We’re Going Crazy in the Metaverse!

THE MOTIVATION to launch GQ’s first metaverse issue started back in December. I was in Miami, hosting a GQ party during Art Basel, and whether you were walking on the beach, browsing the fair, sitting in a meeting, or art-partying under the winter moon, all anybody seemed to be talking about was cryptocurrency, NFTs, and Web3.

One afternoon at the fair, I overheard a gallerist implore friends who had stopped by her booth to ask her about anything on earth except goddamn NFTs. (She was selling paintings.) I sat in on a meeting where an executive at one of the big emergent metaverse platforms pitched his vision to a world-famous musician. Meanwhile, I ran into another guy who works in the music business – but was expanding. “Will,” he said, with bitcoins blazing in his eyes, “I’m going crazy in the metaverse!”

Since then, it feels like we’re all going crazy in the metaverse – just not all in the same way.

If politics polarises people, the metaverse, so far, is splintering us.

There are the true believers who think blockchains hold the God Code. (Note: they are also looking to drive up the value of their own Coinbase and MetaMask wallets by proselytising to doubters, second-guessers, and wannabes.) There are leaned-in types who buy into the promise of this new economy and have peppered their financial holdings with a mix of crypto and NFTs as a way to explore this new landscape while also diversifying their portfolios. And there is the FOMO-driven crowd, who are buying mostly because they’re panicked that everyone is getting crypto rich but them.

And then, of course, each of these participants has its inverse non-participant. Like the abject hater who believes the dawn of the metaverse is the unfolding of the technological apocalypse – or at least some giant scam. Then there’s the casual sceptic. And the Luddite who refuses to succumb to peer pressure.

And, finally, there are the people who have no clue what any of this is about. They are hoping that if they ignore this whole metaverse thing, it will go away.

Well, it won’t. And that’s why we created this issue.

It is our belief that though Web3 and the metaverse are currently in their infancy (and rife with all sorts of silliness, schemes, and desperation), the ideas and technological innovation at their core – starting with decentralisation and the blockchain – will fundamentally alter our world in ways we are only just beginning to understand and imagine.

So we’ve devoted these pages to pushing that understanding-and-imagining process a few steps forwards.

Taken together, the wide-ranging stories in this issue serve as an exploration of the high, lows, and WTFs of the metaverse and Web3, engineered specifically to deliver something for everyone – no matter which splinter corresponds to you.

Luckily, the early research and data we gathered in our reporting indicate that no matter how virtual our reality might get in the years to come, the golden rule of GQ still applies: always be yourself.



Web 1.0 (1991 – 2004) Users consume online content in the form of static web pages.

Web 2.0 (2004 – present) Users generate content and share it on platforms often owned by tech companies.

Web3 (Present – future) Users generate and share content in a decentralised digital ecosystem that utilises a blockchain.