This is the continued series of the Philosophical / Visionary column on E2Economist
Please read previous posts in this series ->here<-
Replicating Earth into a metaverse follows many benefits. A diversified terrain (biomes), familiarity (we know the map), country borders as a foundation for the economic sim, belonging to a place (nationality) and so on.
Though there is a huge BUT!
Humans have been evolving and ensured our dominance over the earth for over 200 000 years. During that period, we have exploited and utilized as much of earth’s capacities as possible. Earths capacity is:
Or as in E2’s case 5.1 trillion tiles, including water! The amount of LAND on earth is roughly 30% of that, 150 000 000 km² or 1,5 Trillion tiles as we like to call it. Digging deeper into the question it becomes more interesting to understand: How have these 30% of the Earth’s land capacity been utilized? From OurWorldInData.org we track this.
Having a look at this map we can see that area used for Food Production (Livestock and Cropland) accounts for a whopping 34 % out of the Earths land area! Land “not-in-use” by humans (though very importantly for wildlife!) totals 63% (Glaciers, Barren land, Forest, Shrub). Then 1% Freshwater.
LASTLY 1% Built-up Area! Moreover, this 1% inhabits soon 8 billion people, everyone.
So, this is the Earth. Then what about E2? A 1:1 scale of the Earth. Before we dig deeper into this urbanized area of 1% inhabiting 8 billion people another question remains. 34% where used for food production, which is huge both in size but also in economic sense! Will we need to eat in E2? short answer, we do not know. Why would we? Or rather will our “avatars” in E2 have needs to “survive”? Let’s back trace to the beginning. We have evolved over 200 000 years utilizing this planet and our driving force have been to survive. Survive by accommodating the human needs, eating, sleeping, etc. This need, to survive, has driven the economy as we know today and thus the exploitation of the Earth Land per mentioned above.
Thus, will E2 implement game play features where survival is at its core or not is a crucial question in terms of understanding our properties we own and total land mass that has and will be sold in E2.
If E2 is mainly a game, sure why not implement survival mode? Though if E2 is a Social media platform (also for business and mainstream people) like Facebook or an E-Commerce like Amazon then it will NOT make any sense to urge the visitors to think about the hassle of surviving! It is not convenient!
This short question: Survival mode or not?
The answer will drastically impact if E2’s 1:1 scale is largely over dimensioned. In an early article we also wrote about “How many users will Earth2 need for Success?“ <-Click
This article is a great analogy in terms of “How big will the population be?”. A big highlight was that Social Media platforms holds about 100 times more active users than any game!
What are we saying so far?
- If E2 is a game, we could expect survival mode which drives the need for land in terms of housing (living quarters) and food production etc. BUT drastically lowers expectations of how large the population will be (users) which drastically lowers the amount of land required!
- If E2 is a social media / E-commerce platform to any extent for the mainstream person then population will be much higher (user base) BUT survival mode will not exist as it is very inconvenient and would lower user base substantially if implemented.
- So why cannot a 3rd option exist with survival and a high population, Earth has done it?! Well, the simple answer is that we are forced to play by natures rules of living and the physical laws applied. E2 cannot force its rule upon us as we have the option to leave and still live.
If E2 managed; however, to create some sort of pioneering mix of both, that work in harmony for all types of user bases, that would surely be ingenious and something very VERY new and extraordinary! Though unlikely.
Let’s dig deeper into the question if E2 is TOO BIG!
We could analyze bullet 1 above. But a computer game has never lasted long or put in other words, the longevity is short for games. For social media / e-commerce we can expect a much longer longevity than a game, even though these industries are very young. Hence, let’s take the long road of:
Bullet 2. High Longevity and high population, though no survival mode!
In this scenario we have thus removed the need for 34% of the land humans utilize today for food production leaving merely the 1% left called “Built-up areas”. Though it is perhaps even worse than that. The definition of “Built-up areas” is as follows:
Infrastructure largely GONE
Though not roads or infrastructure is included we are probably not requiring as much infrastructure as within the earth. Main reason: the need to transport. If you are a mainstream person browsing the E2 for social media satisfaction or shopping, you do NOT want to spend time traveling / transporting. Waste of time. That is why we love the internet and ordering from home literally killing the brick-and-mortar businesses.
Housing largely GONE
Since we do not need to survive then why do we need large houses or apartments? No need to shelter from the weather or safety from crime or dangers and no need to sleep. We do not need housing when browsing the internet. Out of the 1% built-up area it largely contains housing.
THE REST CAN POSSIBLY STAY – Less than 0.5% of the world’s land area required!
The other larger portion of the 1% (but not as large as housing) is industry buildings such as factories of all kinds (Production) and warehousing (storage) and commercial building and offices. Moreover, a very VERY small part of our 1%:er is for entertainment and education etc.
Though this is basically the part E2 is talking a lot about currently. Holobuildings for resources storage and refining. Theaters and VR concert buildings for entertainment and of course holobuildings for offices and shops.
Thus we are down to 0.5% land area required! How much is that in tiles? Land of earth 150 000 000 km² x 0.5% = 7 500 000 km² which corresponds to 75 billion tiles! This area is utilized by 8 billion people!
E2 mention that they have capped Class tiles (1-4) to 50 billion which seems good as it is lower than calculated above. Most likely E2 will never be near enough utilizing the size of their metaverse.
How many tiles have been bought out of these 50 billion class 1 – 4 Tiles?
As of today it is approximately closing in to “ONLY” 60 million. A little over 0,1% of the available cap!
or close to 0,07% of the 75 billion tiles urban area currently populated by 8 billion people. A simplified calculation would be to check how much is 0,07 of also 8 billion people to have a ballpark number of how many users E2 would need to create an as buzzing feeling of dense population as we experience the Earth today.
0,07% x 8 billion = 5.6 Million users.
All in all, looking at these 60 million tiles sold versus the potential of having at least 5.6 million users in order to create a feeling of buzzing / active people dense areas is not impossible. Not impossible at all. In fact, highly likely if E2 manage to get their platform launched for “game play”.
Not versus amount of sold tiles and the possible user volume that will be.
But YES E2 will be an open mega VAST terrain of nature as well!
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