Warner Music has announced in a recent press release that it has teamed up with The Sandbox, a decentralized gaming virtual world, to create a music complex in VR, to include a musical theme park and concert hall that will highlight concerts and “musical experiences” featuring Warner artists.
Here’s where the whole thing gets iffy: “To mark the occasion,” the press release announces, “The Sandbox will hold a LAND sale in March 2022, which will allow music fans to buy coveted LANDS adjacent to the WMG property,” using The Sandbox’s non-fungible token/blockchain technology.
Warner describes this so-called “land” as “the equivalent of beachfront property” in the VR universe.
And we all know that beachfront property will be the first to be hit by the next tsunami, especially in the era of climate change.
This kind of thing, this sort of VR land speculation, has a real potential to kill off the freedom that has made VR such a refreshing change, such an exciting world to explore. While Wired has dismissed the VR land rush as “an illusion,” the bitcoin craze faced similar skepticism upon its introduction. The risk now is that billionaires and big corporations will be in a position to lease space to the wealthiest artists, and the rest of us will fall by the wayside.
This announcement is both exciting and worrisome.
Image by Vlada Karpovich, Pexels