What I’ve Learned: One month into ApeCoin, BAYC, WEB3, and Open Metaverse Culture
I’ve spent a fair amount of my adult and teenage life immersed inside of a single video game. Inside of the digital world, I’d built a reputation, being known as the “Dragon” of the server I lived on. The reason for this nickname earned merit and renown, because I was active and online for 8–12 hours each day, treating it as a full-time job, or essentially “living online.”
After separating from my wife IRL for the last two years, my playtime spent in the game has totaled 170 days played. Throughout my fifteen years playing World of Warcraft, across all of my characters, the total time exceeds 750 days played. I built multiple online lives, commissioned artwork and wrote lore stories for my characters, ran guilds and participated in major game events.
It came as pleasant surprise, as I began to explore the culture that Yuga Labs had built , the culture felt very familiar to what I was accustomed to. As I began to immerse into NFT space, I found references to the culture that I’d grown up in. Interestingly enough, I found people like me, who’d left Azeroth to do new things, blazing new trails with concepts like BAYC.
I think it has surprised some people, the way I’ve entered the scene. Based on this month’s Twitter Analytics (though not followers/endorsements) there are a ton of people who are checking out what I am doing. Often I joke, that above me howling and shuffling can be heard in the trees, as if the Apes are checking out a new entry into the enclosure. Am I Dian Fossey? A danger? A fren?
The answer to me (and I think some others) is becoming more clear: I’m more than a friend, and that based on our lineage and shared roots, I’m likely best considered extended family, an introduced sub-species, arguably no less of an Ape. There are some things that I do differently, and admittedly, there are sometimes that I look awkward as I try to blend in and learn their culture.
And while they certainly thrive on having followers and being kings of the jungle in the Twitter-sphere, it is much different to survive and thrive in a gamified online universe. As some are incentivized to delve into the upcoming Otherside game by Yuga Labs, inhabiting the swamps, icy peaks, and volcanic landscapes, there may be many times where I can show them a thing or two.
…based on our lineage and shared roots, I’m likely best considered extended family, an introduced sub-species, arguably no less of an Ape.
There are some cliques and gangs that have proven less than friendly in these vast forests. Perhaps that’s best related as Tarzan dealing with the skepticism of Apes that are considered alphas, while at worst it could be likened to an embedded ragged sub-culture that would prefer to fill the role that I perform themselves, motivated by selfish reasons and with intent to cut the vines.
To the second, and more sinister suggestion, I present the fact that I’m lighter on my feet, more experienced swinging from vine-to-vine, and am trained to use my words as weapons much like a sword. A month after buying this cool Benji Bananas Membership Pass, my ticket into the Ape Ecosystem, my practice is paying off. When a vine is cut, or turns out to be a snake, I react accordingly.
There are divergent cultural differences between the realm where I came from and the culture that has developed here on Twitter, but by-and-large, there are rooted similarities and traditions that allow me to mingle amongst the forests comfortably. At each new turn, I discover that there are thousands more and a larger population than I could’ve ever imagined possible.
Whereas I spent my life online influencing my realm on Azeroth and guiding my culture, this jungle is larger and mostly untamable. I have not made time to explore the other lands, CyptoPunks and the like, because of the fact that I have discovered direct relatives, the Apes that rule these vast new lands. As I learn more about them, I find that I am learning more about my own self.