Share this article!

When Artur Sychov, the founder and CEO of metaverse platform Somnium Space, turned on his webcam for our interview, I was greeted by a black lizard-like creature, standing upright and emanating a pattern of white and green light across his face and chest. I was on the other end of the Zoom call, boring and human and sitting in my living room, transfixed by the animated world I was peeking into. It felt a bit like FaceTiming someone from a rotary phone.

Sychov proceeded to conduct the interview inside Somnium, a kind of hybrid video game and social space with its own built-in economy that aspires to be one of the first and most cutting-edge metaverse platforms so many tech and gaming companies are now striving to build. He took me around, showed off some of his NFT collection and even played a small video game created by one of the platform’s users. The game itself, a first-person horror experience set in a dimly lit dungeon, is nested inside Somnium as, you guessed it, a unique NFT. Sychov told me the creator could, if they wanted to, sell the entire game to another user, who could then in turn monetize it as they saw fit.