Meet Oseanworld, the internet artist tearing up the metaverse rulebook

The multidisciplinary artist has supporters such as Kanye West and Mowalola. Now he is teaming up with the metaverse company Realm to launch his own virtual world

For some reptile-adjacent tech bros (see: Mark Zuckerberg), the metaverse is becoming a digital world in which we spend our lives – going to work, shopping and partying. They see it as a unique virtual space where people can strap on 3D glasses and hit enter in much the same way they would on Instagram or Twitter. But this is a totally unchic idea, especially when you consider that the metaverse can be anything we want it to be. So why put on a plain T-shirt and log into a work meeting on Meta when you could literally fly through the pixelated vistas of a magical kingdom with a pair of dragon wings?

The truth is that the metaverse is not one homogeneous space, but a collective term for any immersive virtual world. These could be video games like Fortnite and Roblox, or cute platforms like VRChat. In front of Empire, a newly launched metaverse, means building a decentralized platform where players can jump through portals and explore infinite realms built for and by the users themselves. You can create their own worlds from scratch, create stories and add layers of gamification such as event ticketing, live audio, 3D sound, flying and racing.

“All the different realms, or ‘microverses’, are interconnected and are meant to coexist in an inclusive metaverse,” the creators say. Realm, also known as the ‘people’s metaverse’, does not charge players who want to build their own worlds. “We’re innovating away from the wave of digital feudalism that other metaverses are based on, where creators have to buy expensive land to create something,” they explain. Working in VR, AR and mixed reality, the platform is also designed to work on smartphones, meaning players don’t have to strap an (expensive) headset the size of a brick to their face when they get started.

Realm officially launched to the public last month at NFT.NYC 2022, along with a collaboration with multidisciplinary artist Oseanworld. The 25-year-old is a child prodigy among certain devoted online circles, who caught the attention of Kanye West, Mowalola and Offset. He spent his early teens building online personas on virtual platforms such as IMVU, before launching his YouTube channel in 2014 with a selection of music, videos and an anime series. His in-game character Yameii, an anime vocaloid rapper, is an internet sensation, with hits like “Limewire Jutsu” and “Yameii versus the world” to 22 million streams on Spotify and nine million views on YouTube.

For his Realm collab, the Atlanta-based artist took inspiration from a 2021 mixtape, NU RADIO, which was launched as part of a showcase for his roster of Oseanworld artists, which also include IRL producer Deko and Lil Hard Drive, another vocaloid. rapper created by Osean and Deko. NU RADIO fully embodies Oseanworld with custom avatars and immersive experiences, such as a multiplayer racing game launching ahead of the official launch of NU RADIO in mid-July.

Below, we chat with Osean on NFT.NTC to discuss his Realm collab, the future of virtual ravens and digital drugs.

How did the collaboration with Realm come about?

Osean world: They beat me and said, ‘Your arts are really cool, do you want to make a game?’ The nice thing about Realm is that they are real people. Usually you have to email 40 times and go through this whole process. But with Realm I met Joban and it was like, ‘yo what’s up!’

What is the relationship between your IRL self and your avatars?

Osean world: They are free trials for how I want to live my real life. It’s like going into a closet and wearing different kinds of clothes. In the beginning it started with wanting to dye my hair, so I bleached it and did a lot of coloring. I did the same with my tattoos, like drawing the stars on my 3D hand and choosing which variation works.

How do you go about designing your characters?

Osean world: It’s really freeform for the most part. Last night I stayed up until 4 am making songs and stories. Then I go to 3D and start giving them personas and colors; I build a whole ethos around them, like what they stand for.

There is a great anime influence on your characters, especially in their backstories. Where does that come from?

Osean world: One Piece is a big influence – and Naruto. It’s funny because they’re the most mainstream anime, but they’re mainstream for a reason. The filler (characters) have so much depth. They go to any island and there will be this one character with a whole backstory. It’s cool because the main character doesn’t have a main story; their backstory is based on everyone’s backstories.

What I like about anime is that you can grow up with the character as if it were a real person. Of A pieceSo you see Luffy grow from a baby to the king of the pirates.

What is the relationship between your visuals and music?

Osean world: Music has always powered pretty much everything I do. When I did Oseanworld season one, I had made some soundtracks beforehand. But when I met Deko, I had the idea of ​​Yameii beforehand, but I had her sing and poop. He was like, do you want her to rap? And I was like, yeah. Sometimes I can kind of think about what I want to do for art, but with music I just scribble on the keyboard for two seconds and I already have about 40 ideas, so it’s cool.

Obviously, during the pandemic, virtual parties reached the mainstream. But they are simmering again when everything is reopened. Do you see metaverse parties becoming a thing? How do you think it will unfold?

Osean world: On VRChat there is a whole underground scene that is causing these crazy raves. The great thing about online versus real life is that you have the freedom to sandbox everything. So in real life you have to pick a location, pay for the location or whatever. But in 3D you don’t have to pay for shit. You just need to have the ability to make the thing.

When you are in VR, you have the glasses with the mirror lenses and headphones on. It’s a complete sensory overload and it feels like you’re really in the club. What I like about VRChat is that it’s about the people who create the environment versus the people who actually work in VR. Now all these kids have built all these cool clubs with crazy dolphins and there is a DJ in the center surrounded by holograms and waterfalls and flying petals everywhere. They play crazy music with dancing bears and Kermit the Frog dancing next to you.

“All those old people don’t give a fuck about decentralization. And even if they did, they wouldn’t know how to go about it” – Oseanworld

What is your experience building clubs on VRChat?

Osean world: We probably started building clubs there four or five years ago, just by playing crazy techno. It created this cool underground scene where people came in hundreds or thousands to party and hang out. They would be in VR for eight hours, using VR drugs and the like.

Wait, what are VR drugs?

Osean world: They change your perception so that your brain looks weird. It plays with how aural and sensory your actual headset is and programs it to distort your entire perception so that it literally feels like you’re walking up or down or something like that.

I think some people are hesitant about the metaverse because of the way it’s been sold to us through people like Mark Zuckerberg. The aesthetic is also so unsexy, like why are the avatars dressed in plain clothes?

Osean world: Mark Zuckerberg tries to present it to older people. He’s got all those stupid clothes on because normal people will wear them. But the people who are really going to push this shit forward are the people who aren’t going to wear that. If you want to be cool, why not use the technology it’s trying to bring out in the first place?

That’s it, the metaverse has been around since Second Life and Habbo Hotel. Those are all things we grew up with.

Osean world: We played it, but our parents skipped all that. They went from not having a phone to having VR and AR.

It feels like Web2’s latest attempt to stay relevant when the youngsters just want decentralization.

Osean world: All these old people don’t give a fuck about decentralization. And even if they did, they wouldn’t know how to go about it. So I understand where Zuckerberg is coming from, because people want to know what to do. The reason Apple is so successful is that it gives you a lot of things to do. I’ll show you how to make friends, how to talk to people online. But we don’t need that shit. We want to take life into our own hands.

How do you see it turning out?

Osean world: I think in the end it will be two sides of the same apartment where there will be both a decentralized and a centralized version. There will be all the kids building their own shit, but Facebook will be there to cater to the old folks. Like, you’re not going to see your grandma hit Discord.

We’ve got all these crazy technologies going beyond Meta and we’re going to create what we think the actual metaverse should be – and that archipelago is going to get much crazier.

NU RADIO will be released on Realm in the coming weeks. Find out more here

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