Playboy's MetaMansion: A Desperate Bid for Relevance in the Digital Age
The Playboy MetaMansion is here, and boy does it look lame.
The real Playboy Mansion was the epicenter of American hedonism. It symbolized literal decadence, with oodles of nude women, throngs of vapid celebrity guests, no shortage of drugs and alcohol, and a seemingly endless schedule of parties.
Compare that to the MetaMansion:
I mean, I get it. The Sandbox is a virtual space for people to build games and sell digital assets with Ethereum. It makes sense that a popular brand would try to cash in on this. Over 200 brands have already joined the platform, including Snoop Dogg, Adidas, and Gucci.
But Playboy is in a different boat than these other brands. While Adidas and Gucci are still fully relevant in the real world, Playboy recently shuttered its flagship product: the magazine. It also closed the Playboy Mansion. And long gone are the days of its clubs, casinos, and hotels. Aside from a line of merchandise like T-shirts and underwear, the Playboy brand basically exists purely online. This being the case, the MetaMansion isn’t a novel extension of a real thing; it’s an attempt to resurrect a dead thing—not to further a legend, but to take money from nerds.
In two respects this pivot to the world of Web3 by Playboy is just…unfortunate.
For 75 Etherium, there’s the PlayboyMobile Convertible (described as the “coolest car in the metaverse”). For 25 Etherium, there’s the Lightstick that you can “carry proudly throughout the metaverse.” So awesome, right? Yeah, totally not nerdy at all.
I can see why a brand like Playboy got into the business of selling original art as NFTs. For a hot second, NFTs were all the rage, and it seemed like an obvious move for a brand with a massive catalogue of artistic and cultural properties. But now that the NFT boom is over, even that business for Playboy leans toward cringe.
But you have to give it to the Playboy marketing department. While they must know the MetaMansion is the epicenter of virtual cringe, they really don’t hold back in trying to sell it as a cultural phenomenon to rival the spirit of the actual Playboy Mansion:
The MetaMansion is the virtual embodiment of the Playboy lifestyle for a new age. From art and music to fashion and gaming, the MetaMansion is a hub for creators, tastemakers and Party People that celebrates the core parts of Playboy’s DNA: sexual freedom, creative expression, freedom of speech, intellectual curiosity, racial and gender equality—and, of course, the pursuit of Pleasure for All, in all its forms. Ready for fun? If you don’t swing, don’t ring…
Sorry Playboy, but if this thing is Web3’s place to be for sexual freedom and intellectual curiosity, then the touch-grass crowd should feel pretty good about themselves for simply ignoring this trend altogether.
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