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Issue #29 – Playing With Reality

Menno van Doorn
September 14, 2021

It’s official: the full title of our upcoming book is “Real Fake – Playing with Reality in the Age of AI, Deepfakes and the Metaverse”.
“Real Fake” is our take on synthetic media and the follow-up to our 2008 book “Me the Media”. Real Fake 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.

We’ll Soon Be Able To Live Inside Marvel Movies

“I think if you go forward a few years from now, there will only be real-time rendering. Whether it’s a Marvel film you’re watching, or you’re playing Call of Duty, it’ll all be happening in a real-time calculated environment. Even if you watch a really big Marvel film, if it was done with real-time rendering — you could watch it passively on a giant movie screen, but later, shooting in real-time opens up hundreds of different avenues for the audience to experience more in the film, whether they want to physically go into the scene and walk around, or watch it in virtual reality, or use augmented reality.”
This is one of the main ideas of our upcoming book Real Fake. By using synthetic media people will become the hero of their own narratives, their own storyworlds, their own transmedia universes.


“What if you could fall up instead of down? Could circles be more circular? Visit Joytopia to launch a virtual world experience where you can reimagine today. Explore a space full of the questions, ideas and answers BMW are rethinking for a more sustainable future.”
BMW has launched Joytopia, a new streaming platform, which launched with an exclusive performance from Coldplay to mark the creation of a new metaverse. Fans were able to create avatars to watch the show, with the characters able to dance and crowd surf, as well as being able to see the band play from a number of different angles and get close to the stage. Interesting to watch how BMW will develop this platform in the near future.
Coldplay exclusive performance inside BMW JOYTOPIA

Why NFTs Aren’t the Next Asset Bubble

“What’s unique about NFTs is that you can make an economic decision (invest / own an asset) while also purchasing status, belonging to a community, accessing a perk. It’s easy to look at the massive growth in the NFT market and shout “bubble”. And transaction volume will almost certainly go down (probably soon), before surging again down the road. But when you step back, you realize there’s a broader trend at play—people thinking like owners, both within and beyond crypto—and that many tokenized goods have real purpose that will ensure their value in the long run.”

South Korea’s ‘Gen MZ’ leads rush into the ‘metaverse’

“The metaverse may be a futuristic prospect for most of the world, but it’s increasingly a reality in South Korea where soaring home prices and income inequality have enticed the so-called Generation MZ, or Gen MZ, into alternative online worlds.
What is interesting is that I’ve never heard of the term Gen MZ. It’s the combination of Millenials and Generation Z. And this seems logical because they are both digitally fluent.
“What makes Millennials and Z Gen similar – and what Koreans find more relevant, it seems – are that both demographics are digitally fluent, come from diverse backgrounds, care about social justice and climate change, and tend to be more educated than previous generations. When entering adulthood, both have been impacted by economic downturns and uncertainty, such as the 2008 financial crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic. On a deeper level, MZ share common characteristics in their relationship with brands – it’s all about transparency and authenticity. Both want brands to mirror their values and dynamically cater to their preferences. Such values and preferences can range from beauty/fashion brands featuring ‘real’ women of various colors/shapes/sizes in their campaigns (i.e. Dove), to food/beverage brands becoming more health-centric/using natural ingredients (i.e. Chipotle), to automotive brands making conscious efforts towards conserving the environment via expansion into renewable energy (i.e. Tesla), and so on.”

Choose Your Reality

This week the first trailer for the upcoming The Matrix Resurrections was revealed. A day before the release the website What Is The Matrix was launched where people needed to choose between the red or the right pill. Depending on your choice, the site “will render one of over 180,000 unique teaser videos possible based on the pill chosen and time of day” according to a press release. Every viewer had it’s own personal narrative.

The Matrix Resurrections – Official Trailer 1


“ALTER EGO is the world’s first avatar singing competition series and the next iteration of the musical competition show. On ALTER EGO, lost dreams and second chances are reignited when singers from all walks of life become the stars they’ve always wanted to be. However, these contestants won’t perform as themselves. Rather, they’ll be given the chance to show how they’ve always wanted to be seen, creating their dream avatar ALTER EGO to reinvent themselves while showcasing their unique performance style via motion capture technology.”

ALTER EGO Series Promo | ‘Dreams Become Reality’ (HD) FOX

MUST WATCH: The Cool and Creepy of Facebook Cameras In Your Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Stories Review: The Cool and Creepy of Facebook Cameras In Your Sunglasses | WSJ

MUST WATCH: Dolce & Gabbana’s Debut NFT Collection

Dolce&Gabbana’s debut NFT collection, Collezione Genesi, with UNXD

Italian haute couture fashion label Dolce & Gabbana will debut its non-fungible token (NFT) collection on the luxury marketplace UNXD later this month in a bid to “bridge the physical with the metaphysical.”


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

Director and Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Menno is Director of the Sogeti Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT). He mixes personal life experiences with the findings of the 19 years of research done at the VINT Research Institute. Menno has co-authored many books on the impact of new technology on business and society.


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