If you’ve ever owned a Tamagotchi or enjoyed playing Nintendogs, chances are you’ll like this concept. New research suggests that following the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people looking for a furry friend to keep them company has reached new heights, not only physically, but also in the metaverse.
Pets in the Metaverse
The question is, are pets in the form of non-fungible tokens entrenched or just reflecting temporary pandemic fashion?
The Metaverse is often seen as the next iteration of the Internet as a virtual world or Web3, enhanced by virtual and augmented reality.
There are a number of ways to buy or adopt a pet in the Metaverse, and they each serve varying purposes. On the open-world virtual platform Decentraland, you can buy a puppy and walk it, or buy a fish and display it in a bowl on your dresser.
Another way to get a pet in the metaverse is to simply buy an image in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) on a market, for example OpenSea. These examples have one thing in common: they both only exist in the digital world, much like buying an Axie in Axie Infinity, they don’t exist in the physical world either.
However, projects that aim to blend the digital and physical world are currently gaining momentum. For example, ClassicDoge, which was created in November 2021, allows you to scan and tag a 3D rendering of your pet in the real world as well as bring it with you into the metaverse.
This trend is likely to gain even more fans
Saylor Howell, Head of Growth and Partnerships at ClassicDoge, said that while the pandemic may have been an ignition moment for pet NFTs, they were an inevitable metaverse development:
“If you analyze the facts, you will see that the world is changing. And I think this turns out to be a really good opportunity for the metaverse to start virtualizing the things that we love. »
Although the project is still in its infancy, its marketing director Kade Cooper stressed that the team’s long-term strategy is to “become a gateway to bring your true pet into the metaverse” :
“At the end of the day, you can walk your dog again, keep it forever by your side even if it’s passed away. »
Web traffic referencing “pets” or the number of keywords relating to dogs and cats on the OpenSea NFT Marketplace peaked at more than 636,000 in October 2021, according to data from the intelligence firm Similarweb. However, in December last year, that number fell to 246,000.
The trend was consistent with web searches for NFT pets and related keywords. Similarly, searches peaked at around 206,000 in October before dropping to around 93,800 searches in December.
The idea of adopting NFT pets has also sparked the interest of some experts in the NFT space, such as NFT blogger and YouTuber Matty DCL.
The idea of owning a pet virtual is far from new, even if it has never been so realistic. Initially, it was popularized in the late 1990s and early 2000s after Tamagotchi came into being. In fact, the trend described in this article has rekindled interest in virtual pets: Tamagotchi’s website attracted over 125,000 visits in December 2021, which is an increase of almost 750% compared to the month of December 2019.
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