Tech CEOs keep talking about “the metaverse.” Mark Zuckerberg insists that Facebook will be seen as a “metaverse company” instead of a social media company. Satya Nadella proclaims Microsoft is creating a “metaverse stack” for the enterprise. We’ll explain what’s going on, starting with Snow Crash.
Author Neil Stephenson coined the term “metaverse” in Snow Crash, a dystopian cyberpunk novel published in 1992.
In the novel, the metaverse is a sort of 3D virtual world. It’s not simply a virtual reality game but is a persistent, shared virtual world. Or rather, the metaverse is a whole universe of shared virtual spaces seemingly linked together—you could, essentially, teleport between them.