American science fiction and cyberpunk author Neal Stephenson creates a metaverse focused blockchain project called LAMINA1. What is it about?
As usual, iconic game developers and modern sci-fi authors don’t like today’s talks about the metaverse.
A few months ago Valve president Gabe Newel even said that most of the people who are talking about metaverse have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.
“I’m friends with Neal Stephenson, and every time we get together, he just puts his face in his hands. So it’s like, okay, what metaverse story is driving you insane today?”, he said.
Now it seems that Stephenson decided to act as he is launching his own metaverse-focused blockchain project.
So, metaverse by the Metaverse concept founder. Sounds cool, isn’t it?
Neal Stephenson gets in metaverse
The new LAMINA1 will focus on “helping get artists and other value creators paid properly for their work, helping the environment and seeing a truly open Metaverse get built”.
Neal Stephenson envisions his metaverse on flat 2D screens rather than on virtual or augmented reality headsets as proposed by Meta and Microsoft.
According to him, LAMINA1 is a ‘base layer for the Open Metaverse’, and a place close to the origin Metaverse concept. Technical and artistic creators will be able to seek support on the platform, building up their community there.
It’s essential for the new metaverse blockchain to be carbon-free, so we can expect its work on a proof-of-stake consensus. More specific details are here to come.
One of the first notable LAMINA1 investors is Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin. Neal Stephenson himself would bring his ‘vision, wisdom, experience, and some core goals’, Bitcoin Foundation chairman and LAMINA1 co-founder Peter Vessenes says.
Vessenes will be focused on getting the blockchain off the ground quickly as he works to get “the necessary governance, technology, node operators, IP partners, artists, business partners, and funds up and running.”
When Neal Stephenson created the Metaverse word 30 years ago, he couldn’t foresee high-quality video games rolling out to consumers on a mass scale in the future, he confessed.
“Thanks to games, billions of people are now comfortable navigating 3D environments on flat 2D screens. The UIs that they’ve mastered (e.g. WASD + mouse) is not what most science fiction writers would have predicted. But that’s how path dependency in tech works,” the author explains.
So users can expect no AR/VR-metaverse with a good-old mouse/keyboard 3D environment.
What Stephenson’s Metaverse was about?
In 1992 Stephenson released his Snow Crash novel, in which the Metaverse term was first used.
Actually, Stephenson popularized this concept along with the avatar term in a computing context. Snow Crash’s
Metaverse is a virtual reality-based Internet that should have evolved in the near future.
The concept then was widely used by videogame developers and sci-fi filmmakers.
Between 2014 and 2020 Stephenson also served as the chief futurist for an augmented reality firm called Magic.
His last sci-fi book Termination Shock, published in November 2021, is a climate fiction novel about solar geoengineering.