Million Doge disco is a game. Or a movement. Or cannabis-fueled joke. Or the most tech-blender startup of 2021, with NFTs and blockchain and cryptocurrency and augmented reality mixed together with Pokémon Go-like gameplay and Tamagotchi pet patterns.
Did I mention the dancing?
“Million Doge Disco is a master plan to get the entire world dancing together,” co-founder and CEO Gary Lachance told me when I interviewed him for the TechFirst podcast. “Is that all the detail you require?”
Nope. Not even close, Gary.
“It’s a great way to unify and liberate humanity,” Lachance added, helpfully.
“The idea is we are dropping one million Disco Doge, Dancing Doge NFTs all across the globe with Doge within them, over the next three months leading up to World Peace Day,” Lachance continued. “And these NFTs are also a Tamagotchi-style Dogeagotchi pet. And the idea is that people will receive them and we have proof of partying mechanisms where people will dance, post to social media, and be showered with Dogecoin in return.”
That didn’t fully illuminate Million Doge Disco for me either, but it did at least zero in on about five or sixteen different concepts of what this thing is. Eventually, downloading the game on my phone and playing it filled in the other gaps.
Million Doge Disco is kind of like Pokémon Go. You go around the world, or at least your neighborhood, and find Dogeagotchis using augmented reality superimposed on plain old boring actual reality. Collect them, and you collect Dogecoin, the favorite joke cryptocurrency of none other than Elon Musk. It’s currently worth about 20 cents, and by some chance Lachance owns about a million dollars worth of them. They are currently stored on a paper crypto wallet, he wants to give them all away, and you acquire them by playing the game.
Along the way, you get connected with other people. You dance with those other people.
And then world peace erupts.
Did you get all of that?
Listen to the conversation behind this story:
It all comes out of something called the DDP: the Decentralized Dance Party. Twelve years ago Lachance and others started the Decentralized Dance Party in Vancouver, Canada by wearing a portable FM transmitter — he clearly never wants kids — and catalyzing add-water-and-stir dance parties by handing out hundreds of old-school boomboxes: portable radios anyone can take. The DDP kicks off in one part of the city with dozens of strangers, and ends up all over the city with thousands of decentralized dance parties. Everyone’s a node on the network, Lachance says: there’s no central stage or one performer.
Also no tickets and no cost.
Eventually, the concept went all over the world, Lachance says, scaling to tens of thousands of people at a time.
Then he saw Pokémon Go.
“In 2016, when Pokémon Go was first happening, I was looking at it and I was like, wow, this is like, we always wanted to do giant simultaneous global parties,” Lachance says. “I was like, man, if we could combine Pokémon Go with a crazy dance party and some sort of crypto incentivization, like that is how we get the whole world partying together … hopefully with the side effect of world peace.”
Add an AR-enabled NFT platform — Million Doge Disco uses BLOCKv — and you’ve got the potential to take a crazy idea to sober reality.
There’s some room to go yet.
I played the game, but not everything worked. (Caveat: it’s entirely possibly that I’m just a complete failure at playing games.) And there are components that remain conceptual. For instance, Lachance wants to add Proof of Partying, as opposed to Proof of Work or Proof of Stake in many cryptocurrencies, and you’ll have to dance with your Dogeagotchi to keep it happy and loyal. (Fail to dance with it regularly and it’ll run off in search of someone with better moves who has more fun.)
That’s not quite ready yet, and I get the sense that the vision may always outstrip reality. (”We never had like billions of dollars of development money,” Lachance notes.)
But World Peace Day 2021 is still a month and a few weeks away. They have time.
And, clearly, no lack of imagination.