Despite all the recent discussions around virtual reality and metaverses, we are no strangers to the idea of virtual clothing. Video games such as The Sims have long incorporated the use of interchangeable outfits on their characters, which were often bought with in-game currencies acquired through gameplay alone.
However, virtual clothing has since developed into having its own genuine, real-world value and economy. Let’s look at a few examples of this and explore how digital forms of apparel benefit their users.
With over 80 million active monthly users, Fortnite has been massively successful as a free online game. But there are caveats to what you can do in the game for free, including limited cosmetics. Battle Royale is the free part of Fortnite, which comes along with an assortment of also-free spin-off modes.
This version, however, does not give players choices of “skins” beyond a basic male and female character. In other words, to have more of a defined look in Fortnite, you have to pay up and get a “Battle Pass” – which is paid for through an in-game currency called V-bucks.
In order to get V-bucks onto your account, you need to pay real money. Does this sound worth it to you? If not, maybe you’d be surprised to know that in 2021, Epic Games made $50 million from one set of Fortnite skins. Epic revealed that it sold 3.3 million NFL-branded skins during their run in November and December. Each skin was 1,500 V-bucks each, which is about $15 if you don’t include bundles – that’s around $50 million from just one set of skins.
Virtual sneaker company called RTFKT apparently gained massive success due to more people going online at the start of COVID. The blockchain-based business sells limited-edition NFTs of sneakers which can be applied onto photos and videos using a Snapchat filter or worn by an avatar in certain virtual worlds.
With an audience ranging from ages 15 up to people in their thirties, RTFKT has achieved $7 million in sales. Some limited-edition versions have even sold in auctions for huge amounts ranging between $10,000 to $60,000.
What Do People Gain?
What is remarkable about the virtual clothing NFT space is that the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) sometimes correspond with a physical item of clothing. RTFKT’s virtual sneakers, for instance, can also be used as a token that can redeem a free physical version of the shoe. However, 1 in 20 customers do not redeem that token. Jim McNelis, founder of NFT company nft42, admitted he was among those who stay clear of these corresponding physical NFT items:
“I didn’t do the redemption stuff because I couldn’t be bothered…I try to avoid the physical stuff as much as possible.” – Jim McNelis
So what exactly do people gain from paying for virtual clothing? In a sense, the timely success of RTFKT at the beginning of COVID speaks for itself. Wherever people choose to spend their time in public is where they are most likely to make an effort to represent themselves as individuals.
In particular, when that public place becomes the internet, all of a sudden, people can choose to be whoever they want to be – of course, within certain parameters. For instance, Roblox characters still need to look like Roblox characters to maintain the branding of that world. But beyond that, digital avatars give people a chance to creatively express themselves in digital spaces where perhaps, they feel the most validated or true to themselves.
Faith Tribe Clothing NFTs
Faith Tribe’s desire for the users of their NFT clothing platform is slightly different from that of the gaming world. Those in Faith Tribe will be able to own, collect and trade digital and physical NFTs.
However, two things that the platform will focus on are a collaboration between users and the actual process of designing the clothes on the platform itself. Faith Tribe is a multi-platform blockchain solution enabling creators to design, customize, mint, and distribute their own digital fashion assets. Faith Tribe is the name of the design platform, and it will give buyers easy access to production-scale customization. Although there are no characters or avatars in Faith Tribe, NFTs on the platform can still be worn if they are to the user’s tastes.
Physical Faith Tribe clothing items will also be made and sold on the blockchain, and purchasing these items will be done by obtaining and spending FTRB (Faith Tribe Coin), the native token of the ecosystem.
Faith Connexion’s goal is to go beyond just personal expression and individuality through virtual clothing. Operating as “Faith Tribe,” it aims to unlock new opportunities for designers and creators worldwide through the beauty of community and collaboration.
The team is developing the first decentralized and community-owned ecosystem for the collaborative creation of fashion items, which in a way has done slightly differently to gaming metaverses. There may not be any avatars wearing Faith Tribe NFTs, but real connections will stem from their production. Besides, physical clothing items are worn in the real world still matter, no matter how many people turn down free sneakers.