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

During Paris NFT Day, an important gathering of the community of entrepreneurs and investors in NFTs, one project in particular caught our attention: an arsenal in the metaverse.

You know, in the metaverse, there have been sexual assaults before. said Gauthier Bros, the Metaverse Weapon Factory booth manager. † And these attacks wouldn’t happen if you had an AK-47 with you. We are present at Paris NFT Day, a meeting of NFT and virtual world professionals organized in the capital, and of all the exhibitors, this counter stands out, with its plastic guns and a radical idea: arming the metaverse.

As of early 2021, NFTs are everywhere: non-exchangeable tokens (or non-exchangeable tokens, in French) are types of certificates of authenticity registered on a blockchain, which guarantee their inviolability. This mechanism has created a true virtual art market and NFTs have sold for several million dollars. Driven by Facebook’s outspoken ambition to get into the metaverse, the entire crypto ecosystem has started developing products for NFTs – and many companies, including Metaverse Weapon Factory, were in Paris explaining their “solutions”.

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

“We must kill the anti-bitcoin protesters”

The concept of Metaverse Weapon Factory (or WMF) is simple: they offer to sell NFTs of weapons, which can eventually be used in all kinds of metaverses. The idea behind it, explained directly to us by WMF’s director, Gauthier Bros, is to ensure your safety in the virtual world – and thus protect yourself from virtual assault. “If you have an AK-47 with you, you can be sure nothing will happen to you. he assures.

It is true that sexual harassment exists in the metavers. The first cases of virtual attacks were reported in December 2021, just weeks after Mark Zuckerberg’s big announcement about Facebook’s future plans on the metaverse. If it’s important to set up tools to moderate virtual spaces, there’s no guarantee that arming yourself can one day have a truly positive effect on virtual universes. Several studies have also shown that the most armed cities in real life suffer from crime no less than the others – it is likely that this trend is found in virtual worlds.

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

Fighting sexual harassment in the Metaverse is not the only concern of Metaverse Weapon Factory. Pending the interoperability of the weapons in different universes, the company plans to launch a game, which Numerama could see a demo 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, if they shout that crypto is a scam or a ponzi scheme, there is a risk that the price of bitcoin will drop to zero ‘, the founder justifies.

“Everybody Needs a Gun in the Metaverse”

In the demo, characters run towards us and then fall when shot. There is no distinctive “anti-bitcoin” sign on their avatar. Once fully developed, the game will be more complete, we are sure. You can also see on their site that the MWF teams already have plans to coiner (transforming into NFT, editor’s note) 30,000 AK-47s, and events organized in the coming months. Their tagline is also at the top of the site, in a post-it: “ Everyone needs a gun in the metaverse “. But there wouldn’t be just weapons: the idea is that pistols and knives can be bought as NFT, specifies the founder of MWF. All kinds 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 show’s visitors were men) took pictures with the plastic pistols available on the booth and tried to shoot with an augmented reality helmet. For Wendie, who took an interest in the project and stayed on the MWF booth for a while, the interest of such equipment in the metaverse is not in security, but in video games. † I play a lot of Call of Duty so of course I would love to have my own weapon in NFT, mainly because they are beautiful† †

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

For now, there is no announced date for possible interoperability of MWF weapons in different metaverses, and it is not certain that players will be able to use them everywhere. Strictly speaking, there is no metaverse yet. But such a possibility still raises some questions. † There may be deviations”, admits Wendie. † The multiplication of weapons, it is not always a good idea

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