Virtualization

Creating Digital Experiences

A decisive part of the digital transformation of lifestyle consumption is the continuous integration of all of its physical and digital aspects. By conflating and transcending the boundaries between different realities, we can establish a seamless connection between all dimensions of users’ self-presentations, perceptions, and experiences. ‘Phygital’ collectibles are physical items with unique digital identities. While their digital dimension can be understood as a comprehensive record of an item’s unique history, it may also be developed further: it can be used to complement a physical lifestyle item with its virtual model.

The TRIPLE P network can capture the trans-reality connections between a physical item and its virtual counterpart. Users can then carry their ownership between physical and virtual realities and preserve the value of their belongings everywhere – their uniqueness, history, and scarcity. Together with digital-only collectibles, such items are made for the emerging rise of virtual reality (VR), where users are getting more and more playful and serious about their presentation of themselves. VR spaces are steadily expanding and with them the increasingly sophisticated re-creation of human behavioral patterns on a global scale. Like in the physical world, users equally merge with like-minded communities where they strive to re-create interactions, follow explicit and implicit norms, present their achievements, display their social status, and seek recognition of their characters.

The notion of provably realistic virtual models becomes ever more relevant in a world where fashion brands launch capsule collections that are exclusively digital, where consumers buy costumes for their characters in computer games, or where computer-generated celebrities have become influencers of cultural trends. In the following, we will explore just three contemporary case studies that illustrate the current progression towards virtualization in creative spaces. Often, these ideas found their first expressions in dedicated online youth cultures and then spilled over to much broader segments of lifestyle consumers.