Taking the metaverse and combining it with reality is a leap that will move more people to accepting the digital realm as real. Since the origins of the metaverse are in gaming, using game theory to connect reality and the metaverse is a logical first step. And that step isn’t necessarily one that can only be made by a technology company. In fact, it is a step that is wearing shoes.
Red Wing Shoe company has taken that step, in combination with Roblox, a metaverse platform tool vendor. Red Wing’s BuilderTown on Roblox is more than just a game. Gameplay leads to real world changes. In 2022, avatars—really people–building tiny houses in Roblox/BuilderTown, resulted in Red Wing donating $5 per house built—up to $100,000—to Settled, an organization that houses the homeless in real tiny home villages. The more homes built in Roblox, the more will be built in the real world. Red Wing tracks the donations on the progress bar in the metaverse world it creates.
What can you do in BuilderTown?
- Build tiny homes through a multiplayer game
- Play games to help charity
- Earn and collect coins to exchange for in-world merch
- Chat with tradespeople
- And, of course, buy exclusive Red Wing accessories
Roblox community members can access the Red Wing BuilderTown experience to drive positive change in the real world by creating homes for those in need. While learning about the importance of the skilled trades, users can build virtual homes by collecting materials and consulting with the BuilderTown tradespeople, Red Wing’s general contractor, electricians, roofers, and carpenters to meet building requirements. For the real-world build, Red Wing partnered closely with BuildStrong Academy, an organization focused on closing the skilled trades gap.
While Red Wing Shoes BuilderTown approach is helpful in generating interest in digital construction in the Metaverse, the crossover between the real and augmented worlds is basically a fundraising method. Generate players, build digital buildings to a specification, and Red Wings Shoes will donate to a cause that takes that building’s plan and generates it in the real world. That makes the Metaverse a parallel world to reality, not an integrated one. The connection is money, not cryptocurrency (although that is a reality-AR connection point already). Metaverse avatars can live in Metaverse houses built by Metaverse avatars using Metaverse materials, all digital.