Making a Metaverse That Matters

Book description

An up-close account from the world’s first metaverse-embedded reporter

In Making a Metaverse That Matters: From Snow Crash & Second Life to A Virtual World Worth Fighting For, the celebrated author of The Making of Second Life and Game Design Secrets, Wagner James Au, delivers an engrossing exploration of how nascent metaverse platforms have already captured the imagination of millions. Featuring powerful stories and dozens of incisive interviews with insiders including Metaverse creator Neal Stephenson himself, the author uses his unique, grassroots-level perspective as the first reporter embedded in a metaverse platform. Readers will learn about:

  • How to understand and define the Metaverse and cut through the many myths and misconceptions around it.
  • A behind-the-scenes account of launching Second Life, the first metaverse platform to achieve mainstream awareness, and what its many controversies teach us.
  • Where current platforms Meta, Roblox, Fortnite, VRChat, and Lamina1, Neal Stephenson’s own metaverse startup, fit in the ecosystem.
  • How to address the many dangers inherent in the Metaverse before it becomes central to the Internet.

Perfect for XR industry members and indie creatives, Making a Metaverse That Matters is also for tech professionals, virtual world communities, and anyone interested in the future of culture and commerce.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Preface
  4. Introduction: Five Stories about Five Core Metaverse Concepts
  5. PART I: Conception
    1. CHAPTER 1: Crash Course—A Simple History of a Complex Idea
      1. Creating the Metaverse Immediately after Snow Crash
      2. Reclaiming the Metaverse's Definition Taken from Its Source
    2. CHAPTER 2: Second Life and the Mystery of the First Metaverse Platform
      1. Part 1: Rise and Fall
      2. Part 2: Postmortem
      3. Part 3: Second Life Forever
    3. CHAPTER 3: How Facebook Became Meta (But Lost the Metaverse on the Way)
      1. The Second Life of Oculus
      2. Acquisition Bias
      3. Horizon Lines
      4. Ingrained Identity
      5. The Second Life of Horizons?
  6. PART II: Realization
    1. CHAPTER 4: Kid Stuff: Minecraft, and the Rise of Roblox
      1. Minecraft, the Metaverse Generation, and the Rise of Metaverse TV
      2. How Blocky Avatars Encourage Creativity
      3. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Jamaican Woman
      4. The Trouble with Children in the Metaverse
    2. CHAPTER 5: Battle Royale for the Fortnite Metaverse
      1. Inside the Alliance
      2. Advice for Brands
      3. Advice for Creators—Especially Women
    3. CHAPTER 6: Neal Stephenson Enters the Metaverse—Lamina1, Blockchain, and the Utopia of Ownership
      1. Imagining the Metaverse-as-a-Service
      2. Redefining the Metaverse with the Metaverse's Creator
      3. A Brief History of the Cryptoverse
      4. Lamina1's Theory of Value
      5. A Literary Arc to Lamina1
    4. CHAPTER 7: VRChat and Finding Furry Anime Utopia
      1. Knuckling Under
      2. Game of Trust
      3. Communities Create Community
      4. A Community Endlessly Creating
      5. EAC and the Ironic Challenge of Metaverse Community Management
      6. VRChat Swallows the Internet
      7. The Lure of the Market and the Future of VRChat
      8. Getting Started
  7. PART III: Promises and Perils
    1. CHAPTER 8: VR, Interoperability, Web3, and Other Metaverse Myths
      1. Myth: VR is essential to the Metaverse
      2. Myth: The Metaverse must incorporate augmented reality
      3. Myth: Web3 is part of the Metaverse! (Or vice versa.)
      4. Myth: Photorealistic human avatars and world graphics are the Metaverse's end goal
      5. Myth: The Metaverse must interoperate across the Internet
      6. Myth: The Metaverse is for everyone!
      7. Myth: There is only one Metaverse
    2. CHAPTER 9: Sex, Abuse, and the Eternal Content Moderation Challenge
      1. Ever-Perennial Metaverse Problems: Sex, Trolling and Harassment, and Underage Users
      2. Building a Better Moderated Metaverse
    3. CHAPTER 10: Metaverse Real-World Use Cases—Separating Substance from Hype
      1. Understanding Real Metaverse Use Cases: A Checklist
      2. Use Case: Live Music/Entertainment—Pros and Cons
      3. Untapped Opportunity: Classic IP Extension
    4. CHAPTER 11: Overcoming the Metaverse Age Cliff and the Immersion Funnel
      1. Aging Out
      2. Inside the Immersion Funnel
      3. Widening the Funnel
      4. Bridging the Age Cliff
      5. Journeying Across the Age Cliff with Jenova Chen
      6. Metaverse Mindshare and a New State of Play
  8. PART IV: A Metaverse Worth Fighting For
    1. CHAPTER 12: Future Paths
      1. Jenova Chen and the Metaverse Theme Park
      2. Connecting Across Generations
      3. AI and the Metaverse
      4. Streaming the Metaverse in Our Hands
      5. Looking for a Lean-Forward Metaverse
    2. CHAPTER 13: Future Pitfalls—Manipulation, Takedowns, and the Experience Machine
      1. The Dangers of an Unregulated Metaverse
      2. Confronting the Experience Machine
    3. CHAPTER 14: Metaverse Lessons for the Next 30 Years
      1. Community Creates Value—Not the Other Way Around
      2. Accessibility Isn't Optional; It's Fundamental
      3. A Game First and Foremost
      4. Collaborative, In-World Creation Remains the Gold Standard
      5. Time Shifting and Social Media Are Essential to the Metaverse
      6. Avatars Shape Culture
      7. Community and Company Must Grow Together
  9. Afterword: Where in the Virtual World the Platforms and People from This Book Are Now
  10. Glossary
  11. Appendix A: Rules for Avatar Radicals and Reformers
  12. Appendix B: Advice for Metaverse Reporters
  13. Acknowledgments
  14. About the Author
  15. Index
  16. Copyright
  17. Dedication
  18. End User License Agreement

Product information

  • Title: Making a Metaverse That Matters
  • Author(s): Wagner James Au
  • Release date: June 2023
  • Publisher(s): Wiley
  • ISBN: 9781394155811