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Issue #43 – Real Fake

Sander Duivestein
December 21, 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, memes, crypto, narrative economics, virtual humans, CGI influencers, vTubers, NFTs, DAOs, VR, Web 3.0, 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.

What Influencer Marketing Looks Like In The Metaverse

A broad range of fashion brands, including Prada, Puma and Yoox, are creating avatars to stand alongside the likes of Shudu and Lil Miquela. Their common goal? To be purpose-driven and community-led.”

The E-Sports Generation

“Kids were already drifting away from traditional sports before the pandemic, with ramifications for the entire sports industry. The trend has accelerated in the pandemic. […] The rise of e-sports has come at the expense of traditional youth sports, with implications for their future and for the way children grow up.”

Just Joking – Deepfakes, Satire, And The Politics Of Synthetic Media

Around the world, deepfakes are becoming a powerful tool for artists, satirists and activists. But what happens when vulnerable people are not “in on the joke,” or when malign intentions are disguised as humor? This report focuses on the fast-growing intersections between deepfakes and satire. Who decides what’s funny, what’s fair, and who is accountable?”

Why It’s Too Early To Get Excited About Web3

“There’s been a lot of talk about Web3 lately, and as the person who defined “Web 2.0” 17 years ago, I’m often asked to comment. I’ve generally avoided doing so because most prognostications about the future turn out to be wrong. What we can do, though, is to ask ourselves questions that help us see more deeply into the present, the soil in which the future is rooted. As William Gibson famously said, “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” We can also look at economic and social patterns and cycles, using as a lens the observation ascribed to Mark Twain that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” Using those filters, what can we say about Web3?”

Very thoughtful analysis of Web3, that provides some much needed historical context, written by Tim O’Reilly, the man who defined Web2.

How Shein Beat Amazon At Its Own Game — And Reinvented Fast Fashion

“Its clothes aren’t intended for Chinese customers, but destined for export. In May, the company became the most popular shopping app in the U.S. on both Android & iOS, topped the iOS rankings in over 50 other countries. It’s the second most popular fashion website worldwide. […] By connecting China’s garment factories with Western Gen-Z customers, Shein ushered in a new era of “ultra-fast” shopping. […] The cycle of ultra-fast-fashion will only keep ticking up in speed and volume, as long as consumers continue to willingly buy into micro-trends — and discard them just as quickly. […] Where will this end?”

A Powerful New Deepfake Tool Has Digitally Undressed Thousands Of Women

A deepfake website that generates “nude” images of women using artificial intelligence is spreading its murky tentacles across the web—spawning look-alike services through partner agreements and recruiting new users through a referral system. The expansion efforts have allowed the service to proliferate despite bans placed on its payment infrastructure.”

The Great Bifurcation

“I think the opposite is happening: the physical world and digital world are increasingly bifurcating. […] The Metaverse is the set of experiences that are completely online, and thus defined by their malleability and scalability, which is to say that the Metaverse is already here. […] The Metaverse is not about eating the world; it’s about creating an entirely new one, from entertainment to community to money to identity.”

Software is not eating the world, its spitting out new universes and alternative realities.

With RTFKT Acquisition, Nike Invests In The Metaverse

“Sportswear giant Nike has acquired 2 year old digital fashion startup Rtfkt for an undisclosed sum. With the purchase, Nike is betting that a least part of the future of retail lies in the metaverse.”

It’s probably nothing.

STATS: More Oculus Headsets Were Sold Than Xboxs

2021 was the year of VR: Oculus has sold more headsets than Microsoft did Xboxs. Read this thread.

REPORT: Consumer Trends 2022

One of the best slides from this excellent presentation about Consumer Trends. More trend reports for 2022 can be found here.

What Are NFTs Used For?

MUST WATCH: Creators, Culture & Crypto
Creators, Culture, & Crypto: State of the Union

MUST WATCH: What Is The Metaverse?

“From virtual versions of ourselves to augmented reality, big brands like Meta (formerly Facebook) and Microsoft are creating technology to develop the metaverse. But what actually is it?

MUST WATCH: NFTs in South Park
Explaining the Crypto/NFT Language in South Park: Post COVID: The Return of COVID

MUST WATCH: Facebook Exec Blames Society For COVID Misinformation

Axios on HBO: Incoming Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth on technology’s role in the spread of misinformation


Real Fake 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 Watcher – New Media, Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Sander Duivestein (1971) is a highly acclaimed and top-rated trendwatcher, an influential author, an acclaimed keynote speaker, a digital business entrepreneur, and a strategic advisor on disruptive innovations. His main focus is the impact of new technologies on people, businesses and society.


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