The American West was once the great frontier, the land of opportunity. But as automation and artificial intelligence have replaced job growth in the modern world, some may question whether opportunities to profit from opening new frontiers are now limited to collective memory.
Cyber-celebrity and virtual entrepreneur Jon NEVERDIE Jacobs doesn't think so. He's the newly appointed "President of Virtual Reality" and claims that virtual reality is the next frontier of job growth and opportunity. And as people's lives are increasingly carried out online, the virtual world will provide even greater economic opportunities than the real world.
Creating Jobs on the Virtual Frontier
Like any other President, NEVERDIE has a job growth platform. His is a political platform for the virtual world that includes recruiting gamers to combat artificial intelligence--a virtual conscript army. The platform also includes minimum wage standards for virtual worlds, a virtual stock exchange, and privatization of virtual public transport systems.
Jon Jacobs knows a thing or two about how to turn virtual opportunities into real money. He's a gamer, actor, filmmaker and entrepreneur who has turned his virtual persona, "NEVERDIE," into the most famous person in the Entropia virtual universe developed by Sweden's MindArk. He was thefirst person ever to make a million dollars from virtual real estate investment, selling a virtual space station for $635,000 at a profit of over half a million real life dollars.
NEVERDIE predicts his job growth platform will create more than 3 million jobs in the virtual world. He also believes that the virtual economy is set to spill over into the real world. If that sounds crazy to you, then consider this: the current value of worldwide virtual economies isalready estimated at over $1 billion dollars. By point of reference, that is a sum equal to the GDP of entire countries like Aruba and Greenland.
A Virtual Robber Baron?
The robber barons of the late 19th century saw economic opportunity in the expansion of the American West. NEVERDIE sees similar economic opportunity in the explosion of virtual reality.
Although traditionally, teleportation has been available to players at no charge, NEVERDIE is looking to privatize - and monetize--the industry. "Virtual Reality really can save the world," says Jon NEVERDIE Jacobs. " Looking at what has been accomplished inside Entropia Universe over the last decade, it is clear that we can absolutely create a trillion dollar, green virtual goods economy and we can create wonderful new jobs using game design to keep up with population growth, longevity and redundancy resulting from advances in robotics and AI. In order to create a new American Dream, we need to discover a new world, and that's what Virtual Reality is."
According to NEVERDIE, the money spent in virtual worlds means opportunity for money to be made by real people. These opportunities are not limited to game developers or programmers, but are open to game players and other participants who are savvy to the business opportunities that exist within virtual reality.
Jon Jacobs' ideas aren't just talk. He mortgaged his house to raise the initial $100,000 he needed to invest in the virtual nightclub Club Neverdie, turning it into a can't-miss, virtual destination within Entropia that prior to its sale, generated more than $200,000 in annual revenue.
Jon NEVERDIE Jacobs: Donald Trump of the Virtual World?
Like the real world, businessman-turned-candidate counterpart Donald Trump, NEVERDIE is a controversial figure in the virtual world. But the controversy surrounding him doesn't stem from his ideas about immigration or building walls. Some question whether it's prudent--or even possible--to privatize virtual services like teleportation that have previously been available for free to all users.
NEVERDIE's plan? Pass ownership of the teleportation system from game developers to game users through the sale of public transport shares--a virtual IPO. The funds raised would create infrastructure across virtual worlds, shareholders would be paid for the use of teleportation through dividends from token fees and a slice of the pie would also be allocated toward paying real wages for gamified teleporter maintenance and defense jobs.
As for NEVERDIE, he doesn't shy away from the controversy. In fact, it gives him confidence in his ideas. According to Neverdie, "I like that it's dirty. It's a dirty job being President. It's definitely not easy hearing opposition, but if opposition to an idea is there, then obviously there's some reality to it."
In the virtual world, there are costs for developing services like teleportation, and there is also demand to use them, which means value can be assigned. Within that context, NEVERDIE's ideas about privatization--and the economic opportunities it would generate--make sense.