The best articles, podcasts and videos to learn about the metaverse

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Articles

The Metaverse: What It Is, Where to Find it, Who Will Build It, and Fortnite

Matthew Ball, January 13, 2020, matthewball.vc

This article was written in January 2020. In June 2021, Ball released a nine-part update, ‘The Metaverse Primer’.

“Technology frequently produces surprises that nobody predicts. However, the biggest developments are often anticipated decades in advance. In 1945 Vannevar Bush described what he called the “Memex”, a single device that would store all books, records and communications, and mechanically link them together by association.

This concept was then used to formulate the idea of “hypertext” (a term coined two decades later), which in turn guided the development of the World Wide Web (developed another two decades later). The “Streaming Wars” have only just begun, yet the first streaming video took place more than 25 years ago. What’s more, many of the attributes of this so-called war have been hypothesized for decades, such as virtually infinite supplies of content, on-demand playback, interactivity, dynamic and personalized ads, and the value of converging content with distribution. … “

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The Metaverse Emerges

David Hoffman, September 1, 2021, Bankless

An accompanying podcast on this article came out a few weeks later, called ‘Defining the Metaverse’.

“As the NFT mania grows in energy, so has the conversation around ‘the metaverse’. We all talk about ‘the metaverse’, but no one has meaningfully attempted to define it. 

This article offers an actionable proposition about what the metaverse actually is. 

The metaverse will be an orchestration of many different layers and technologies, but it will ultimately collapse upon a single shared source-of-truth that all components of the metaverse will abide by.

The metaverse will be made up of objects, and all those objects must know that all other objects exist. From this foundation, we can create a ledger of all objects in the known metaverse, as well as their shared history of interactions and stories. …”

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The Value Chain of the Open Metaverse

Packy McCormick, January 25, 2021, Not Boring

“The vocabulary around Web3, like that of many early movements, is very idealistic. It’s all about using technology to create trustless systems, wrest power from corporations, and give it back to the people. I think that vocabulary is why I haven’t taken it seriously as a real alternative to the status quo. 

But I have gone deep down the rabbit hole, and I think I get it now. I can see how the decentralized web might make the leap from passionate early adopters to the mainstream, that there are real economic advantages to a decentralized internet, and that Web3 architectures will play a crucial role in a robust Metaverse. …”

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Rock, Paper, Scissors Says GO!

Arthur Hayes, August 20, 2021, BitMex

“Art is an expression of human civilisation’s energy abundance. When viewed in net energy terms, it is completely worthless. But when viewed as the purest expression of humanity beyond our basic functions of consuming calories, reproducing, and perishing, it is priceless. We “work” to enjoy leisure, and leisure is a personal pursuit that usually involves some art form. That encompasses music, film, paintings, sculptures, sports etc. All of these activities are energy sinks, but bring endless pleasure to the participant and the spectator.

The advent of super-intelligent networked thinking machines will herald an era where the vast majority of humans’ labour is economically worthless. Freed from the physical constraints of work, humans will turn to their new digital worlds and the complete expression of civilisation’s creativity and vitality. The metaverse is the future. …”

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Here’s Why One Company Ventured Into the Metaverse

Morgan Chittum, September 9, 2021, Blockworks

“The metaverse is often used to describe the successor to the mobile internet where the physical and digital worlds converge in a shared virtual space. In the metaverse, technology is an all encompassing reality and not solely a tool like the rectangular device in your pocket.

Compare the metaverse to a video game like Fortnite. Players have digital avatars and seamlessly roam from one world to another, purchasing virtual goods and participating in this virtual economy. …”

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Podcasts

Mapping the Metaverse Economy with Gabby Dixon

Founder’s Field Guide with host Patrick O’Shaughnessy, September 2, 2021

“My guest today is Gabby Dizon, co-founder of Yield Guild Games or YGG. In 2020, Gabby and his co-founders built YGG around the growing “play-to-earn” economy within blockchain-based games.

Based in the Philippines, YGG effectively backs players – who might not otherwise be able to afford to play – in exchange for a share of their profits. Today, YGG is paying out over $1 million US dollars a week to players within its community – largely concentrated in their home country of the Philippines. …”

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Books

Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson, June 1992, Bantam Spectra Books

“In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous… you’ll recognize it immediately. …”

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Get educated. Check out The Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin, The Investor’s Guide to NFTs and The Investor’s Guide to DeFi and The Investor’s Guide to Inflation.

  • Morgan Chittum is a New York-based reporter covering markets, NFTs, the metaverse and digital assets. Before Blockworks she was a street reporter at New York Daily News, where she wrote about homicide, extremist groups, state politics and other critical topics in New York. She was a Media and Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute, where she dabbled in data and investigative journalism. She is published in American Banker, Yahoo News, Chicago Tribune and more.