When you envision the metaverse, you might think of 3D-rendered environments or bulky VR goggles. But for the creative minds behind the KPRVerse, sharing a real-life bowl of ramen that’s been dreamed up in an online community is just as valid.

KPRVerse describes itself as a brand for the metaverse that takes a collaborative approach to storytelling, centered on its own post-apocalyptic, solar punk-themed world. It’s underpinned by a profile picture (PFP) NFT collection that launched last November, but KPR is taking a different kind of approach to the metaverse than just shipping tokenized avatars.

The KPRVerse does not currently resemble anything like a video game. Rather, it’s a fictional universe that community members can have a role in shaping over time. And KPR’s metaverse connection is mostly rooted in taking fictional concepts from the online space and translating them into real-life experiences.


“We said very early on that the primary goal of the project was to bridge physical and virtual,” pseudonymous KPR co-founder Adventure told Decrypt. “We had created this world that we made up, and we wanted to bring it to life.”

The project’s first in-person events were hosted this year at NFT NYC, the annual JPEG conference hosted in New York, and comprised two tastings that tapped online IP from the KPRVerse.

On a Friday night in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood, I lined up outside a contemporary Korean American gastropub called Ms. Yoo to taste food from BOON Ramen, a fictional food chain from the KPRVerse. I knew I was in the right place when I saw around two dozen people, mostly middle-aged men, meandering around outside.

Once in, I sat surrounded by strangers. We made small talk as we snacked on appetizers like edamame and deboned chicken wings stuffed with gyoza. The project was conveyed to me as a grand blend of community and storytelling, but the dining experience felt relatively standard.


The event’s menu was developed in collaboration with members of KPR’s community. But the culinary endeavor was ultimately led by Esther Choi, KPR’s Chief Noodle Officer—a former contestant on Netflix’s “Iron Chef” reboot and a decorated restaurateur. She’s the owner and chef of Mŏkbar, made up of three Korean ramen restaurants throughout New York City, as well as Ms. Yoo.

By tapping a local brewery, cans of “Shine”—a mildly hallucinogenic beverage in the KPRVerse—were also up for grabs at the event. But the Shine-branded spiked seltzer did not actually contain any hallucinogenic substances at the event. Maybe that would’ve helped.

In real life, Choi said her actual duties at KPR may be more aligned with a title like Director of Food and Beverage. But the title resembles the creative process at KPR that’s been applied to many of the project’s elements. And that includes her process for taking an online community’s perception of what a brand should look like and translating it into a real-world menu.

She described it as the inverse of common food trends shared on social media today. “Nowadays, [...] you see [food] on social media, and we try it in real life,” she said. “But then this is another layer, so it’s kind of like the ultimate creative universe.”

A bowl of BOON ramen. Image: Decrypt

The ramen at the BOON pop-up was indeed tasty, but I couldn’t figure out what gave it any particular metaversal edge. You would’ve had to tell me that the noodles came from a fictional universe for that to even register.

Granted, I’m not a member of the KPR community. And the event I went to wasn’t devoted to community members. Just before the BOON Ramen tasting, the project also held an event at the restaurant for another of KPR’s brands, Neon Sushi.

In the KPRverse, Neon Sushi is frequented by “high-end celebrities, corrupt businessmen, and politicians.” However, the real-world crowd more closely resembled 150 KPR NFT holders who got a “merch bag with a hoodie, a tote, and a postcard,” Adventure explained.


If I was engaged in KPR’s storytelling and world-building, the entire experience may have felt much different. It may have been a fulfilling experience to finally taste a bowl of ramen that, for a long time, was only an idea—and share it with people that I had forged relationships with online.

There’s something decidedly compelling about that premise. But without that context, the concept of a bowl of ramen that was “imagined in the metaverse,” as a KPR rep described it, didn’t really resonate with me.

On the other hand, if you ask the average person for a definition of the metaverse, their eyes might gloss over in confusion as they get flashbacks of Mark Zuckerberg’s simplistic avatar dancing and praising the wonders of AI-generated legs. Metaverse enthusiasm has plummeted over the last year, and a luscious bowl of ramen can only do so much to fight that inertia.

For now, KPR’s creativity is mostly expressed among its members on the project’s Discord server, where members share art, submit suggestions about the project’s direction, and interact in other ways. It’s similar to a lot of projects in the NFT space that set out to cultivate a community around digital asset ownership and make a chat server their home base.

Prior to launching its PFP collection, Adventure said that ramen was something that clicked with those that expressed interest in the community, which partly informed the project’s direction. People shared photos of various noodle dishes they had either created themselves or eaten at restaurants, wondering if it could be considered BOON, he said.

KPR is currently building “The Ramen Wars,” a mini-game that involves creating ramen dishes for Choi in the KPRVerse and “navigating various challenges in order to get the best ingredients,” Adventure said, describing it as a loot-box-style game that will launch this summer. And last month, the project held a BOON pop-up in Los Angeles led by David del Pilar Potes, Head Chef at New York's Okonomi.


So while the KPRVerse boils down to creative framing on real-world dining for now, the collective could build further on its metaverse ambitions in the future. Its aims are unique, but as I discovered, it may take more than a solid bowl of ramen to get the point across.

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