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Lore in the Digital Renaissance

Power in Personal & Business Narratives

Own Your Narrative. Become a Legend.

 "A Law Unto Yourself" means you are fiercely independent, you are someone who charts your own course, unbound by the conventional norms.

Now, imagine applying this autonomy to the realm of storytelling, crafting a narrative so compelling that it becomes... a lore unto itself.

Whether you're a visionary entrepreneur, a creative artist, or someone simply looking to define their role in the digital renaissance, understanding how to harness the power of lore, can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

This is not about, making shit up to be different; it's about being definitively you.

You don't do it for ego, you do it for purpose. You have to believe in yourself first, before others will believe your story.

We're going to explore the origins of lore in culture, its modern manifestations in the digital renaissance like gaming and web3, and, most important, how you can craft your own lore.

Lore is not a story of your past, it's the road-map to your future. 

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Originally stemming from the rich tapestries of culture and society, lore has evolved into a compelling tool in the modern digital landscape, particularly in gaming and web3 communities. But its influence doesn't stop there. Lore can be a transformative element in crafting business ideas or a personal mission.

So let's unravel the enigma of lore. Let's discover how its ancient roots are influencing modern storytelling and identity, then we'll look at some techniques to craft our own lore.

Lore: Its Origins in Society and Culture

The Ancient Art of Storytelling

Lore, or Folklore, is the essence of storytelling through culture and society. It's the fabric of myths, legends, and folktales passed down through generations.

It served multiple purposes: preserving history, imparting moral lessons, and explaining the unexplainable mysteries of the universe.

In many ways Lore has shaped society as we know it. Society is merely a framework built on a collective rule of law, evolving over time. Culture is a framework built on the collective role of lore. The threads of culture (lore) and society (law) weave the fabric of our reality. By reality I mean the way we both view the world and how we choose to interact with it.

Lore is how you begin to weave your own influence over that reality. Even the thinnest, most delicate thread in the tapestry can begin to change the pattern.

The Role of Mythology and Folklore

  • Greek mythology, with its pantheon of gods and heroes, provides a classic example of lore shaping a society's understanding of the world.

  • Native American folklore, rich in symbolism and moral teachings, offers another perspective on how lore can guide a culture's values and behaviors.

Lore as a Cultural Binder

  • Lore acts as a cultural binder, uniting communities through shared narratives and oral histories.

  • It fosters a sense of identity and belonging, grounding individuals in a larger, interconnected story.

Invented Lore in Modern Culture: Gaming and Web3 Communities

The Evolution of Lore in the Digital Renaissance

With the advent of technology, lore has found new life in the digital world. Gaming and web3 communities have fully embraced lore, using it to create immersive, engaging worlds that captivate audiences.

While this use of Lore is typically an invented narrative, it's a great example of the power of creative storytelling to build entirely new communities. 

Gaming: A New Frontier for Lore

  • Video games like "World of Warcraft" and "The Elder Scrolls" have extensive lore that enriches gameplay and engagement. 

  • Lore in tradtional gaming creates depth, providing a backdrop that influences game mechanics, character development, and player experience.

I still remember the excitement of loading adventure games on my Commodore 64 (yep that old!). The Last Ninja was a classic example of early game Lore. (Don't even get me started on my childhood obsession with Ninjas!)

Here's how it was told on the loading screen.

"The secrets of the Ninjitsu way had been jealously guarded for centuries, only once every decade were the scrolls seen at the ritual of the White Ninja. None coveted these secrets more than the evil Shogun. Seizing the opportunity of the ritual he sprang a fiendish trap that destroyed the brotherhood, except for one...

You. The Last Ninja.

Your sworn oath is to recover the scrolls, you travel to the mystical lands of the Shogun. Already his guards are mastering the ways of the Ninjitsu. To reach the Shogun’s Palace you must use all your weapon craft and fighting skills as you travel through dangerous wastelands, magnificent gardens then descend into the direst dungeons before the final confrontation...

You cannot fail. You are the Last Ninja." 

