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Issue #49 – Real Fake

Sander Duivestein
February 02, 2022

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.

I’ve Seen The Metaverse – And I Don’t Want It

“The tech world has been overtaken by the seductive idea of a virtual utopia, but what’s on offer looks more like a late-capitalist technocratic nightmare. […] The virtual worlds of games and the early internet used to be an escape from the inequalities and injustices of the real one. To see the tendrils of big tech and social media extending towards the places that have been a refuge for me and millions of others is disturbing. I don’t trust these people with the future. The more I hear about the metaverse, the less I want to do with it.”

The Web3 Playbook For Brands

“Web3 is a new source of economic value. It’s a marketplace, a new revenue stream, a fuel for business growth and a source of competitive advantage. To explore the full potential of the Web3 economy for brands, here is a Web3 playbook.

How Discord Became The “Soho House Of Web 3.0”

“The invite-only social media platform has become a way to create hype and find audiences for NFT projects. It’s the latest gateway for brands including Adidas and Gucci to enter the metaverse. […] Discord is its own ecosystem, like Instagram, Twitter, Reddit and LinkedIn all wrapped into one, with 24/7 engagement from people all around the world. The community is our backbone. […] On Discord, brands can create their own servers to both attract NFT enthusiasts and share NFT projects with existing fans”

The most important thing to remember about Discord. Building a community is very different from running a marketing campaign: “It might help brands to abandon a marketing mindset altogether.”

Check out Cult & Rain as well. This is the first luxury brand that is born in the Crypto Universe by using Discord extensively.

Who Was The First Influencer?

“The idea of a virtual character achieving legitimate, wide-scale fandom may seem like a modern idea. However, the concept of fictional celebrities can be traced all the way back to the 1930s, well before computers were invented, and that’s not even considering the long history of cartoon characters in print. […] Today we’re reviewing the history of fictional celebrities and how they set the stage for contemporary virtual influencers’ success. Let’s dive in, starting with an unsuspecting character…”

TikTok Band: The Future X

“Well, it’s happened. The first full pop group sourced from TikTok is finally here. Introducing The Future X, the latest endeavor spearheaded by Simon Fuller, the former manager of and mastermind behind some of music’s favorite groups and shows, including The Spice Girls and American Idol.”
Will it be a major hit?

The Future X – This Kind Of Love (New Song)

How Crypto Became The New Subprime

“There’s growing evidence that the risks of crypto are falling disproportionately on people who don’t know what they are getting into and are poorly positioned to handle the downside. […] Regulators have made the same mistake they made on subprime: They failed to protect the public against financial products nobody understood, and many vulnerable families may end up paying the price.”

The Next Evolution Of Direct-To-Fan Will Be Fan-To-Fan

“The creator economy now has plenty of direct-to-fan platforms, from Twitch to Patreon, which allow artists to connect directly with (and monetise) their audiences. More emphasis should also be placed on tools that drive fan-to-fan interaction, which not only helps artists nurture fan bases, but also take the pressure off of the artist to churn out content. Of course, artist fan clubs have always existed. But the concept is ripe for a 21st-century makeover, potentially helping ameliorate the recent spate of creator burnout.”

Profile Of Artist Seneca, The Lead Designer Behind BAYC

“Her creativity helped fuel a technological revolution she knew almost nothing about. Although the Bored Ape Yacht Club — now, arguably, the world’s biggest NFT project — first appeared online in May and quickly started selling for millions, the woman who drew its primary characters had no idea that the collection was a hit until she Googled the name months later. These cartoonish primates have since generated more than a billion dollars and lassoed mainstreamers into the crypto scene. Yet Seneca — the 27-year-old Asian-American artist who played an integral role in bringing their ideas to life — gets little credit.”

Review Book Real Fake

“Thorough, eye-opening and completely captivating are the first words that come to mind for “Real Fake: Playing with Reality in the Age of AI, Deepfakes and the Metaverse”. […] Deeply philosophical and engaging, the book gets into the weeds of what reality “is” and how we need to consider all different flavors of it: objective reality, subjective reality and synthetic reality (which is pixels on a screen). If you’re looking for a better understanding of this new synthetic world we live in, look no further than Real Fake. We’re finding ourselves in a world where the lines between real and fake, play and work, and memes and investing, get blurrier by the minute. Real Fake will help you understand how we got to this point and where we’re going as a playful, story-driven society.”

Great review of our book Real Fake. Get your own copy here.

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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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