of one larger story. And I think that's the intriguing part here is that, um, as a fan or as a, as a player, I am contributing to these big stories, whether it's Witcher red, dead redemption, I'm contributing to these story worlds. And what web three allows is for me as a player to actually benefit from the value that I bring in making that story franchise bigger.

Speaker 3: Love it. Yeah. I mean, we certainly talk a lot about, um, you know, in the, don't like to use the term disruption, um, but it certainly is disruptive to the existing kind of big studio, um, publication and distribution model, um, where the fans of the recipients of the content and the early fans are really the ones that make it a reality and bring it to life, cuz it's their diamond time that allow these projects to grow. Um, and yet the earliest fans get no benefit. I mean, obviously, you know, you have your, if you have Spider-Man one or, you know, early comics and things like that, collector items certainly gain value, but it's far from the, the sizeable value of these franchises and you see fan fiction kind of break off and become its own thing, but it it's creates the vastness of the storytelling and the fan base grows. And yet there's no proper economic and incentive model to, um, allow the creative storytelling. So it sounds like us with, with the way we think about legends of Cypress as an opportunity to be a community storytelling sounds like you and Eelco believe the similar thing in that, you know, a story can be told by community, uh, a fan base can create, um, the universe together through participation, not only in reading, viewing, watching, but actually, you know, getting involved from a community and economic incentive perspective. So yeah, love

Speaker 1: It. Wouldn't that be great, like for a young writer or, and they've got four or five stories that maybe they're kind of involved with and that they can actually make a living because they're involved in these four or five story dos or projects without necessarily needing to apply for a job. Like I don't need to go to Hollywood and get hired by the studio because the studio is now everybody. Yeah. Would that be amazing? I mean, that's the dream to me. Yeah. That's the dream, you know, I think of somebody it's somebody who's like some 16 year old who's posting stuff on DV and art that's who we're after like those, those kids who are creating things on Roblox and maybe making a little bit of money. We wanna, we wanna be able to do the same thing for storytelling, whether that's storytelling is visual or whether it's written. I think that's so exciting. I,

Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah. Love it. I think we're definitely aligned. So, so let's really drill down on echo core. Um, tell us a little bit of the story, um, what it's about and how someone in the web three community can get involved and be a participant and what that experience.

Speaker 1: Yeah. This point, Ty. Yeah. Ty is my co-founder. He should he's the guardian of the lower . Um, and I, I was attracted to echo core because of his storytelling and it really tells a story of Ian Sadel, who is this kind of enigmatic eccentric genius, but cool. Like he's super hip. Uh, he grew up in San Francisco, um, kind of got into the RA scene in the late nineties, kind of that, uh, you know, nineties host music, rave era love skateboarding. That was his kind of escape, but he was, uh, you know, a genius when it came to technology and he did, he did kind of secret projects for the government for a while, and then decided to shift his energy, to creating this echo core device, which is a little machine that synchronizes your brain to a quantum computer so that you can enter a metaverse without a screen, you know, your brain, you just actually enter it through your brain.

Speaker 1: So that's, that's where we're headed is to recreate this quantum metaverse so that our players can enter it. We have a whole lore around the world and how the world was designed. There's some crises that happen, uh, which I can't reveal just yet. So in order to tap into that, we're gonna be, we started by releasing the device itself as an NFT, as if you're buying one of these little machines that synchronize your brain, you can buy one of these NFTs. If you have this NFT, it unlocks avatars, uh, it unlocks story, uh, uh, a book that we're creating. So it's your all access pass. Uh, if you buy a Genesis NFT. So that's, that was the start was the Genesis NFT. Again, it's an all access pass to the story. Our next step was, uh, skateboard inspired by his, um, uh, Ian Sid's childhood.

Speaker 1: So we're doing this really cool skateboard collection. We're gonna do a pretty, like it'll be cheap, uh, and we're using it to promote storytelling in general. So we have a bunch of partner projects that are on board, including, uh, legends of cipher, I think. And, and then we have a book, a graphic novel that we're in the process of writing and illustrating right now. And then the next one will be the APER avatar drop. So lots of stuff coming. And if you're, if you wanna kind of follow the story and contribute to it, you know, you buy one of these Genesis NFTs, uh, allows you to add to the story, uh, which also allows you to earn, uh, returns as, as the story gets sold as NFTs.

