Why Are People Buying Land In The Metaverse?
"I just bought more land in the Metaverse" is one of those memes that seems like someone tried way too hard to make it. The hook is overwhelmingly, unnecessarily catchy, the animations behind the cartoon guy singing it oddly intricate. And maybe there's a reason: it used to be an ad.
March 28, 2023
What Is Atlas Earth?
Atlas Earth is an online multiplayer game that turns real land into an asset you can buy in the game's metaverse. In the game, you can use real money to virtually buy a plot of real land somewhere in the United States. Then, you collect rent from that land which is paid to you in the in-game Atlas Earth currency. Once you accumulate a certain amount of rent, you can cash it out for real money again. The rent-collecting can be accelerated by watching ads on the app.
April 2, 2023
There seem to be partnerships with companies as well. Most parcels of land generate fractions of cents over long periods of time. If you own the most land in your area in Atlas Earth, you are declared a "mayor."
Meanwhile, the original viral video has inspired a series of surreal and highly abstract memes. Many of these are posted by the same Twitter account, which insists that it is not at all associated with Atlas Earth.
Who Is The Mustache Guy?
The Mustache Guy resembles the game's marketing associate, Derek Anderson. Anderson has starred in much of the game's promotional social media content, including TikToks and YouTube videos. The song appears to be sung by a Bitmoji version of Anderson.
There are, however, other theories about who Derek Anderson is:
Is Any Of This Legit?
Many have argued that Atlas Earth is a scam, and that spending real money on things in the metaverse is a waste. An explainer by MakeUseOf estimates that on average it would take fifty years to make back the amount of real money you spend to buy a parcel of land on Atlas Earth. It's also very possible that the app, which uses location data, might be selling that data for profit.
Why Are People Doing This?
The next big thing is always exciting, and land ownership is emotionally compelling to people: it feels good to own something. Financial speculation on made-up land is also a famous historical tradition. In the 1820s, Scottish adventurer Gregor MacGregor famously sold plots of land in a made-up Central American country called Poyais to people in the UK and France. It was possibly the most ambitious and brazen con of all time. Real-life colonists went to find Poyais and many ended up dying.
The metaverse may not be Poyais, but it definitely is a new world.
For the full details on land in the metaverse be sure to check out our entry on the meme for even more information.
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