Why Nvidia’s bottom-up approach to the metaverse will win


As Big Tech puts more resources and funding into the metaverse, the metaverse’s main investment will be to empower people to create in it. Nvidia kicked off 2022 with an announcement: It will license its Omniverse software to artists and other creatives for free, which will help build virtual worlds for the metaverse. These licenses (which cost a minimum) $9,000 annually for corporate clients) is not offered to art organizations, but to individual makers. However, they are not given away as charity; they are an investment in the bottom-up, grassroots growth of the metaverse.

The brilliance of this move by Nvidia is the large-scale empowerment of content producers. It’s a welcome contrast to the “verify all data” approach inherent in Facebook/Meta. Everything Facebook does is in a closed experience managed by its engineers and administrators.

By taking the opposite approach, Nvidia shows it is seizing the free spirit and creative energy that will help existing virtual worlds blossom into a connected and open metaverse. Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs) already dominate in gaming and 3D simulation, making the company a major player in the metaverse. If you can make it Omniverse the dominant software platform for creating and sharing 3D designs within a connected metaverse, its valuation will skyrocket.

Empowering individual creators, as Nvidia does, is essential to the success of the metaverse. This is why:

Would you rather be a timber wolf or a toy poodle?

The timber wolf is the apex predator of its habitat – it goes where it pleases, eats what it pleases and all other animals respect it. But it can only thrive as long as it can sustain itself in its habitat.

The toy poodle, on the other hand, lives a preserved life. Completely dependent on his owner to carry and feed him, the Toy Poodle has essentially no power or power. However, it usually lacks nothing and always survives the timber wolf.

Most of us will choose the timber wolf because the idea of ​​a comfortable but exciting life sounds stifling. The artists, engineers, and other creators whose work will make or break the metaverse are the same way: they want to gain the power to do creative work in the way they see fit.

Nvidia’s basic approach treats creatives like timber wolves, providing them with the habitat and tools they need to create, thrive, and make a living. In contrast, the top-down control of companies like Meta treats creatives like toy poodles who must supervise in a closed environment. They track users’ daily transactions to mine their data and prevent creatives from coloring outside the lines or making money outside of an approved digital economy.

The metaverse will make or break based on creative buy-in

It’s hard to imagine what our world would be like without the work of artists and creatives. The latest plot developments on hit TV shows like “Succession” and “Game of Thrones” dominate our conversations. Designers influence everything from our fashion choices to how we furnish our homes. Musicians compose the tunes we hear in the background as we work, socialize and relax.

So much of what it means to be human comes from art in all its forms. For the metaverse to become a real cultural phenomenon, we need visionary artists and creatives to fill it with real culture. That means empowering these creatives to create all kinds of content for virtual environments, from NFTs to music to live streaming shows, and ensuring they are fairly compensated for their work.

This is why giving away Nvidia’s Omniverse software license to artists is so important. Nvidia understands that unleashing creative energy to create products and experiences in the metaverse makes it exciting and compelling to consumers. Newcomers to these virtual worlds will seek out creative and artistic experiences that cannot be found anywhere else. As well as making the metaverse a more vibrant and engaging place to spend time, it will also be crucial in establishing the commercial viability of any new virtual world.

And not only artists benefit from this approach. As a longtime advocate of the open source community, I can attest that the creative work of developers and software engineers will also be critical to the metaverse’s success. By providing flexible tools without telling developers how to use them, we can empower curious experts to experiment and iterate with what’s possible in live streaming and virtual environments.

In short, no company should try to own the metaverse; rather, they should strive to open everything that is possible in it. Let’s all embrace our inner timber wolves and bravely explore all metaverse.

Jerod Venema is founder and CEO of real-time video communication company LiveSwitch.

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