When, in a digital age like ours, gaming, art, socializing and business meet, it can happen that Wonderland 2.0 takes shape. This is the case of The Sandbox (www.sandbox.game/en), an innovative project included in the Animoca Brands portfolio, which has recently opened the first marketplace dedicated to digital talents. Within this market, artists, graphic designers and creatives will not only be able to sell their works by relying on blockchain technology, a public register that will certify their authenticity and ownership, as well as the security of transactions, but will be supported and financed by a fund from $ 2 million: the Creator Fund. For the launch of the marketplace, 46 international names were selected, pioneers of this new form of Digital Art, including 3D graphics, creatives and designers who work by modeling voxels, that is, volumetric pixels. Others will be added, also thanks to the fact that computer skills are not required to work on their virtual artifacts, but purely creative.
Once their creation has been accomplished, which will be compensated by the Fund with an amount of up to 60 dollars, creators will be able to put it up for sale on the marketplace by setting the price independently: 95% will end up in their pockets, while the remaining 5% will return to the fund to finance the new talents who will join the platform.
The Sandbox is a so-called metaverse, a virtual universe expressed by a map divided into plots of building land, called LAND, which can be sold or rented by exchanging the reference cryptocurrency, the $ SAND. Once you have bought or rented your LAND, you become an owner, thus getting to the heart of this virtual “game in the game” where you do real business. The logic of the sale of land, true functional units of this virtual system, is similar to that of the real estate market: if you buy in the center or in a rapidly expanding area, it will be easier to develop your business and get greater visibility. Therefore the purchase or rental price of a lot will vary according to the location in the map of The Sandbox, costing less if it is located in a peripheral area and costing more if located near the property of important companies such as the creator of Atari video games or famous brands such as the Smurfs, where it is inevitable that future visitors to the metaverse will be attracted more easily.
Through the use of the Game Maker software, you can then create a virtual 3D space, game experiences (based on some models already available) or various types of performances, including artistic ones. An owner has the right to set up an art gallery or a 3D virtual museum and to exhibit his or her own works or personal collection, or those of other artists, even deciding to make it open for a fee ticket. Like this the system of culture, its spaces and its usability also takes shape in the digital world. The logic is similar to that of the real art market and its enhancement. This is the absolute novelty of The Sandbox: a perfect and unprecedented combination of the world of video games and the world of art, without neglecting the aspect of collecting.
Through VoxEdit instead, the other main software of the metaverse, artists, game makers and creatives will be able to give shape to all those assets useful in the game arena and above all they will be able to monetize them: characters, animals, monsters, furniture, objects with various shapes, but even furnishing elements and real works of art can be sold in the marketplace in the form of NFT. Whether it’s unique copies, limited editions or artifacts made in thousands of copies, blockchain technology will once again guarantee safe and transparent trading operations. The first to experiment with the metaverse, building their own game experience, were the HACKTAO, a duo of pioneering Italian artists in the world of Crypto Art. (www.hackatao.com/hack-the-tao).
The Sandbox promises to be one of the possible futures not only for gaming or the virtual dimension of existence, but also the springboard for a new form of real estate market, socializing and sharing and for the new artistic currents of the 21st century: Digital and Crypto Art.
Arianna Olivari (Rome, 1992), holds a three-year degree in Cultural Heritage at the University of Roma Tre with a thesis on the philosophy of art focused on Phidias and Michelangelo. In 2020 (March) she specialized in the history of contemporary art, at the same university, presenting a thesis on digital art by Fabrizio Plessi and the New Media of the contemporary. She currently lives and works in Rome.