When the world’s tech elite discuss their plan for the internet of the future, one term tends to come up frequently: “metaverse.”
The phrase “snow crash” initially emerged in Neal Stephenson science fiction novels “Snow crash” in 1992, and it has stayed with the creators of Google, Amazon, and Facebook ever since.
Recently Mark Zuckerberg changed Facebook name to Meta. This is because he believes the future of the internet resides in the Metaverse.
What Zuckerberg did is a futuristic concept, even though the term’s origins are in the past. In reality, it was about thirty years ago. In 1992, Neal Stephenson came up with “metaverse” in his science fiction novel, Snow Crash.
The word was coined to denote a virtual reality-based internet substitute.
In the story, characters explore the internet world using digital avatars of themselves, frequently to escape a dismal reality. That’s basically what Zuckerberg says he’s aiming to build with Meta 30 years later without the dystopia.
This article focuses on what the author foresaw and the contrast to the virtual world that internet firms are attempting to create.
Snow Crash Metaverse Prediction
The novel, set in the early twenty-first century, depicts a dismal future. Where world’s economy has imploded, and federal governments have ceded the majority of their power to a few mega-corporations.
Metaverse is a place of rescue, and the main character in the novel is a broke computer hacker and pizza delivery man named Hiro Protagonist, who spends the entire time there. He enters the metaverse wearing protective eyewear and earphones and appears as his customized avatar in the digital world.
While there, avatars can walk down a single long, wide boulevard lined with amusement parks, businesses, shops, and entertainment complexes that stretches for thousands of kilometers.
Individuals who have lower means access the metaverse frequently by the use of public terminals. Individuals who have more advanced equipment often look down upon others who have less advanced ones.
In the metaverse, the activities may have serious consequences. Protagonist spends a lot of time trying to stop the computer virus from causing real-world neurological damage in metaverse users.
Metaverse aspects that already exist
The virtual reality headsets used by the actors in Snow Crash bear a resemblance to today’s virtual reality headsets. It’s evident in Meta’s Oculus brand.
Zuckerberg stated in a blog text that such technology would be required for users to be completely immersed in his firm’s future metaverse.
Virtual avatars are available to many online users, and they are used in exploring virtual landscapes with avatars.
This is because they have been in video games for decades. Every year billions of dollars are spent by individuals on virtual apparel and accessories for their avatars.
For firms like Meta, that propensity to spend could be a crucial monetization component.
According to Zuckerberg, a significant investment that individuals can make is having their digital goods and inventories and taking them from place to place.
In the novel “Snow Crash,” an encrypted electronic currency is akin to today’s cryptocurrencies featured in the metaverse.
The book tackles the idea behind investing real money in virtual real estate, just as CNBC’s “fast money” pointed out, which is currently taking place on the blockchain-enabled virtual reality platforms, the Sandbox being one of them.
Will The Metaverse Predicted in Snow Crash Become Reality?
Even if the concept takes off, millions of people will have to wait a long time before they can explore metaverses regularly.
Even Zuckerberg is a proponent of prudence.
It is seen, as he said at Facebook Connect, his firm’s augmented and virtual reality conference, that Meta, in the coming years, may have to spend billions of dollars until the metaverse gets to the required scale.
A more significant percentage of the funds might be used to produce better and more inexpensive virtual reality headsets.
One of Stephenson’s hypothetical global biggest faults is that such technology may lead to addiction cases to future metaverses.
In the novel “Snow Crash,” some actors acquire unhealthy virtual universe addiction habits, not disconnecting and avoiding reality at all costs.
Some of those features are echoed in Zuckerberg’s forecasts on Meta.
He defined his firm’s future metaverse as a place where an individual will get a chance to practically do anything they can think of, for example, having a get together with friends and family, play, learn and shop.
To make matters worse, Meta is already under scrutiny because of the harmful consequences of its social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook on the users’ mental well-being. He predictably appears to be unfazed.
He was approached about the impact of the novel “Snow Crash” on Meta’s concept of the metaverse.
He responded by saying that the book has this whole milieu around that is bad; however, he doesn’t believe it needs to be that way.