Buckle up, you are now entering the 5D Metaverse.
NFT writers get a lot of NFT and crypto folks in their Twitter direct messages, LinkedIn messages, and e-mails looking to pitch their project in hopes that someone will write about their project for Forbes and in hopes it will make their NFTs inherently more valuable because they were written about in Forbes. So, writers have a lot to choose from in regards to what they choose to write about. Having to sift through a lot of nonsense pitches can be annoying, but it makes it all worth it when you get a chance to learn about something so out there that you can’t really comprehend it fully. Sometimes a pitch is so strange and unique that you just have to ask questions and learn more. Enter Wilder World.
It’s not everyday you get a DM from someone who wants to talk to you about the “5D Metaverse”. Heck, we haven’t even unlocked the 4th dimension yet, right? I remember reading about the so-called 4th dimension in a book series called A Miracle in Time where the main characters are searching after a mode of interdimensional space-folding time travel known as a tesseract. So, what could the 5D Metaverse entail? Do we even know what the Metaverse is, let alone the 5D Metaverse? This is when I realized I needed to talk to an expert in this topic, NBA Rookie of the Year , 2nd-team all Big-East legend, and NFT and crypto-enthusiast: Michael Carter-Williams.
I got a DM earlier this month from a project called “Wilder World” that I noticed MCW was involved with. The intersection of professional athletes and crypto/NFTs is a cultural and social trend that’s been exploding on Twitter in the last year, thanks to popular NFT projects such as BAYC and Cryptopunks, among other 8-figure fetching profile-picture collections. NBA superstars such as Steph Curry, NFL players like Odell Beckham Jr., and former MLBers like Richie Shaffer have all donned NFT profile pictures on their Twitter accounts in the last few months. This has inspired many of their fellow pro-athlete followers to get into the NFT space themselves, as well as their fans who originally followed them for sports reasons.
Now checking in for the Orlando Metaverse, MCW!
Luckily enough, given an NBA players extremely busy schedule, MCW was able to jump on a 30 minute voice call to explain how he got involved with Wilder World. The founders were also able to hop on the call and explain more about what Wilder World is.
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Jackson Weimer: What is Wilder World?
Frank Wilder: Wilder World is a New Dimension of Reality and Immersive 5D Metaverse built on Ethereum, Unreal Engine 5 and ZERO. Wilder World is powered by the WILD token which is used on the Wilder World Metaverse Market where you can buy and trade NFTs with in-world utility. The Wilder vision is to create a fully decentralized and community-owned virtual nation to be experienced in our immersive photorealistic Metaverse. Really the end goal is to create a Ready Player One-esk experience. We want everything to be plugged into Web3 and the blockchain.
Weimer: How did you get into this space?
Wilder: We started with the WILD token in May of this year. We’ve been based in the Silicon Valley for the past ten years and in 2016, we got really into DAOs and how they relate to future governments. That was our lane in. Then, we developed a tech-protocol that is Web-3 native called ZERO. It’s a Discord-esk Web 3. It helps with task-management and community tasks.
Weimer: What can someone do inside Wilder-World?
Wilder: Player vs Player (PvP) and Play to Earn (P2E) is a key part of Wilder World, which can be engaged through various micro games. The first micro game will be racing for pink slips using our Wilder Wheels NFTs… Think GTA with real stakes on the line! Beyond that, we have Wiami, the first city in Wilder World. Using lidar data we’ve created a 1 to 1 geographical replica of Miami, which is set in a nearby alternative dimension. Wiami is a Protopia that has a futuristic vibe playing off of 80s Miami, with a CyberPunk flair and a touch of fantasy. It will provide an expansive virtual environment for both Artists and Collectors to explore. Wilder World and our sister organization ZERO is currently in development with a team of over 100 people contributing from 20+ different countries around the world.
Weimer: Tell me more about Wilder Wheels. What can people do with them?
Wilder: Wilder Wheels is the first major industry launched by Wilder World. Offering playable vehicles that you will be able to race inside Wiami. Each vehicle has dynamic gameplay attributes that offer various things like handling, speed and acceleration. Similar to Axie Infinity there are inflationary and deflationary mechanics in the NFT economy that enable you to modify and evolve your vehicles and gameplay strategy. The first collection of vehicles is called Wilder Wheels Genesis. Offering 10,101 procedurally generated 5D 1 of 1 NFT vehicles. We’ve currently launched the community presale of 1000 wheels which have all sold. A public launch is coming soon.
Weimer: And Michael, how did you get involved with Wilder World and NFTs in general?
Michael Carter-Williams: My first time hearing about NFTs was through NBA Top Shot. That caught my eye to NFTs in general. I kinda wanted to dig into it and see what else NFTs had in store.
At first, I went to OpenSea and was like ‘I don’t know what any of this means’, so I started listening to conversations about NFTs on Clubhouse. I threw a few tweets out there about NFTs and got a few replies and I’d go off of those and got in contact with some people at ZED RUN.
I didn’t start collecting at first, I was just listening and learning. I wasn’t trying to look at it like a money grab. I just kept talking to different people and eventually got connected to Austin Grieshober and Brooks Brown and we formed a company called DeFi Crypto Connections. Then, we got connected to the guys at Wilder World and it’s been great ever since. Now, I am the Head of Metaverse Athletics.
Weimer: Do you own any NBA Top Shot moments of yourself?
MCW: Yes, I own my first basket which was a pretty cool dunk and a few others. I get gifted some moments of myself as well.
Weimer: Growing up, did you have a background playing video games? And do you think NBA 2K got your player model right?
MCW: Yeah, they definitely got it right. It was surreal, it’s so weird to be in a video game. They did a good job. Growing up I didn’t play a lot of video games. But I did play GTA, UFC, and NBA 2K.
Weimer: Do you talk with any of your teammates or other athletes about NFTs?
MCW: Gary Harris, Terrence Ross, Jerami Grant, Aaron Gordon, I always try and educate guys about the NFT space. It’s a way to show more about who you are as a person than just who you are on the court. You can really express yourself. I feel like NFTs are the next big thing.
Weimer: How do you see athletes continue to get involved in the NFT space?
MCW: There’s so many different angels in the NFT space. People gravitate towards competition. Collectables are good for those types of people. This is just the beginning especially when people see what projects like Wilder World have got in store.
Weimer: How often are you on your phone looking at NFT projects and learning?
MCW: Almost 24/7. We are on our phones so much. It’s such a good way to learn and relax from playing ball.
Weimer: Has there been times on the court where you talk with other players about NFTs?
MCW: Oh yeah. There’s been times where like a play happens and we are like, ‘that’s gonna be an NBA Top Shot moment’. Terrence Ross and I were going back and forth saying that a bunch on the court. This year, is when people on other teams are gonna start talking to the other team on the court about NFTs. I think more and more athletes are going to be interested in NFT projects other than just NBA Top Shot, like Wilder World.
This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.