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Issue #38 – Playing With Reality

Menno van Doorn
November 16, 2021

On the 15th of October our book “Real Fake – Playing with Reality in the Age of AI, Deepfakes and the Metaverse” has been released. It is our take on synthetic media, deepfakes, fake news, conspiracy theories, virtual humans, NFTs, the Creator Economy and the Metaverse. 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.

The World’s Largest Record Company Is Creating an NFT Super Group

The world’s largest music company has created a band of four virtual apes. If that sentence makes you question your sanity — or the state of western civilization — you aren’t alone. Universal Music Group NV is combining two hot digital concepts that you’ve likely read about in the past year: nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse.”

How NFTs Create Value

NFTs enable new markets by allowing people to create and build upon new forms of ownership. These projects succeed by leveraging a core dynamic of crypto: A token’s worth comes from users’ shared agreement — and this means that the community one builds around NFTs quite literally creates those NFTs’ underlying value. And the more these communities increase engagement and become part of people’s personal identities, the more that value is reinforced.”

Drip Is The New Drop

“A drop is a seemingly random release of a limited-number of products with a goal of creating perception of scarcity and urgency. Drops have proven to be a successful brand-building tool, as they reliably drive word-of-mouth, FOMO, create insta-communities and use wait lines as their advertising. Drops command for a person to be at the right time and the right place, with the right information. […] A drip is a continuous stream of products, signals, content, incentives, rewards, tokens, points, interactions, events or access. Perennial newness gamifies the brand experience and makes it more individual and unique. The mechanism of drips is accumulation and collecting. Collect enough tokens and unlock an auction or use it as a membership card for future promotions. Drips reward long game over short-term gains. Drips also galvanize communities, incentivize collaboration and membership, and decrease competition. Drips are the opposite of the winner-takes-all: they are decentralized and governed by activity in their communities.”

CGI Influencer Esther Olofsson Reads Real Fake

“I must admit, it’s so bizar to read about myself in #RealFake. I consider myself real, but am I?” The boundaries between Real and Fake are blurring… Buy our book Real Fake here.

The 10,000 Faces That Launched an NFT Revolution

“The Punks’ power has gone well beyond funding one family’s desert retreat. They have created whole new communities. They have infiltrated fine art auction houses; in one wild moment in June, an auctioneer at Sotheby’s banged his gavel at $11.75 million for an alien wearing a surgical mask. The total value of Crypt­oPunk sales—all the money people have spent on Punks to date—has surpassed $1.5 billion. They have driven both Jay-Z and Snoop to adopt look-alike Punks as their Twitter avatars. They have thrown into question the nature and value of art. But can they answer the question in Mann’s song? Can they explain how a group of people came to believe that a bunch of images and a rough-edged technology could be worth such staggering sums?”

Author Joe Pine on Real Fake

“As someone who has studied authenticity (real vs. fake) and the rise of digital technology (real vs. virtual), no one has intertwined these topics in as interesting, insightful, and indispensable a narrative as the authors of Real Fake. Digital technology is giving us something akin to superpowers. Will we use them to obliterate the distinctions between authenticity and inauthenticity, reality and virtuality, human and machine? Or will we find a path into a future that preserves what makes us human while ennobling our technology in service to our innate needs? Real Fake says yes.”

WOW. This really means something. Joe Pine is the author of the bestsellers The Experience Economy, Authenticity and Infinite Possibility. So if he says our book is that good, it must be true. 😉

How Auction Houses Are Chasing Crypto Millions

“Sotheby’s has sold $65 million of NFTs in 2021, while arch-rival Christie’s has sold more than $100 million of the new type of crypto asset, which uses blockchain to record who owns digital items such as images and videos, even though they can be freely viewed, copied and shared like any other online file. Those sales figures for the world’s leading auction houses account for about 5.5% of their contemporary art sales, according to Art Market Research data. It’s a leap, given NFTs have only taken off in the last year.”

Discord: Imagine A Place

“Imagine a human website. Imagine a place where dank memes flow like honey. Imagine a place where potatoes thrive. Imagine a place where humans and bots live in harmony. Imagine, in other words, a place like Discord.”

Discord is one of the most interesting companies in the world right now. Discord is not just a communication platform, it’s a hidden world. Discord has the chance to be the metaverse’s natural social infrastructure. So make time to read about this wonderful place on the internet.

DAOs: Absorbing the Internet

“In his work, A Society of Organizations, sociologist Charles Perrow argued that organizations explain much of the way our world works. […] My proposition is that organizations are the key to understanding our society because organizations have absorbed much of society.”

If that maxim holds true, what will DAOs do to religion, history, and politics?

MUST WATCH: How Fans Are Becoming Millionaires

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Introducing the Icelandverse

MUST WATCH: NVIDIA Omniverse Avatars

Expert, Natural Q&A with NVIDIA Omniverse Avatar for Project Tokkio


NVIDIA Omniverse Avatar for Project Maxine


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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