Zuckerberg’s metaverse is dead, long live the metaverse

Neal Stephenson, who first outlined the concept of the metaverse back in 1992 in the novel Snow Crash, has a radically different view of this technology than Mark Zuckerberg.

To Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse In recent times he has been hit by sharp spikes from all fronts. Those who believe that the expensive metaverse of the founder of Facebook is doomed to shipwreck are no longer silent (And they’re even lurking in the bowels of Meta).

Among the doomsayers sentencing the Meta metaverse to death (it seems irrevocably) is the original “father” of this concept, Neal Stephenson.who first outlined this idea back in 1992 in the novel SnowCrash.

“My novel will survive Zuckerberg”assures Stephenson in declarations to Fast Company. “I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about Facebook,” he adds.

Stephenson is currently focused on Sheet1the company that confused in its day to make the idea that it gave birth to in a way that was as accurate as it was visionary in SnowCrash.

The American writer was the first to imagine a digital world of a three-dimensional nature where humans could exist and interact as real entities, to the point of being able to decide to live there permanently. The virtual universe conceived by Stephenson, where there are digital coins and plots, is owned by a large corporation and is only and exclusively accessible through smart glasses. Stephenson’s metaverse is paradoxically almost a carbon copy of Zuckerberg’s.

Stephenson currently has a very different idea of metaverse and that idea clashes head-on with Meta’s. “I don’t think most people are going to access the metaverse using helmets or goggles,” says the author of Snow Crash. “Thirty years ago we were in a very different ballpark in terms of graphics and available hardware,” says Stephenson. At that time it seemed essential to rely on glasses or complex interfaces so that people could experience the metaverse in the first person. But today things look very different on a technological level, he points out.

In Stephenson’s opinion, his original vision of the metaverse has become outdated and the glasses that once seemed inalienable for venturing into virtual worlds today constitute a very unnatural barrier that will prevent this technology from being embraced to the same extent (absolutely massive) as smartphones were in their day.

Neal Stephenson believes in an open metaverse and alien to large corporations

Even when the alternate universes overlapping the metaverse are not immersive in nature and anchor in simple 2D interfaces, it is possible to “feel” them through the characters that populate such universes.. Their stories are somehow also our stories. And if such stories are good, they will be able to attract people like a magnet, says Stephenson.

«It is best to think of the metaverse as if it were a means of communication, as television, radio or the internet are today»Stephenson says. “People don’t argue about how ‘cool’ television is or isn’t, but about how ‘cool’ the programs that are broadcast there are,” she emphasizes. That is precisely why the metaverse will not necessarily be indebted to a “killer app” that eclipses all the others.

The metaverse in its most primitive version (the alternative worlds usually associated with video games) is already very successful. But such universes are not yet interconnected with each other and not everyone can afford to build them because it is both complex and expensive.

That is precisely why Stephenson has given birth to the company Lamina1to give everyone the option to build worlds and interconnect them with each other using blockchain technology as the epicenter of all their efforts.

According to Stephenson and Peter Vesennes, the founders of Lamina1, the blockchain is the only possible way to create digital economies, connect worlds, and make them interoperable with each other. This is a radically opposite vision to that of the metaverse of Meta, which seems determined to move the so-called “walled gardens” to the metaverse

Stephenson and Vesennes are convinced that the true metaverse will not spring from the belly of large companies but from smaller players. Through Lamina1 both want to make available to everyone the necessary infrastructures to illuminate the metaverse (which are as abundant as they are prodigal in complexity).

Lamina1 also aspires to generate its own content and cater to the needs of independent developers. Its objective is to equip these independent developers with the appropriate tools to verify what they are really capable of (which is not little).

Stephenson’s plans deliver a resounding slap Meta, whose metaverse seems to be dead already. And it was not others who killed him. He took his own life.

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Zuckerberg’s metaverse is dead, long live the metaverse