Speaker 3: Love it. And, and you see this evolution, um, of the experience, the avatars in particular, um, kind of building toward this vision you have of the metaverse interoperability and

Speaker 1: Yeah, I mean, part, part of this, um, connects back to my partnership and my work with open meta, you know, they have a, they have a platform called emergence, which is a kind of a techy thing, but it's a, it's a system for connecting to your wallet and games. And then we have a partnership with pixel links, uh, which allows us to out of the box. Like as soon as we launch, we'll allow your avatar to be able to move freely between different worlds. And we talk to all kinds of projects, uh, apparently because of that's, that's my background. And we're seeing the early signs of, you know, kind of interoperability being top of mind. So that's, that's exciting. I think, I think we're all interested in an open metaverse. I wanna be able to move between all of these different worlds that are coming out of web three.

Speaker 3: Amazing. Yeah. So, uh, for, for those watching listening,, ECH, oh, I O E C H O C O R Um, and you can get there, check out, um, make your NFT and get involved, read more about the roadmap, um, and again, follow Doug and, uh, check out his blog. Um, um, lots of great, lots of great thought leadership and insight into the space. Um, James, any, any, any questions or thoughts, um, as we're wrapping up?

Speaker 4: Um, the only question I had was one that Doug's already pretty much answered, and it was just about future proofing, NFTs, um, and, and meta based project at this point for that kind of distributed system of returns that, that he talks about, um, you know, hopefully being employed in the future is have you got any advice for up and coming projects on how they might start thinking about their, their, um, endeavors as a, as a business? That is, that is Futureproof.

Speaker 1: Oh, that's an interesting question. I guess, you know, I think one of the things we've learned, cause I, I may be, I may have been in the metaverse for 15 years, but web three is still new and it's new to all of us, by the way, like NFT, the board apes dropped that was only a year ago, which is pretty crazy. You know, this market has exploded in a very, very short period of time. So you're a, you're an NFT OG. If you owned an NFT like a year ago, that's the kind of time horizons. And I think one of the big, uh, things we've learned is truly the value of partnerships and that we're all in this together. And I think the more that you can collaborate the way to Futureproof is to look for ways to collaborate with other people, because we're all, you know, we've all gotta figure this out together. And, uh, one of the things that's amazing to me is that it doesn't matter who the project is. Pretty much everybody, you know, there's no big walls. I think this is a, this is a community where all of the projects are looking to stay open and to stay alive to new experiences. So I think the future proofing comes from community wisdom at this point, to be honest.

Speaker 4: And it's in, it's interesting, the, the, um, the similarity between what you're saying and, um, what we saw in, in layer one project where for a long period of time, they, they were siloed and they couldn't communicate with each other. And now we're seeing these bridges come up and what, what an experience it's, it, it it's led to. So yeah, I think that's, I think that's great advice community, um, projects should, should build communities together and they should learn how to link their, their projects with one another.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I was gonna say great opportunity for story prima. You know, that's, you mentioned, um, legends a couple times, Doug, which is our own NFT project to try and bring, uh, a massive universe to life. And, you know, we found it difficult to, I don't wanna say compete cuz we're not in competition. As you said, it's very much learning and, and open environments. Um, but we were, you know, struggling to for the, for the minds and hearts and attention of audience that, you know, have thousands and thousands of NFT projects to choose from. And, you know, hundreds of them provide speculative growth opportunities and not a lot of depth of law. Um, they provide art and community and some storytelling in their own rights. But, um, we didn't find there was a lot of space or really deep, um, law universe built stories. Some are successful, some are burgeoning.

