Mona: An Introduction

Image source: the Mona website

Mona is a brand-new blockchain-based metaverse platform, accessible via your web browser, which describes itself as follows:

Mona is seeding the open metaverse through the creation and use of beautiful, unique 3D Spaces.

We believe art is about the experience, and the experiences that will store the most value over time will be 3D, one-of-one, and dynamic which is why Mona Spaces are so unique…

Spaces are best viewed within Mona, but for the benefit of the builder, and holder, we are minting the files needed to move your Space elsewhere.

In short, you can take your Space with you. This is fundamental to the open metaverse. For now, you will need an experienced builder to port your Space to another metaverse world. Compatibility is dependent on capabilities of other worlds.

You can explore a directory of virtual spaces built in Mona from your web browser

The three core components of Mona are:

  • Spaces: “Mona Spaces are 3D environments that you can build and mint on the Etherium or Polygon blockchain. Spaces are designed to be composible [sic], social, and interactive and can hold and display other collectibles.”
  • Artifacts: “An Artifact is any unique digital asset placed within your Space. These can link out to other marketplaces. Some examples of Artifacts are a photo, video, or a 3D object. In the future, you will be able to remove or replace Artifacts in your Space.”
  • Portals: “A Portal connects two or more Spaces together. Portals allow for easy navigation between Spaces inside of Mona. Basically, a Portal is a hyperlink to another Space or other metaverse worlds like Decentraland or CryptoVoxels.”

Among the future features Mona plans to support are full custom avatar system integrations; multiplayer support for up to 100 concurrent users in a Space; an implementation of adjustable artist royalties; a set of builder tools; token-gated/ticketed events; and VR/AR support:

Our team has a deep backround in AR & VR, with previous work at Magic Leap and are names in a dozen patents. We understand the future is in the headset, and we are building towards that future.

Key members of the team at Mona (source: Mona website)

And the new platform seems quite willing to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to attracting content creators! Mona is hosting what they call a Renaissance build-a-thon, with an open call for architects, 3D artists, and game designers to craft virtual spaces, with over a quarter of a million dollars in the prize pot, and a top prize of US$35,000! More details can be found here on a special website.

I think this is a very savvy move by Mona, and one which many competitor metaverse platforms should strongly consider as a way to boost their adoption (Hellooo, Wookey-run Sansar?)

I mean, I have been saying this till I was blue in the face over the past four-and-a-half years I have been writing this blog: just making a social VR platform or virtual world, and then sticking it out there without any marketing or promotion or incentives, and just expecting content creators to somehow stumble across it on their own has demonstrably proven to be an abject failure in most cases (VRChat being a notable exception, and they have the livestreamers to thank for that). You can’t count on being in the right place at the right time; you need to sell yourself and your product!

All companies that hope to compete and succeed in the now-hypercompetitive metaverse marketplace should read this blogpost.

Here’s the timeline for Renaissance build-a-thon:

  • Jan. 1st | Announcement
  • Jan. 8th | Build Kickoff Event
  • Jan. 11th | Renaissance Q&A (Live on Twitter)
  • Jan. 12th | Build Brainstorm
  • Jan. 20th | Build Feedback Session
  • Jan. 27th | Submission Deadline (11:59pm Pacific Time)

If you’re curious about Mona and want to find out more, you can visit their website (you can learn more about the Renaissance build-a-thon event here), join their Discord server, check out their listings on OpenSea, or follow them on social media: Instagram or Twitter.

I will, of course, be adding Mona to my comprehensive list of social VR and virtual worlds (which, by the way, I will be reorganizing and recategorizing early this year).

Pandemic Diary, January 2nd, 2022: A Playlist of Uplifting Music for Pandemic Times

My new playlist for Omicron times

It is now officially 658 days since March 16th, 2020, when I began working from home for my full-time paying job as a science librarian at the University of Manitoba.

Suffering from a wicked case of insomnia, I finally got out of bed around 2:00 a.m. and started working on a playlist of music, using a previous playlist I had created to get me through a five-week strike at my university as my starting point.

I just finished, and I have been listening to these tunes on loop all morning and afternoon, and I am feeling immeasurably better! These are songs about finding strength in the face of adversity, hope, resilience, never giving up, etc. I now share them with you in hopes that they will help you get through this pandemic.

I named this playlist after two of the songs on it: Invincible (by Kelly Clarkson) and Overcomer (an absolute BANGER of a Christian song by Mandisa, with an inspiring video; see below). Yes, I have included a few songs by contemporary Christian artists, which I still listen to even though I now consider myself an atheist (or perhaps agnostic); I hope you don’t mind! You can always skip them if it offends you. 😉

Invincible, by Kelly Clarkson
Overcomer, by Mandisa

Stay safe, and stay healthy in these unprecedented times!