Jeff Marsilio, Nifty’s CEO and Co-Founder
The Matrix is one of the most culturally influential movies of all time. We take it for granted, but we can barely talk about our increasingly online world without invoking one of the movie’s many timeless metaphors. It red-pills everyone who sees it. And while viewers of the original film likely couldn’t have imagined the world we are living in today, its themes have never been more relevant. I rewatched it recently, and one theme in particular jumped out at me as especially prescient: the idea that the digital systems we create can control and oppress us, but they can also empower us to define who we are in ways impossible in the real world. In the real world of the movie, the heroes are undernourished freedom fighters dressed in rags, but when they enter the system they’re trying to destroy, they can flip around in patent leather bodysuits swinging katanas without breaking a sweat. In other words, in the Matrix, they get to choose how they’ll look and who they’ll be, unconstrained by physical limitations.
Rewatching the movie reminded me of what I see happening online today. People have awakened to the risks of our digital systems, but they’ve also awakened to the power those systems afford us to connect with each other and take ownership of our identities — to choose who we’ll be. This theme is front and center in the NFT revolution. While art, sports, and entertainment are all being transformed by the new form of digital ownership NFTs represent, a lot of the most interesting action is happening around NFT avatar projects, where users collect unique characters with funny names like Cryptopunks, Cool Cats and Bored Apes. It can be easy to dismiss these characters as silly, but if you look under the hood you’ll find vibrant communities redefining the idea of digital identity with cutting edge tech. It goes way beyond using cartoons for profile pictures. In some ways, NFT avatar projects are starting to realize the potential of taking back our individuality that the Matrix franchise explored 22 years ago.
Introducing…The Matrix Avatars
That’s why I’m so excited for our latest project at Nifty’s. In anticipation of ‘The Matrix: Resurrections’, the fourth film in the iconic franchise, Nifty’s and Warner Bros. are launching Matrix Avatars, a first-of-its-kind NFT avatar project, designed from the ground up to advance this revolution and take it to the mainstream. The project will be the largest of its kind, with 100,000 unique avatars built with Epic Game’s hyper-realistic MetaHuman Creator. The project also marks the first major motion picture IP to enter the dynamic world of NFT avatars. Most importantly, it offers fans of the franchise the opportunity to inhabit the Matrix universe as a character that is theirs and only theirs.
Matrix Avatars will launch in two stages: First, beginning on November 30th, Nifty’s users will have the opportunity to buy randomly-generated “base” avatars resembling ordinary people trapped in The Matrix. The avatars, which users will be able to buy and sell on the Nifty’s marketplace, are created with a variety of attributes with millions of possible permutations that we’ll reveal over the coming weeks. Then, beginning December 7th, base avatar holders will be given a choice: Take a Blue Pill and have your avatar remain locked in the Matrix or take a Red Pill and transform your avatar into a resistance fighter unplugged from the Matrix. Red Pill resistance fighters will keep the same bodies but have entirely new features inspired by the heroes of the Matrix films. Again, there are millions of possible permutations. And that’s just the beginning.
Matrix Avatars will be a multi-year experience, including an active online community and “missions” that offer users opportunities to earn NFTs and upgrade their avatars. We can’t wait to share more details about all we have planned, and we can’t wait to see how this new Matrix community creates new experiences we never imagined.
It’s a new era of fandom for the Matrix franchise, but as Morpheus says in the original film, we can only show you the door. When you’re ready, explore Matrix Avatars exclusively on Nifty’s.