User-owned virtual world Decentraland made a rather interesting announcement last week, that the casino was now hiring real life humans to staff its blackjack tables and roulette wheels. The Ethereum-based metaverse was always designed with the intention of allowing users to create their own private spaces – which could be used for commercial purposes as well as purely for leisure. But as far as we are aware. this is the first move to actually employing people in virtual spaces in order to create value and attract revenue from players. What kinds of virtual world jobs could we see in the future? Here are 3 of the most obvious use cases.
The move to employing people to staff a casino in the Decentraland virtual world could well be the precursor to other established casinos entering the fray. In many ways, casinos and virtual metaverses look like the perfect fit. For a start, casinos were one of the first businesses to enter the online space. Casino games are informational, entertainment products which are experienced rather than consumed. And Grand Theft Auto has had a casino for many years… but it’s a pretty soulless place, staffed purely with NPC’s. What would be more interesting is how real casinos could insert products and services into this virtual world, using skilled humans to make an interactive experience. Why couldn’t established live casinos open virtual joints in Decentraland, alongside their existing websites, and have them powered by real-life dealers and pit bosses?
In 2021, eCommerce stores like Amazon and eBay are now mature businesses, with most customers used to shopping online for their books, clothes, music, movies, and even groceries. In Decentraland, users can buy (and sell) accessories, clothing, and other items. In the next decade, we see these two experiences colliding in the virtual world, where instead of just going online, we also visit metaverses like Decentraland and enjoy a tailored retail experience. Virtual assistants could help with discovering, trying, and buying real world items which are later delivered to our homes. Designing custom specs for high value items like cars could also be a future option. Will we see a Tesla showroom in Decentraland one day?
Art gallery/museum tour guides
Already, several art districts have sprouted up in Decentraland, showcasing the best in digital art. Some of these pieces are virtual clones of existing artworks and could really require a skilled and knowledgeable art history expert to show guests around. This looks like the ideal job for art students to supplement their income by explaining the story behind works like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. And of course, the same would apply to museums.
As a corollary to the arts sector, virtual worlds like Decentraland look like the ideal spaces for auctions of Non-fungible tokens (NFT’s). These blockchain tokens are proving to be the growth phenomenon of 2021 so far, with an artwork from Beeple selling for close to $70 million at Christie’s auction house in London. But selling these digital artworks in a more digital space makes more sense than in a traditional auction house. It would allow for a greater number of participants to attend the auction, all dressed to the nines in the outfits of their avatar. Of course, the process would also require an auctioneer and display staff, both of which are skilled jobs in their own rights.
Although still in its early days, Decentraland offers a fascinating and exciting glimpse into the future of virtual worlds. The open environment which allows users to start businesses, employ people, and make serious money, offers the profit potential which should attract corporate entities, as well as smaller operators. It’s like the middle days of the internet (1995-2005), when the message boards and forums shifted way to the likes of Amazon, Google, and Facebook. A lot of new millionaires are going to be created in these virtual worlds, and it should create many more millions of jobs. When deciding on your next career path, maybe you should consider working in virtual spaces like Decentraland?