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Issue #78 – Real Fake Newsletter

Thijs Pepping
August 30, 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, internet culture, Generation Z and Alpha, crypto, narrative economics, virtual humans, CGI influencers, vTubers, NFTs, DAOs, VR, Web3, 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.

Eminem and Snoop Dogg Perform From the Metaverse
Eminem feat. Snoop Dogg Performs “From the D 2 the LBC” | 2022 VMAs

MTV introduced this year a new category: “Best Metaverse Performance”, meaning that virtual concerts are now officially recognized and awarded by MTV and they will only become more popular as the world further virtualizes.

Nearly 7 Million People Have Visited Nike’s Metaverse Store

“Nikeland, which is the sporting goods brand’s micro metaverse built in Roblox, has attracted 6.7 million people from 224 countries since its launch in November. The space allows users to try on virtual products in addition to playing to the strengths of Roblox as a platform with games such as dodgeball.”

No wonder that Nike is the biggest NFT brand.

The Rise Of Niche Culture And How It Defines A Generation

“More than previous generations, Gen Z no longer care about fitting in with the masses or adhering to the status quo, instead they try to seek a deep understanding of who they are in order to connect with individuals that share similar interests.”

From monoculture to niche culture.

Niche Internet Micro Celebrities

Niche internet micro celebrities or nimcels are people online who are known to a small but often dedicated group and they represent a growing variant of the attention economy. Online fame is a consequence for a niche internet micro celebrity, never the goal. They rarely make money from their social accounts, choosing instead to post for the fun of it. The term is often used in a tongue in cheek way. […] The term niche internet micro celebrity first emerged on Instagram meme pages last spring. Since then, it has seeped into broader culture as an effective shorthand for describing a new type of online fame or notoriety and signifying a shift in how people think about internet-driven influence.”

Fame is niche now. It is community specific.

The Metaverse Will Be Tacky, Prudish, and Dull

“Zuckerberg is trying to build a child’s idea of utopia, where your friends can’t ever go home, where everyone has to play in your world, designed by your rules. It’s not a fantasy of connection but a fantasy of control.

Unbundling Digital Identity Unlocks New Ways to Play and Build

The future of digital identity is about being multifaceted, compartmentalisation, curating the way we’re perceived online and playing creatively with different personas.”

Direct-to-Consumer Becomes Direct-to-Community

“Brands today are keeping their audiences engaged with a compelling calendar of personalized ads, organic content and new products. Instead of looking at social media as a separate channel, they’re focusing on a holistic customer experience that brings a community of customers back for more.”

Meet the Polish LARPers Who Pretend to Be American

“You might think LARPing (short for live action role play) basically means a bunch of people dressed in medieval outfits, recreating historical battles. Instead, Bartek and his fellow LARP enthusiasts turn a peaceful holiday resort in a Polish forest into an American trailer park, with dozens of participants who stay in character with their assigned family, living at their assigned trailer home for 28 hours at a time.”


MUST SEE: Voyage Through Time – A Generative AI journey

Voyage through Time – a Generative AI journey

MUST LISTEN: The Joe Rogan Experience: Mark Zuckerberg

Listen here.


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 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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