BY TIANA CLINE
IN AN INTERNET ENABLED VIRTUAL WORLD, THERE NEEDS to be a way to own digital items. Non- fungible tokens (NFTs) are already proving this is possible. Locally, the debut collection from artist Norman Catherine fetched $53,000 at Africarare, the first South African VR metaverse.
In November 2021, Nigeria’s contemporary art fair partnered with Super rare to showcase digital works by African artists such as Linda Dounia and Rendani Nemakhavhani.
Collecting NFTs is becoming increasingly popular but what if you could use something you’ve bought online? Created by Larva Labs, Meebits are one of the first NFT collections to be created as 3D avatars. Avatars are an important part of the metaverse because they’re what will ultimately represent a person, digitally. Microsoft, for example, is adding 3D virtual avatars to Mesh, their new collaborative platform which will enable mixed realities within Teams, as part of their metaverse strategy.
When the collection of (approximately 20,000 different) Meebits launched in May, it sold out in six hours. And to date, the most expensive Meebit has been sold for $222.9K.
“Meebits are algorithmically generated 3D characters linked to NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. They are rendered in voxels (or pixels with volume) similar to characters from popular games such as Minecraft or Roblox. You can use these NFT characters as metaverse avatars, or in games, and virtual reality,” explains Zhulik the Meebit. “If you purchase a Meebit, you get the 3D model. You can then take the 3D model and animate the avatar in real time using VR equipment such as a headset and controllers or a full body suit.”
Because Meebits have utility as a 3D avatar, they can be used in various ways which has only added to their growing popularity.
“For the first time, we have true digital ownership and I believe we are going to see an even bigger wave of creativity and innovation in intellectual property. The exciting thing about NFTs is that this is only the beginning.”