South Central, Los Angels–The metaverse is the latest advancement within the fast paced digital revolution we are currently living in. While many are trying to wrap their minds around the overall concept of the metaverse, in South Central Los Angeles, Jeremiah Benjamin is ahead of the curve.
Benjamin designs virtual reality spaces inside metaverses through his creative design company, 88 Ideas, named in honor of the South Central streets he grew up on at 88th and Normandie. He works with companies and brands to produce digital and physical products while creating virtual environments inside the metaverse.
“I remember the first time I was introduced to computer aided drafting. I was at a continuation school called Hillcrest, and some kids were trying to create a basketball court,” Benjamin detailed. “I asked the teacher what it was, and it was a software called AutoCAD.”
Although he was attending Hillcrest in order to receive missing credits to graduate from Inglewood High School, this would be Benjamin’s introduction to building digital replicas of physical spaces within a computer.
When people would ask Benjamin what he wanted to be when he got older, he would always say an engineer. As he got older, these desires grew into his interest in architecture and design. This prompted him to enroll into a local community college upon graduating high school.
“I never knew what the metaverse was called,” he said. “I just knew I wanted to create spaces where people did not have to physically come to see my work.”
Benjamin eventually landed at ITT Tech, graduating with a degree in Computer Aided Drafting and Design.
Benjamin is quickly becoming a much needed catalyst for African Americans in Los Angeles on-boarding the metaverse. He wants more Blacks locally to think about operating in metaverse spaces as owners, as opposed to being solely consumers.