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Travis Scott’s Astronomical Virtual concert on Fortnite had 12 million viewers, making it a sign of things to come.

We’re not sure we like this version of our future…

The video game Fortnite has turned itself from a well-placed, opportune long-shot in the gaming space to being a mainstay in international pop-culture. The game’s integration of dances, exclusive movie trailers (just check the one for the latest Star Wars movie) and worldwide internet memes has made it so influential we wonder why we didn’t put it as one of the most definitive tech products of the past decade. It’s most recent move of pop culture relevance and integration was Friday’s Travis Scott virtual concert, which garnered over 12 million participants and could serve as a sign of the future of musical events especially in a world where COVID-19 has most people stuck at home.
If you haven’t already watched it in the video above, the concert had a giant-sized Travis Scott avatar drop into the game world as a meteor(or would he prefer asteroid), then perform a 6 song set while morphing the whole world into a colorful and psychedelic trip for all of the players present. It also served as an unveiling of the artist’s latest song, The Scotts featuring Kid Cudi and again, had over 12 million people essentially playing the game and participating in said concert. That number is the big draw here. Even in real life numbers like 12 million are essentially impossible for any kind of concert and to have potentially that many people was obviously the biggest draw for Travis and will likely serve as a similar draw for other artists as well to have similar events on Fortnite or on other virtual platforms. In fact, such events are already happening, with examples such as the One World: Together at Home concert held raising over $127 million with millions of participants of its own. This concert was held to foster a spirit of unity in this time of crisis, yet with these numbers it could be assessed that or argued that virtual events like these will only grow in popularity even after the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, analysts and tech industry experts reckon that the current boom in videoconferencing, telepresence and distant working/learning software is likely to continue after the pandemic, with institutes, companies and of course individuals having noticed the decrease in need for physical participation for certain human activities. In fact, even before COVID-19 reached pandemic status, tech companies were delaying or cancelling trade shows and developer events and opting to unveil their latest devices online because they knew they could rely on livestreams instead. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll all stay indoors soon and never interact again, after all, humans are social creatures by nature, and physical presence is arguably the biggest part of that nature. But in a world where we’re all getting used to relying on software and the internet to keep us working, learning or interacting, we might not find ourselves as keen to do some things at the office or at school when we can do them just as well at home.
Companies like Zoom have become overnight successes because of this pandemic. And chances are they might stay relevant after it.

 

And of course, there’s incentive for some of the companies as well. Transportation costs to ferry workers to and from work might be significantly decreased, so might equipment costs for on-premises equipment as well. And in the case of artists like Travis Scott, the aforementioned advantage of a 12 million viewer crowd to view a new song might be too big of a draw to pass up. The same goes for company product unveilings, which might actually benefit more from an online event where more people can watch online, as compared to invite only events for press and special guests. And for those interested in futurism or even science fiction, this isn’t a completely new concept. This growth in virtual presence or telepresence has been shown in all kinds of movies and shows, with people using VR or AR headsets to view events on the other side of the globe, or holograms in Star Wars and Kingsmen used to hold virtual meetings, with the users of all these technologies paying no mind to how fascinating or even unorthodox they seemed to be. It’s a whole new way of thinking about social norms and business etiquette and events that warrants whole new outlook on how the world may continue about its business from now on. Of course, it’s not set in stone yet, and we’ll have to see how people and human behavior will continue after this. But it’s an interesting look at the future of our work and play that we should all take note of, especially since it seems a lot closer than we all initially thought.

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