That music just takes me back!

But fast forward to the future of gaming and there are some amazing developments happening right now where Lore goes beyond a fanciful story and taps into the cultural narrative of the digital renaissance itself.

Web3, NFTs and the Metaverse: Lore as Digital Culture

Gaming has traditionally been a top-down story, driven by large gaming companies and adopted by the masses. Web3 lore is a community-driven story from the bottom up, built by creators in this digital renaissance.

  • NFT projects and metaverse platforms utilize lore to establish unique digital cultures and communities.

  • Lore in these spaces goes beyond storytelling; it becomes a means of identity creation and community belonging in a digital context.

The engagement within these communities around a project's success is intrinsically tied to a sense of ownership, not only for financial purpose, but a belief in advancing digital culture in a direction where everyone can benefit from the growth.

Even within traditional gaming, the mechanics of player rewards have shifted from points and leader-boards toward digital collectibles and in-game items. These remain mostly a centralized function on game servers rather than on the blockchain.

In web3 gaming however, those digital collectibles take on a very different value proposition as Non-Fungible Tokens that can be traded and purchased via Cryptocurrencies and custom tokens.

The vision of ownership in this digital world goes beyond community-driven lore and into tangible assets on a platform that is co-owned by the community rather than a centralized corporate entity.

Notable examples, either still in development or already in play are Yuga Labs, Futureverse and Walker World... to name a few of many! I know these best because, in full transparency, I own assets to varying degrees within each.

Yuga has perhaps the most anticipated metaverse called 'Otherside', still being built and publicly tested along the way. They've also brought out smaller arcade-style games like Dookey Dash, which is now launching to the public via App-stores without the need to hold Yuga assets or even have a crypto wallet.

The Lore behind Dookey is probably the funniest I've seen... it has to be watched to fully appreciate it!

Building on this, Dookey Dash Unclogged will introduce innovative new formats like Creator Mode, which allows you to; 

"Create and sell 3D models of new skins, vehicles, stickers and more using the Faraway Creator Suite. Your 3D models can be purchased by anyone via the Faraway Shop and then used in 'Dookey Dash Unclogged' and thousands of other digital experiences and games".

This hints at the open cross-platform intentions of Yuga. Games that can bridge the values of core web3 communities to the broader mainstream will be the winners!

Futureverse is also setting new standards in the metaverse with groundbreaking tools like the FuturePass Smart Wallet and a decentralized AI Protocol through ASM Brains which has been integrated into games like 'Muhammad Ali - The Next Legends'. All of this is powered by Futureverse's own decentralized blockchain, The Root Network. 

Aligning with perhaps the most famous Lore to bridge mainstream audiences with the Metaverse narrative, Futureverse have partnered with the author of the iconic 'Ready Player One' book to establish Readyverse Studios. Readyverse is expected to launch in 2024 as a dynamic platform for connected digital experiences, in a major rights deal with none other than Warner Bros!

Beyond gaming, you can find Lore playing a part in the gamification and purposeful mechanics of web3.

A relatively little known project that has been building non-stop through the bear market of 2022-2023 is Dogface Labs and Xeno Mining. Alongside a very colorful Lore, they are driven by a real sense of purpose and belief in what web3 can provide. Holders of their different collections can stake assets to earn rewards from crypto mining operations set up from the crowdfunding of asset purchases. With the founders all coming from a military service background, a significant portion of those mining rewards go to support military veteran charities and first responders. 

The Power of Community-Driven Lore

  • In these modern iterations, lore often becomes a collaborative, community-driven effort, with participants contributing to not only creative storytelling, but a broader narrative based on their belief in building a decentralized ownership economy.

  • This interactive aspect of lore in digital spaces signifies a shift from passive consumption to active creation.

Chris Dixon said in an interview with 'The Verge'...

"The next Disney or Marvel would not come top-down from a company. It would come from an internet community who comes together using NFTs, tokens, and other kinds of Web3 concepts to create stories and characters, and would actually own parts of those characters and have control over them."

