Astra is Africa’s First Metaverse Crypto Game That Allows You Win Real-Life Luxury Items

NFTs. Metaverse. Virtual Fashion. These are terms that have become increasingly common in the last year, with everyone – but most especially the art and luxury fashion industries – running into this otherworldly realm that holds the promise of endless, profitable opportunities.

And while business may be booming in the virtual world, in reality, quite a number of people and countries are still shut out of it, not because they have not been invited, but because, as of now, they have not found any practical reasons to make a transition to the metaverse. Data is not readily available, but, based on trends on the African continent, you could say that such ‘out-of-body’ experiences do not really feature in our top ten list of needs and things in vogue.


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That is, until recently, when Delz Erinle, a product and UX designer and Niyi Okeowo, an art director, started Thrill Digital.

At the height of the pandemic last year that forced global lockdowns, Erinle saw how difficult it was to shop seamlessly from the safety of our homes. His solution? Team up with Lead Developer and Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Luke Jeffers, to use 3D to create a VR shopping product that would make the entire process more accessible and effortless.

From here, Thrill Digital moved on to pitch a lot of investors and in January this year, won a $40,000 MegaGrant from Epic Game to create a VR shopping product. They achieved this  – “an innovative 3D experience for London Fashion Week” which was showcased in February – in collaboration with Lone Design Club.

Cover image of the Astra game by thrill digital
Thrill digital has created Astra, a game in the metaverse, that among other things, allows you to virtually dress up in luxury clothes and win luxury fashion items. Image courtesy of Thrill Digital

Now, the digital creative firm wants to make their products even more interactive and attractive by bringing them into the real world. The idea came after Erinle carried out research in a mall in London where he asked people if they would play a game to win luxury prizes. The feedback they got from people was affirmative. “We didn’t set out to create a metaverse project initially. It was like a virtual shopping experience, first,” he said.

The result of the research gave birth to Astra by Thrill Digital, a fashion crypto game in the metaverse where players who happen to love fashion, use crypto, and love games can win real-life fashion luxury items. The game would have its own crypto token, which must be connected to a crypto wallet. Players will try to amass as many crypto tokens as they can within an allotted time, after which a leaderboard is created where winners will be declared and take home luxury fashion items.

Image may contain model wearing balenciaga small hourglass tote
The winner of the inaugural Astra game will win this Balenciaga Small Hourglass tote. Image courtesy of MyTheresa

Speaking about the challenges Thrill Digital has faced so far, Lead 3D designer, Charles Egbejule, explains that daring to dream they can build a mini metaverse out of Africa was one of the biggest challenges they had to face. For lead VR architect Adekunbi Ajai, however, building remotely from different parts of the world was more of a challenge for the team. But they were able to adapt and can now easily communicate, she added.

Brand designer and co-founder, Niyi Okeowo, agrees but adds that raising awareness on a new concept like digital fashion was part of the numerous challenges they faced. “We were trying to sell the product while teaching people about it,” he explained.

Astra went live on December 20 and the first luxury fashion item users will be playing for is a Balenciaga Small Hourglass Tote Bag which will be delivered to the eventual winner wherever they are in the world. The game is available on PCs for now but will soon be rolled out to VR headsets and, hopefully, mobile devices.

Source: Techcabal

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