Adimverse is creating a new way of storytelling. Using creator rooms, they introduce a collaborative aspect to character creation. But what is truly special about their model is that they allow each and every contributor to hold IP rights, as well as to collect royalties.
Stories are powerful media. They help people make sense of the world, connect with others, and construct meaning for their lives. Through the sands of time, storytelling has evolved and culminated with blockchain technology in a variety of emerging forms. Web3 creators are bringing new stories to life in exciting ways.
It’s difficult to pinpoint precisely when humans began to tell stories. Paintings in France’s Chauvet Cave indicate that it could have been as long ago as 36,000 years ago. Writing stories is also a tradition that is thousands of years old, established when The Sumerians gave us the Epic of Gilgamesh approximately 3,000 years ago.
Before the advent of writing, oral storytelling dominated. From tales of Budj Bim to The Iliad, oral stories prepared the way for transferring the collective memory into codified written narratives. Even now, oral storytelling hasn’t gone out of fashion, as the growth of initiatives like StoryCorps and TedX prove.
From clay tablets to moving images, stories have been told through a variety of media; as new technologies emerge, storytelling techniques advance and mature. For example, the serial magazine fiction of the 19th century paved the way for the novel as a popular storytelling form. In the 20th century, silent movies morphed into “talkies” and the internet gave birth to interactive literature.
More recently, the emergence of cryptocurrencies in the 21st has delivered new, decentralised methods of telling stories. One example is Adimverse, a web3 media company focused on collaborative character creation and community-owned storytelling.
Adimverse is the brainchild of actor Robert McElhenney, best known for his role in the black comedy series, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. For this project, McElhenney enlisted the help of other co-founders, including writer Keyonna Taylor and Chief Community Officer Spencer Marell.
The concept is simple: creators join Adimverse and receive an NFT as proof of membership. Meeting in creator rooms, they collaborate on developing characters and, once completed, each participant in a room receives a non-transferrable NFT of their core character with details about ownership, governance, and royalty rights. The beauty of this process is that the holders of these character NFTs can then use those characters in commercial projects and every participant who contributed to their creation can benefit financially through royalties.
Still in its infancy, Adimverse launched with 100 creators from around the world to fill its first creator room early in 2022, and have opened several new rooms since. The Adim team is pushing the boundaries of story creation, using web3 tools, by facilitating character usage across genres, mediums, and IP rights holders.
In other words, the same character could appear as the protagonist in a romance novel, an antagonist in a fantasy role-playing video game, and a foil in a murder mystery streaming movie series. On the other side of the experiment, however, a universe of possibilities exists. While commercialisation of any character has yet to happen, Adimverse has already proven their worth as the facilitator of a new way to craft stories.
Adimverse is using blockchain to facilitate the collaborative process.
Thus far, Adimverse has created 43 different characters ranging from Bailey Oliver, a mail-stealing postal worker who believes that she lives in a simulation, to Pig the house cat, who is really a fallen goddess. Other colourful characters include Ted the Projectionist, a washed-up movie snob, plagued with Main Character Syndrome, who is relegated to ending his career as a cinema projectionists, as well as Cammy the extraterrestrial android on a mission to observe life on Earth.
Collaboration is nothing new. The film industry has used the collaborative storytelling model for more than a hundred years. What is innovative about Adimverse is the way that they are using technology to facilitate the collaborative process and turn creators into IP rights co-owners.
Holders of character NFTs can use those characters in commercial projects and every contributor can benefit.
The ways this could impact the future of storytelling are legion. Imagine royalty sharing, for instance, taking place with new worlds, narrative devices, and plot points. For instance, what if J.R.R. Tolkien had co-created Middle Earth with a team of collaborators, where each one independently wrote their own stories within that world? Where each collaborator had the right to build out those stories into their own ecosystems? This arrangement could spell the death of fan fiction.
Concerning narrative devices, suppose a team of collaborators invented a storytelling medium that integrated blockchain technology, virtual reality, and non-transferrable NFTs? In the 1920s, Surrealist poets and artists played a game that allowed them to collaborate on their creations in an “assembly line” fashion. Digital technologies could give birth to similar experiments that allow creators to collaborate and collect the rewards from their collective imaginations.
Storytelling has entered a new, collaborative phase. Adimverse is merely the beginning of this collective experiment. When it comes to telling stories, the possibilities are as vast as the known universe. Shakespeare may be the model of literary excellence for today’s storytellers, but tomorrow’s tropes may be predicated upon new paradigms that have yet to be discovered.
Allen Taylor is an award-winning journalist and former newspaper editor. He is the author of 'Cryptosocial: How Cryptocurrencies Are Changing Social Media', and writes Cryptocracy, a newsletter that explores the growth and development of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. He is also the co-host of Defluenced, a podcast about decentralised social media applications, and lives in a van with his wife.
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