Like most anime fans stuck at home amid COVID-19 and monkeypox, I’ve become increasingly obsessed with VTubers doing their VTuber antics. If you’re unfamiliar with the field, “VTuber” is short for “Virtual YouTuber,” or content creators who pose as virtual characters and create videos for their fans.
The field blew up during the pandemic thanks to a series of incredibly skilled livestreamers posing as anime demons, catgirls, androids, and more. At this point, Japanese talent agency Hololive and American group VShojo are nearly household names in the streaming world thanks to their viral antics. You’re honestly missing out if you haven’t caught their stars’ streams.
Look no further than Ironmouse, a cutesy pink-haired anime demon girl. She’s one of VShojo’s top stars and a hilariously snarky streamer unafraid to take a shot at an absurd concept like, you know, “non-fungible tokens.” So when she decided to hop online and make fun of a Wall Street Journal peak into the Metaverse, I knew I was in for a treat.
During today’s stream, Ironmouse poked fun at a November 2021 video overview in which WSJ tech journalist Joanna Stern explored the Metaverse while wearing a virtual reality headset for 24 hours straight in a Holiday Inn. Stern could only take her headset off for certain tasks, such as going to the bathroom. Otherwise, she had to stay in the Metaverse.
This already sounds like a living nightmare to me.
Working out, visiting a comedy club, and playing Beat Saber were all part of Stern’s brief trip into the Metaverse, but things took a turn for the worse when she hopped into the Metaverse virtual art gallery app called “Spatial” for a meeting. There, she met up with Spatial’s co-founder, Anand Agarawala, in an NFT art gallery. It wasn’t a pretty sight, and Ironmouse made her thoughts on the matter immediately known.
“Oh my God, look how terrifying that is,” Ironmouse shouted. “Oh no! Oh no, NFTs? No! Oh God.”
Stern commended how “Metaversey” Agarawala’s NFT art gallery was, but despite her best intentions, Ironmouse was not having the NFT-based praise. “They just keep repeating the word ‘Metaverse’ and saying it’s ‘Metaversey.’ A pixelated dog? It’s so ‘Metaversey.’ What? What does this even mean? What are they saying?!” Ironmouse said. “Guys, check out this amazing art piece of pixelated dog. I paid two million dollars for it! Pixelated dog!”
Most normal people don’t think spending your day in a VR NFT art gallery is a productive use of one’s time, so I’m with Ironmouse on this one. Take off the headset and get some fresh air before you end up buying your own ugly pixelated dog!
Luckily, MSNBC reported in May that NFTs are in low demand and high supply, which means the entire non-fungible market is non-fungibly funged up. Given NFTs are commonly considered a nonsensical scam, that’s absolutely for the best. But if NFTs are here to stay (and let’s pray they’re not), I hope Ironmouse keeps making fun of them. Her snark makes for a great laugh.
(featured image: Ironmouse)
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Ana Valens (she/her) is a reporter specializing in queer internet culture, online censorship, and sex workers’ rights. Her book “Tumblr Porn” details the rise and fall of Tumblr’s LGBTQ-friendly 18+ world, and has been hailed by Autostraddle as “a special little love letter” to queer Tumblr’s early history. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her ever-growing tarot collection.
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