Chris Dixon is a widely respected and successful investor, internet entreprenuer and general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. They are the most active and influential VC firms with with some $35B in assets under management. All this to say, he really knows what he's talking about!

His new book 'Read Write Own' is going to be a tipping point. I can't wait to read what I suspect will align to my Operating System for Change: 'Read-Write-Execute' based on the old Unix command Chmod 777. Not only that, my personal vision and Lore for this framework is leading me towards a theoretical command line...

Chmod 888: unlocking infinite and permissionless ownership! 

/Watch this space _

Applying Lore to Business and Personal Branding 

Lore in Business: Crafting a Compelling Narrative

In the realm of business, lore can be an invaluable framework to shape a company's identity and mission. While some traditional businesses would clearly not produce the imaginative Lore we see in web3, the ability to see the business through the lens of a story told for generations to come is invaluable. 

The Art of Storytelling in Business

  • Businesses can use lore to craft compelling narratives that resonate with their audience, turning customers into a community. 

  • Examples include brands that have built mythologies around their origins or values.

Apple's story of innovation and disruption intertwines visionary thinking, technological breakthroughs, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Their lore not only showcases Apple's products but also celebrates the ethos and values that propelled the company to its iconic status.

This is not to be confused with a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or 'Brand Positioning'. Lore is distinct from traditional marketing narratives. It's the essence of a company's heritage, like an oral history shared around a camp fire.

Lore embodies the roots of a company's culture, such as Steve Jobs and Wozniak crafting the first Apple computer in a garage, or the accidental invention of cereal by the Kellogg brothers. While strategic branding focuses on showcasing benefits and positioning, lore adds a human touch. It's not just about selling; it's about creating a sense of connection, even for those outside the target market.

For instance, you might not be an avid Apple user, but the story of two visionaries in a garage pursuing a revolutionary dream resonates with anyone. Refining a strategic narrative is necessary, but sharing your lore transforms your brand from a faceless entity into a relatable, humanized presence.

You don't need to have a 'long history' already. Make history and others will write it for you. Imagine two people sitting around a campfire in 50 years time talking about your brand. What do you want them to be saying about it? What interesting stories did they read in the book about it's origins?

Make those stories happen and start to slip those insights and personal anecdotes into conversations, podcast interviews and even Tweets! That's where it begins.

Lore in Personal Branding: Crafting Your Story

For individuals, particularly artists, entrepreneurs, and professionals, lore can be a powerful tool in developing a personal brand. 

Not all businesses have a Founder figure, or one that is willing to develop a narrative and personal brand. But there is plenty of reason to seriously consider this if you are a founder.

The art of crafting a personal brand is a much broader topic, but it starts with identifying the core pillars of your belief system,  these become your messaging pillars. In particular identify both your personal goals and a more transcendent purpose that will make change in the world (big or small) for the better.

Finally, it takes dogged repetition of these core messages... every chance you get. The most effective and inspiring leaders I've come across are the visionary leaders who hammer home their purpose consistently... for years. 

Tips for Mission Statements and Artist Bios

  • Lore can transform a standard bio into a compelling narrative that captures the essence of an individual's journey and values.

  • It's about crafting a story that resonates, that turns a personal or professional trajectory into something almost mythic, yet relatable.

  • Don't be afraid to sound a bit over the top. When I worked in television, we'd always coach people to be more expressive and energetic on camera. It feels uncomfortable at first, but something that would be too much in person actually works better on camera. The same applies here. 

To Conclude...

From ancient cultural narratives to modern digital communities and from business branding to personal identity, the concept of lore remains a powerful and transformative tool for building your presence in the digital renaissance.

It's a reminder of the enduring power of storytelling and its ability to connect, persuade, and inspire across ages and mediums. Whether you're building a brand, shaping a business, or crafting your personal narrative, consider the role lore can play in elevating your story to something truly memorable.

Remember, every story has the potential to become a legend.

References & Links:

Read Write Own - by Chris Dixon:
Yuga Labs:
Xeno Mining: 

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