Virtual beings are no longer limited to virtual worlds. Increasingly, these virtual entities and characters are crossing into the physical world through social media interactions, shared mediums like games and internet-native spaces, and hologram technology.
In their recent article for Medium, research analyst Justin McAfee examines virtual beings. First, McAfee defines, reviews, and briefly discusses the history and characteristics of different virtual beings. Then, they explore various virtual being projects, identifying areas in which crypto-economics and web3 technologies can improve virtual beings’ creation, management, and distribution. Finally, McAfee ponders the future of web3 social experiences. A critical insight McAfee explores is the need for autonomous virtual beings in virtual worlds. Often, these digital landscapes are void of life and can feel empty to internet users. Virtual beings capable of independent thought and interactions are a way of bringing life and warmth to these otherwise cold worlds.
Virtual beings embody technological advancements, trends, and changes in human social psychology, such as parasocial relationships and the desire for companionship. Recent innovations like web3 increase the need and possibility for improvements of these virtual creations. There is only one question now: what will brands do with them in years to come?