Speaker 3: And so that's why we started story prima. And this podcast is a way to shine a light on those projects in those communities. And certainly with story PRMA the goal is to provide some glue, some, some, some opportunity to create community of practice and learn from each other. So, um, want to thank you so much for your time and being one of our early guests on the show. Um, you've agreed to help us and stay in touch with us as we build out legends of cipher. And certainly we, we consider you a core member of this story, prima community, as we evolve our practices, um, and products there, which are all designed to help grow story based projects like, uh, like ours. So thank you for your time today.

Speaker 1: Thank you. We're amazing chat guys. Loved it.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I do have two, uh, closing questions, um, for a bit of fun. I asked them of all the guests. So if you've seen any past shows, you would know it. Um, it's funer if you haven't and they're surprise. Um, so I'll start with number one. Um, NFTs, do we think they're a fad or enduring?

Speaker 1: Yeah, I think they're enduring. Yeah, absolutely. I think they're enduring and they won't look anything like they do today a year from now. right. I I'm, I, I get super excited. Like, I don't know if you saw Richie Hutton just released a collaborative NFT. I can't remember the name of the artist, but it's a piece of music and art where the NFT actually, you would never hear the song the same way. So the song changes lives on the blockchain that'll live there forever. In theory, it's programmed right on the blockchain. So this is an NFT that if you buy it today, you know, a year from now, it's a completely different song. It's a completely different piece of art. So I think there's something, uh, you know, super intriguing about thinking of NFTs. That, that way I would love to, I mean, this is just kind of a little dream side project, but, but NFTs that, um, you know, have super long timeframes thinking of kind of like deep time, uh, imagine releasing a story collection that changes, for example, based on, I don't know, world news or weather, but the straight shifts, but it only shifts once a year and you buy this NFT knowing that it's gonna take 10 years to get to the end of the story.

Speaker 1: I think that's the kinda stuff that's possible because of the blockchain.

Speaker 3: Yeah. We're certainly seeing, uh, ton of examples of innovation INPS and you know, um, imutable natures while, um, kind of denotes the idea of static and locked in. Um, we're seeing that these are dynamic, um, machine run and human influenced, uh, pieces of technology that can kind of have a life on their own. Um,

Speaker 1: You know, I think they'll get renamed though, to be honest, I think somebody somebody's gonna put a little twist on it and then rename it. Yeah. Right. So that, and it'll just, it'll just kind of be rebranded here somewhere along the way, but it'll still essentially be the same thing.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Agree probably should happen soon. Cause um, could definitely use a rebranding. I'm an old marketing guy. I know that stuff works. So, yeah. And, and with, with things of the past, there's a bad taste in many people's mouth that are rebranding sometimes helps with that. So SA uh, last question for you, Doug. Um, you know, we, we both talked about, um, you know, decentralized storytelling, community based storytelling. So how long in your opinion, how many months years, um, do you think before decentralized autonomous organization or a web three community is up on the, uh, stage at a mainstream award ceremony? Like the academy awards or MES or Grammy's accepting, um, um, accepting an award for their NFT based story project.

Speaker 1: I'm gonna say three years,

Speaker 3: Three

Speaker 1: Years, maybe less. Yeah. I know some projects now that are Hollywood level, total, total Hollywood level. Yeah. And I could actually see them being nominated within the next 18 months.

Speaker 3: Yeah. It's funny, you said three years that you're the third guest to, just to pick the three year mark and, and all with, uh, yeah. All with it sort of a, you know, some, some knowledge about some projects that are kind of coming to life that, that have a good run at it. So yeah. I'm starting to believe. It's true. Love it. All right. Well, thank you again, Doug, for your time, it's been a ton of fun. We've learned a lot. Uh, I know the audience is really gonna appreciate, uh, hearing from you and, um, yeah, we'll be in touch to collaborate more and learn from each other. So with that all close the podcast and say, thank you.

Speaker 1: Thank you.

Speaker 4: Cheer fellas. That was fun.

Learn about the PRIMA Airdrop and Our First Incubated Project: Legends of Cypher
Learn about the PRIMA Airdrop and Our First Incubated Project: Legends of Cypher
Info: Airdrop & Project Info: Airdrop & Project