Here’s your roundup of Metaverse news for the week

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Welcome to this week in the Metaverse, where Fortune brings together the most interesting news in the world of NFTs, culture and the metaverse. E-mail [email protected] with tips.

When it comes to NFT art, most of the attention – and most of the sales – goes to male creators. A study by research agency Art Tactic from November found this up to 77% of all NFT art sales go to men.

In an effort to change this glaring disparity, NFT Marketplace MakersPlace has partnered with UK healthcare company Haleon’s Excedrin to start Equal bytes, an accelerator program focused on female Web3 artists. A minimum of 100 artists will be accepted and will receive guaranteed offers of approximately $800 (with gas costs covered) for an artwork they create. Applications for the program are open until November 2.

“It shouldn’t be like this in digital art. It should be a place of fairness for all, but the fact remains that less than 20% of sales go to female artists,” said Rishi Mulgund, pain relief brand manager at Haleon.

The Equal Bytes cohort will be selected by a group of accomplished Web3 artists, including Shurooq Amin, a Kuwaiti artist who turned to NFTs and digital art after one of her art exhibits was censored by the Kuwaiti government.

Web3 artist Shurooq Amin, whose work explores gender disparities, homosexuality and taboos in the Muslim world, has had his art exhibitions shut down twice by the government of Kuwait.

Courtesy of Shurooq Amin

Amin, the first Kuwaiti artist to create NFT art, said she has faced criticism and attack for her art, which explores gender disparities, homosexuality and challenges traditional taboos in the Muslim world. Yet digital art and NFTs can be a way for women, especially in Muslim-majority countries, to freely create and sell art when traditional markets are not accessible to them, he said. she declared.

“You don’t need to be represented by anyone. You don’t have to wait for someone to find you. You are already your own boss,” Amin said.

All pieces will be displayed in an online exhibit on MakersPlace and auctioned on November 21. And although the minimum bid for each coin is $800, competitive bidding could drive prices much higher.

Metavers as a service?

It’s no secret that companies are increasingly experimenting with the metaverse. One of the companies helping other companies create and test their own so-called metaworlds is Surreal Events, a two-year-old company that has previously created virtual worlds for clients such as the Atlanta Braves and Epic. Games.

Surreal’s platform uses pixel streaming, which allows Unreal Engine-based metaworlds to run in a browser without any downloads, and gives companies the ability to prototype, deploy and manage realistic virtual worlds that can be launched in about six weeks.

One of Surreal Events’ biggest selling points is that it gives companies the ability to quickly roll out a metaverse experience, rather than spending months testing something that might fail, CEO Josh Rich said. Fortune.

“It’s more than a whitepaper, and it’s more than screenshots on a Discord server,” Rich said. “It’s a real live environment that can be deployed as a prototype or for the community, when you build the runway.”

Epic Games has already used Surreal Events’ platform to create Detroit Lab, a virtual innovation center that open to everyone.

Avatar standing in a virtual world
Using the Surreal Events platforms, Epic Games created “Detroit Lab”, a virtual world open to all users.

Courtesy of Surreal Events

Avatars sitting at a virtual table
Using Surreal Events’ platform to create custom metaworlds, Epic Games has built a virtual world that includes interactive lectures.

Courtesy of Surreal Events

In other news:

The Security and Exchange Commission has the NFT industry, and now apparently Bored Ape Yacht Club Creator Yuga Laboratories, in his viewfinder. Bloomberg reported in March that the agency had opened an investigation into the NFT industry. This probe apparently includes some NFTs from Yuga and the cryptocurrency it adopted for its Otherside metaverse, ApeCoin.

Meta rreleased his upgrade Pro Quest VR headset this week. But with a price tag of $1,500, some having doubts that a mainstream metaverse is within reach, despite the billions Meta has invested.

CNN closed its NFT market, Vault by CNN, which sold digital versions of CNN news stories and related art. The company said it would compensate collectors about 20% of the original mint price for each NFT, but some still felt hardened by the news network.

Snoop Dogg is the king of NFTs, or at least pays for them, according to a study by CoinGecko. The rapper, who bears the name Cozomo de’ Medici on crypto Twitter, paid $7.08 million for digital artist XCOPY Right click and save as. To clinch first place, Snoop beat Gary Veethe $3.9 million purchase of CryptoPunk #2140 and justin bieberthe $1.3 million purchase of bored monkey #3001.

After reports broke that the $1.2 billion metaverse Decentralized recorded 38 active users in a 24-hour period, an unlikely reviewer, co-founder of Ethereum Anthony D’Onofrio, said in a tweet that the whole concept of the metaverse is “dumb af”.

crystal tower
Felipe Escudero, the founder of architecture studio Estudio Felipe Escudero claims to have created the tallest multi-use tower in the Decentraland virtual world.

Courtesy of Felipe Escudero

Speaking of Decentralized, Felipe Escudero, the founder of the Estudio architecture studio Felipe Escudero in Quito, Ecuador, unveiled the tallest multi-purpose tower in this virtual world. The structure, crystal tower, rises 548 feet high into the metaverse and is packed with an observation deck, gallery and public event lawn the size of two virtual football fields. Visit here.

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