Olya Green


Reality bites, but VR doesn’t.

By Olga Grinina

It looks like the year of 2018 is destined to be the year of VR and AR’s full swing. For now, it’s clear that the industry is in its infancy and there’s lack of quality content and apps along with expensive bulk gear. From ridiculous G.W. Bush bathtub experience to legit use cases like surgery simulation, the industry seems to be tossing around. While Microsoft, Google, and HTC are pushing pricey VR-headsets and new virtual reality products, tech watchers are speculating on new Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” movie is to give VR a boost in the real world. On the technology development trajectory, we are now as close as we could ever be to once imaginary worlds of ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Tron.’ With Google and Facebook creating their platforms for VR developers, creating VR is getting easier pushing it far beyond entertainment industry to healthcare, e- commerce, and many other domains.

However, the impact that once leveraged VR is about to make, goes far beyond satisfying a craving of Warcraft II fans. On a global economic scale, with growing popularity of virtual universes and marketplaces, we might be witnessing the naissance of a whole new economic paradigm. We’re talking here no less than the quintessence of post-industrial economy era — a virtual economy space with goods and services bought at virtual marketplaces that might partially substitute the real economy sector.

VR immersive experiences where people spend a good deal of their time and money seem to have excellent market potential because they are super scalable and able to generate new use cases infinitely. More so, with a massive army of gaming fans, it’s barely possible to find a more fruitful soil for building a new economic ecosystem where virtual goods and services are swapped just like in real world. The peril of digital goods for both businesses and community is that the owner of these virtual worlds fully controls their commerce. We’re talking a brand new type of monopolies here — a universal decentralized system independent of both government regulation and economic swings.

Techno-futuristic as it might seem, a virtual universe as a new type of social enterprise provides for enormous potential in business practice. They now will be springing up extensively filling up yet empty virtual space bit by bit — so probably it’s high time to get your piece of cake.

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