It's not always easy to access Decentraland, the virtual world hosting Metaverse Fashion Week. Logging on can be a cumbersome process, as it can take upwards of 60 seconds to load the experience – at least for those with average computers and data connection speeds. After that problem is solved comes the challenge of teleporting to the correct location, and then grasping control of your avatar and navigating to an ideal spot. Complete these successive layers of difficulty and you would have enjoyed a live DJ set by singer-songwriter Grimes to close out Metaverse Fashion Week.
The closing party took place in a vertically-oriented exhibition space belonging to Auroboros, the digital fashion house that collaborated with Grimes on this performance. Fitted in a dark-colored purple skin with intricate scales, designed by Auroboros to evoke the Marvel Universe character Mystique, a large digital twin of Grimes was projected from high above the tall structure, looming over partygoers as her selection of music coursed through the space. The avatar gyrated and moved continuously as the music shifted gears and tones, while white-hot raindrops and a light grid cascaded down around her and toward the ground floor of the multi-tiered space.
Most of the avatar-users in attendance stood motionless, gazing up at the spectacle before them. Intermittent text messages flashed in the corner of the screen, with some users wondering how to operate the experience, some complementing each other's looks, while one announced that they were happy to be there but nevertheless had to leave to DJ their own IRL show. The audiovisual execution of the performance was great, the interface less so. Maybe for the sake of ease and wider adoption the organizers could have streamed live video to Twitch or Youtube. A live replay was actually streamed on the Auroboros IG account, but it felt like a stiff and limited version of the playable original – offering a stark reminder that this is 2022, and not all metaverses are created equal.