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Issue #13 – Playing With Reality – From crypto to clothes: Why Gen Z are investors now 🚀🔮🌟

Thijs Pepping
May 31, 2021

“Playing with Reality” is the title of our upcoming book on synthetic media and the follow-up to our 2008 book “Me the Media”. Playing with Reality is about how humans continuously manipulate reality and how new digital technology tools enable us to go one step further in this ancient game. This includes modern phenomena like conspiracy theories such as QAnon, Deepfakes, and fake news, but also virtual humans such as CGI Influencer Lil Miquela and virtual worlds like Fortnite.

From crypto to clothes: Why Gen Z are investors now

Very interesting article that perfectly describes the YOLO FOMO LOL economy that I have discussed in newsletter issue #10. Young people are investing heavily in internet culture. For them culture is an asset class. They care about the cultural significance of clothes and accessories, they not only buy it, but also try to make a living out of it.

“Before 2020, words like dogecoin and finfluencer might have sounded strange to the common ear. But in the wake of Covid-19, members of Gen Z are taking finances into their own hands, spurred on by the rise of financial literacy content on social media, a culture of flipping streetwear, and new investment apps like Robinhood. And that’s changing how and why they consume luxury goods. […] Gen Z increasingly is seeing fashion as an alternative asset class, with more cultural significance than traditional stocks and shares. […] Young people now see the value in their possessions, whether that’s a card collection or their dad’s vintage jersey that is now worth thousands of dollars.”

Mapping the Metaverse

Twitter user @Kaspar_ made an excellent overview of the metaverse: “A new world order is here: The ETH x DeFi x NFT metaverse.” In his thread he shows how the metaverse is slowly developing. “The metaverse is a thriving digital universe, transcending the ‘real world’. A new virtual society with no borders. The next era of human civilization.”

The future of Reddit may look a lot like Roblox

Reddit, a sprawling collection of message boards is supported by advertising, but that may be changing. In an appearance at a conference this week, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman says he’s open to exploring ways its millions of users can earn money through the site. He described a future for Reddit that resembles Roblox, the immensely popular gaming platform where users earn money on the site from each other. “I love Roblox,” Huffman said. “They are ahead on something I’ve long wanted to do on Reddit.” Huffman said he was attracted to Roblox’s “radical customization,” where users can build unique worlds for playing and exploring.” There is a similar path for Reddit. It probably wont be around gaming but it will be around community creation and what people can do when they are together.” Read the complete article here.

Project Starline

Imagine looking through a sort of magic window, and through that window, you see another person, life-size and in three dimensions. Project Starline is a technology project from Google that combines advances in hardware and software to enable friends, families and co-workers to feel together, even when they’re cities (or countries) apart. Learn more at

Project Starline: Feel like you’re there, together

The Next Generation of Spectacles

“The new Spectacles have dual waveguide displays capable of superimposing AR effects made with Snapchat’s software tools. The frame features four built-in microphones, two stereo speakers, and a built-in touchpad. Front-facing cameras help the glasses detect objects and surfaces you’re looking at so that graphics more naturally interact with the world around you.” Read the complete article here.

Introducing the Next Generation of Spectacles | Snap Partner Summit 2021

Join Our Upcoming Reality Show

On the 15th of June 2021 we are organizing our yearly summit. This year we try to answer the question how digital technology is changing our relationship with reality. So if you want to know more about deepfakes, virtual humans, cgi influencers, synthetic media, AR, VR and mixed reality, please register yourself. And it’s free!


Playing with Reality is a weekly newsletter in which SogetiLabs’s Research Institute VINT examines the future where synthetic reality becomes part or our objective reality. We investigate the impact of new technology on people, organisations and our society. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us at

About the author

Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Thijs Pepping is a humanistic trend analyst in the field of new technologies. He is part of the think tank within SogetiLabs and in his work he continuously wonders and analyses what the impact of New Technologies is on our lives, organizations and society.


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