AK-47s, slingshots and knives: they want to equip the metaverse

During Paris NFT Day, a major community meeting of entrepreneurs and investors in NFTs, one project in particular caught our attention: an armory of the metaverse.

You know, in the metaverse, there have been sexual assaults in the past. “said Gauthier Bros., manager of the Metaverse Weapon Factory stand.” And these attacks don’t happen if you have an AK-47 with you. “. We were at Paris NFT Day, a gathering of NFT and virtual world professionals organized in the capital, and among all the exhibitors, this counter stood, with plastic guns and a radical idea: arming the metaverse.

Since the start of 2021, NFTs have been everywhere: non fungible tokens (or non-exchangeable tokens, in French) are types of certificates that are actually registered in a blockchain, guaranteeing their non-infringement. This mechanism allows a real virtual art market to emerge, and NFTs can sell for many millions of dollars. Because of Facebook’s expressed ambition to enter the metaverse, the entire crypto ecosystem has begun developing products dedicated to NFTs – and many companies, including the Metaverse Weapon Factory, are in Paris to explain their “solutions”.

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AK-47s, slingshots and knives: they want to equip the metaverse
The Metaverse Weapon Factory stand, during Paris NFT Day // Source: Aurore Gayte for Numerama

“We should kill anti-bitcoin protesters”

The concept of Metaverse Weapon Factory (or WMF) is simple: they offer to sell NFTs of weapons, which can, ultimately, be used in all types of metaverses. The idea behind this, directly explained to us by WMF director, Gauthier Bros., is to ensure your safety in the virtual world-and therefore, to protect yourself from virtual sexual assault. “With an AK-47 with you, you can be sure nothing will happen to you. “, he assured.

It is true that sexual harassment exists in the metaverse. The first cases of virtual attacks were reported in December 2021, just weeks after Mark Zuckerberg’s big announcement about Facebook’s future plans in the metaverse. While it’s important to put in place the tools to be able to moderate virtual spaces, it’s not certain that self-arming can, one day, have a real positive impact on virtual universes. Numerous studies have also proven that, in real life, the most armed towns do not suffer much less crime than others-it is likely that this trend can be seen in virtual worlds.

AK-47s, slingshots and knives: they want to equip the metaverse
One of the AK-47s from the Metaverse Weaopn Factory // Source: Aurore Gayte for Numerama

Combating sexual harassment in the Metaverse is not the only concern of the Metaverse Weapon Factory. While waiting for the weapons to be interoperable across multiple universes, the company plans to launch a game, in which Numerama saw a demo on Paris NFT Day. The principle is strange: we installed a classic shooting range, except instead of shooting at targets, ” kill anti-bitcoin protesters “.” Activists, if they shout that crypto is a scam or a ponzi scheme, run a risk that the price of bitcoin will fall to zero “, justifies the builder.

“Everyone needs a gun in the Metaverse”

In the demo, the characters run towards us, then fall when shot. There is no separate “anti-bitcoin” sign on their avatar. Once fully developed, the game will be more complete, we can be sure. You can also find on their site what the MWF teams have already planned minter (transferred to NFT, editor’s note) 30,000 AK-47s, and organized events over the next few months. Their slogan was also written at the top of the site, in a post-it: “ Everyone needs a gun in the metaverse “. But there are not only guns: it is planned that pistols and knives can be purchased as NFT, determined the founder of MWF. All varieties of different weapons are planned, including… catapults.

During the day, the Metaverse Weapon Factory stand is rarely empty. An entire crowd of spectators (95% of the visitors to the show were men) took photos using plastic guns available at the stand, and tried their hand at shooting with a helmet augmented reality. For Wendie, who has an interest in the project and has remained at the MWF stand for a while, the interest in such metaverse equipment is not seen in security, but in video games. ” I play a lot of Call of Duty games, so I’m obviously interested in having my own NFT weapon, especially since it’s beautiful.. »

AK-47s, slingshots and knives: they want to equip the metaverse
Metaverse Weapon Factory website // Source: Metaverse Weapon Factory

Currently, there is no announced date for a potential interoperability of the MWF weapon across different metaverses, and it is uncertain that players will be able to use it anywhere. Still no metaverse, strictly speaking. But such a possibility raises some questions. ” There may be deviations ”, Wendie agreed. ” Multiplying weapons, however, is not always a good idea “.

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