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9th December, 2025, and 12-year old Jean is playing ball. It’s 25 degrees in the shade. Suddenly, Jean is informed by his communicative implant that the game NovoMondo requires his attention. An important decision has to be made at the heart of Jonas Inc., the “new world” leader in the local production and distribution of energy that Jean recently created inside this giant virtual world.
At the age of five, Jean created a society for the production of pet avatars for Novomondo, which he has since sold.
Thanks to Jean and other players of all ages, NovoMondo is, in 2026, the leading virtual universe, with 250 millions “players” (curiously, they still go by this name). But while you definitely play NovoMondo, you also work at it: you manufacture, exchange, buy and sell, debate, organize elections, track down fraudsters and other delinquents… The Indian editor of Novomondo is considering creating savings and checking accounts for the game’s very active players.
Novomondo’s editor also commercializes the decision- making processes and the player relationships that have emerged (originally without his knowledge) in this universe he has created to companies in the real world.
NovoMondo has become the leading global seller of individually produced alternative energy. After years spent on researching renewable energy and energy economies, decentralised and plural forms of energy production (geothermal, solar, microcentral) have become commonplace for domestic use. This energy is exchanged in local networks but also on a larger scale thanks to hydrogen and combustible batteries.
Jean is still a child, but he plays a role in the collective governing body and works as an ecological and biological advisor to Novomondo, while continuing his studies and, thankfully, continuing to play!
The success of NovoMondo and several of its competitors has introduced an even bigger movement. In 2016, a consortium of industrial advertisers launched a new virtual world based on personal independent energy: UNAVOLTA: free, universal, ubiquitous and mobile access to the “metaverses” that supposedly interconnect every virtual world on the planet. One after another, digital worlds gave in to the Unavolta sirens, which allowed its citizens to circulate between one world and another, which expanded exchange networks and markets.
Only NovoMondo still holds back, but doubtless not for long. The universal translator developed by the UNAVOLTA users represents a major qualitative step towards having everyone be able to be in contact with “players” all over the world.
There is a final step, though: the democratization of these virtual worlds, getting the power from their instigators. The debate is huge: to whom do our avatars belong, the objects we created and the houses we built there? Who has the right to use the millions of traces that each player leaves behind? How do we finance the enormous “server farms” that these games need to work? How can we assure a minimum of safety and regulation? These questions have begun to interest Jean, but it’s hard to ask them at Novomondo. He’s seriously considering migrating, and is currently looking for a lawyer who can help him recuperate the huge sum of money he has amassed in the virtual world he’s going to leave, and transfer it to the other.
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