South China Morning Post (SCMP) has tied up with the Sandbox, a decentralised gaming virtual world and a subsidiary of Animoca Brands to bring an authentic new series of cultural experiences to The Sandbox’s open gaming metaverse. The strategic partnership will bring Hong Kong to life in The Sandbox’s metaverse through SCMP’s 118 years of journalism. Part virtual real-estate, part amusement park, The Sandbox fully embraces the idea of the metaverse – as popularised in movies such as Ready Player One – as a continuous shared digital space where worlds and heroes collide to create immersive experiences that stretch the imagination.
SCMP’s extensive gallery of visual graphics will be brought to life in The Sandbox in new interactive games and experiences that recreate modern and historic locations and artifacts of Hong Kong and mainland China, such as the Kowloon Walled City and the Star Ferry, in collaboration with local game studios and creators. This includes bringing together Hong Kong’s past and present in a ‘Mirrored World’ in the metaverse of The Sandbox. As with previous partners, SCMP joined The Sandbox’s virtual real estate world to build experiences across the metaverse on land NFTs, which represent virtual real estate in the shared world of The Sandbox. To celebrate the new partnership, The Sandbox will hold a new land sale on 22 July that allows players to purchase spots near SCMP’s project.
SCMP joins over 165 existing partnerships with Land owners including The Walking Dead, McDull, Deadmau5, Richie Hawtin, Hanjin, Avenged Sevenfold, The Smurfs, Care Bears, Atari, ZEPETO, and CryptoKitties, all following The Sandbox team’s vision of empowering players to create their own experiences using both original and well-known characters and worlds. Additionally, lands will have the capability to be rented out to other players, and owners can invite other creators into their land to collaborate on the creation of content and experiences. Players can also combine LANDs into a larger shared space to create a richer and larger gaming or social experience.
In addition to creating 3D voxel-based gaming and cultural experiences in The Sandbox, SCMP plans to launch a collection of exclusive NFTs inspired by its library of world-renowned, award-winning photography, visual illustrations, data visualisations and infographics. Ahead of this, it has also launched the ‘ARTIFACT’ Litepaper, advocating a standardised metadata structure for recording accounts of history and historical assets on the blockchain as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). SCMP said that the company believes that “factual accounts of history and authentic historical assets should be immutable, and that ownership of these digitised and tokenised assets, which are part of our collective human experience, should be decentralised”. SCMP plans to showcase the use of this standard with an NFT collection drawn from the organisation’s historical archives under the name ‘ARTIFACTs by SCMP’.
“The South China Morning Post is committed to engaging and educating a global audience with information and technology,” said Gary Liu, SCMP CEO. “The Sandbox allows us to create truly unique experiences based on SCMP’s 118 years of journalism, and ensures that these historical accounts and artifacts will remain immutable and available to the entire world. For instance, you will be able to experience the vibrant scenes of Hong Kong in the 1950s and learn about its complexities via SCMP’s contemporaneous reporting. It’s the past, the present, and the future all at once.”
“The Sandbox welcomes this partnership with the South China Morning Post as an important milestone in our quest to incorporate diverse cultures and histories in our gaming metaverse,” said Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox. “SCMP is a leading global news company, and we are keen to see how it will leverage The Sandbox platform to offer exciting and interesting cultural content to our entire global community.”