AK-47s, catapults and knives: they want to arm the metaverse

During Paris NFT Day, a large meeting between the community of entrepreneurs and investors in NFTs, one project particularly caught our attention: an arsenal in the metaverse.

You know, in the metaverse, there have been sexual assaults before. “says Gauthier Bros., head of the Metaverse Weapon Factory booth.” And these assaults would not happen if you had an AK-47 with you. “We are for Paris NFT Day, a gathering of NFT and virtual professionals organized in the capital, and among all the exhibitors this disc stands out with its plastic pistols and a radical idea: to arm the metaverse.

Since the start of 2021, NFTs have been everywhere: non-fungible tokens (or non-exchangeable tokens, in French) are types of certificates of authenticity registered on a blockchain, which guarantee their inviolability. This mechanism has enabled a veritable virtual art market to emerge, and NFTs have been able to sell for millions of dollars. Driven by Facebook’s stated ambition to enter the metaverse, the entire crypto ecosystem has embarked on the development of products dedicated to NFTs – and many companies, including the Metaverse Weapon Factory, were in Paris to explain their “solutions”.

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At Paris NFT Day, the meeting place for NFT collectors // Source: Aurore Gayte for Numerama

AK-47s, catapults and knives: they want to arm the metaverse
Metaverse Weapon Factory stand, during Paris NFT Day // Source: Aurore Gayte for Numerama

“We must kill anti-bitcoin protesters”

The concept of the Metaverse Weapon Factory (or WMF) is simple: they offer to sell NFTs of weapons that could eventually be used in all kinds of metavers. The idea behind it, explained to us directly by the director of WMF, Gauthier Bros, is to be able to ensure your safety in the virtual world – and therefore to protect yourself from virtual sexual assault. “With an AK-47 with you, you can be sure nothing happens to you. ‘, He assures.

It is true that sexual harassment exists in the metaverse. The first cases of virtual assault were reported in December 2021, just weeks after Mark Zuckerberg’s big announcement about Facebook’s future plans on the metaverse. If it is important to set up tools to be able to moderate virtual spaces, it is not certain that armament will one day have a real positive impact on virtual universes. Several studies have also proven that the most armed cities in real life do not suffer from less crime than the others – it is likely that this trend exists in virtual worlds.

AK-47s, catapults and knives: they want to arm the metaverse
One of the AK-47s from Metaverse Weaopn Factory // Source: Aurore Gayte for Numerama

Combating sexual harassment in Metaverse is not Metaverse Weapon Factory’s only concern. While waiting for the weapons to be interoperable in multiple universes, the company has planned to launch a game that Numerama could see a demo of during Paris NFT Day. The principle is surprising: we are installed in a classic shooting range, except that instead of shooting at targets, “ kill anti-bitcoin protesters “.” Activists when they shout that crypto is a scam or a ponzi scheme, there is a risk that the price of bitcoin will fall to zero “, Justifies the founder.

“Everyone needs a gun in Metaverset”

In the demo, characters run towards us, and then fall when shot down. There is no characteristic “anti-bitcoin” sign on their avatar. Once it is fully developed, the game will be more complete, we are sure. You can also see on their page that the MWF teams have already planned to coins (converted to NFT, editor’s note) 30,000 AK-47s and organized events over the next few months. Their slogan is also inscribed at the top of the page in a post-it: “ Everyone needs a gun in the metaverse “But there would not only be weapons: it is planned that guns and knives can be purchased as NFT, states the founder of MWF. All sorts of different weapons are planned, including … catapults.

During the day, the Metaverse Weapon Factory booth was rarely empty. A whole crowd of spectators (95% of the visitors to the show were men) took pictures with the plastic guns available on the stand and tried their hand at shooting with an augmented reality helmet. For Wendie, who was interested in the project and stayed at the MWF stand for a while, the interest in such equipment in the meta-verse is not to be found in safety, but in video games. ” I play Call of Duty a lot, so of course I would be interested in being able to have my own weapon in NFT, especially since they are beautiful. »

AK-47s, catapults and knives: they want to arm the metaverse
Metaverse Weapon Factory Website // Source: Metaverse Weapon Factory

For now, there is no announced date for a potential interoperability of MWF weapons in various metavers, and it is not certain that players can use them anywhere. There are also no metavers yet, strictly speaking. But such an opportunity still raises some questions. ” There may be discrepancies “, Wendie admits. ” The multiplication of weapons, it is not always a good idea “.

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