Stephenson said that at the time, it made sense to assume that the output device for the metaverse would be what people interacted with. However, things did not turn out that way.
Neal Stephenson on Decrypt’s gm podcast. (Illustration by Grant Kempster)In 1992, Neal Stephenson came up with the word “metaverse” in his famous sci-fi novel “Snow Crash”. Now, 30 years later, rare items connected with the book are being sold by Sotheby’s, and Stephenson is developing a new layer-1 blockchain company for the metaverse, named Lamina1. The company’s main goal is to help creators construct the “open metaverse”, a term used by Stephenson to distinguish it from current corporate versions of the metaverse.
Stephenson stated on the latest episode of Decrypt’s gm podcast that calling it an “open” metaverse “works pretty well”. He thinks people understand it, as companies often adopt words and use them to achieve their business objectives. As consumers, we must remain vigilant and examine the context in which such terms are used.
According to Stephenson, there are two mistakes people make when they talk about the metaverse these days. The first mistake is to talk about a metaverse or multiple metaverses, which he believes is wrong. He thinks that there is only one metaverse, like the internet, and companies that create closed metaverse environments do not understand this concept.
However, Stephenson does not believe that all games should be open realms. Game designers who create “coherent worlds that are exquisitely crafted” are not likely to make their games completely open to other digital items from entirely different games. Stephenson explained that “if somebody brings a sniper rifle into my soccer game, or whatever, it’s just an abomination from an aesthetic point of view, and it shows disrespect for what I do as an art director or a game designer.” Stephenson hopes that games will continue to exist as pure works of art, but there are also popular games that are mashups aesthetically.