The Matterless Future Of Pets
Humans have been living with animals for many thousands of years. Ours is a deep, emotional, intimate connection that has transformed the evolution of human society.
We’ve depended on animals for food and transportation, we’ve worshiped them as sacred, and considered them as companions throughout history. As we evolve, so does the role animals play in our lives and the way we treat them.
In prehistory, humans took wolf cubs and trained them to hunt, herd and guard. Later, in ancient Greece, dogs were thought to be able to cure illnesses and were kept in healing temples. Cats followed mice into granaries at the start of the agrarian revolution and were tolerated at first, and later encouraged to stay. Egyptians mummified millions of them.
Today we consider animal companions to be a part of the family, give them human names, and buy them birthday gifts.
Over half the people in Western societies share their daily life with pets, and as the role we give them changes, our animal friends today receive more love and care than ever before.
Even the ones not made of flesh and bone.
Love in the Age of Science
Increasingly, our human young are being raised by screens. As an 80s kid, my window to the greater world was TV sets, and then computers, handheld consoles, and the internet.
I was part of the first wave of the internet generation, a millennial born in ‘83. Being a kid that grew up with a screen to the world completely changed what I thought was possible. It made me realize very early on that the way we live today is going to be different from anything we encountered in the past. At the same time, I discovered sci-fi.
I read everything from Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein — the classics, to William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Neil Stephenson’s Snow Crash. This is where I’d heard of Cyberspace and the Metaverse for the first time.
At the same time, I was growing up in a small European country right as we were falling face-first into the democratic process after the crash of a socialist ideology and a war for independence. The internet made it possible to imagine living in a different world. My screens, like my books, became storytelling machines, and through them, I started to understand the world around me. The best part was that with time the screens became increasingly interactive.
Fast forward a few years, and I was the first in my family to go study abroad. Because of the web, I had already connected with others like me and made real friendships online. These were real friends in virtual worlds, people I would chat and play games with, just hang out, and, when I did a year abroad in Japan, ask for help in figuring out how to survive in Asia.
I’ve been online since I was thirteen, and now I’ve started asking myself — what’s it like becoming a teenager online in 2021?
This generation never lived in a world without broadband connections or social media, and they are the first to witness artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and the blockchain as a fact of their daily lives.
I’m pretty sure they are as mesmerized by the possibilities of new tech just as I was.
The metaverse is the next new frontier. A 3D internet, a mixed reality space where the users will be embodied in a digital form and have more options to customize their appearance than ever before. This is an inevitable move towards creating a more realized digital persona.
One trend we are starting to see is a merger between physical and digital interactions. For younger generations, online public events, like Fortnite concerts are the new normal, and it's common to spend money on skins and accessories that exist only online, to enhance and individualize their digital persona.
Here, a horizon of opportunities presents itself. The uniqueness of online purchases can be secured by using NFTs — non-fungible tokens, which create digital scarcity and allow for each individual piece of clothing or accessory to have a unique signature and by that, clear ownership rights.
People are ready to accept and express themselves in a new type of social environment, one that merges the material world and multiple digital layers projected on top of it. In that environment, we at Matterless believe, there is room for a digital companion — a trusted pet that can follow you around across different domains by using cross-platform compatibility and join you in becoming a part of your identity.
These new inhabitants of the metaverse will have needs and desires just like we do and will thrive when you take care of them. Each creature has its own personality and affinities and will respond to the world in unique ways.
We envision an empathetic connection, where, if you take good care of a digital pet where if you feed it, it gets enough exercise, and you provide them with social interactions, their personality develops over time. Just as it does with an animal of flesh and bone.
In the metaverse, the realm of the digital expression, the possibilities seem endless, but here too animals will find their place, just as they always have before.
As society keeps transforming at an accelerating pace, one thing is certain — the bond with our animal friends can only grow stronger.
- Damir First, Chief Creative Officer
About Matterless Studios
Digital life. Real connections. True Affection.
Matterless Studios is an augmented reality studio building the future of digital relationships, creating outlets for human love, nurture, and creativity. For more information visit www.matterless.com, join the Discord, or follow us on Twitter or here on Medium.