09 Jun 2022

Neal Stephenson, the father of the Metaverse, launching a Metaverse blockchain

Neal Stephenson, the father of the Metaverse, launching a Metaverse blockchain

Neal Stephenson, the author who originated the phrase "Metaverse" 30 years ago, is establishing a blockchain project called LAMINA1 that will focus on the Metaverse.

Neal Stephenson changed his Metaverse concept, suggesting that the experience will more likely be focused on flat 2D screens rather than virtual reality or augmented reality technology such as headgear and glasses, as suggested by Meta and Microsoft.

Stephenson is a well-known speculative fiction author who, in his 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, explores the notion of a virtual reality realm dubbed the Metaverse. In addition to writing, the 62-year-old worked as the chief futurist at Magic, an augmented reality (AR) company, from 2014 to 2020.

Stephenson and OG crypto investor and former Bitcoin Foundation chairman Peter Vessenes have co-founded a new layer-1 blockchain dubbed LAMINA1 that they believe will serve as the "foundation layer for the Open Metaverse," according to a June 8 statement from Vessenes.

Vessenes claimed that the network will "probably" be carbon negative and that it will "prioritize" creators, both technical and creative, as well as give assistance, spatial computing technology, and a community to help those who are building out the Metaverse.

At this point, there are few specifics about the project, however, Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin is listed among the initiative's early backers.

Neal brings his ambition, wisdom, expertise, and some core goals to LAMINA1, according to Vessenes: "aiding provide artists and other value creators properly paid for their work, helping the environment and seeing a truly Open Metaverse built rather than seeing the Metaverse vision co-opted by giant corporations."

As he tries to get "the appropriate governance, technology, node operators, IP partners, artists, commercial partners, and money up and running," Vessenes stated that he will be focusing on getting the blockchain off the ground soon.

The Metaverse is a virtual urban environment that can be accessed by a worldwide fiber-optic network and virtual reality headsets, according to Stephenson's novel from 1992. The book touches on socioeconomic inequality, centralized control, incessant advertising, as well as the notion of virtual real estate.

On Twitter earlier today, Stepheson expressed his thoughts on the Metaverse, predicting that much of the Metaverse will be built for displays rather than VR headsets. When Stephenson originally wrote about it three decades ago, he didn't imagine high-quality video games becoming widely available to customers in the future.

“Billions of people are now accustomed to navigating 3D scenes on flat 2D screens thanks to gaming. Most science fiction writers would not have foreseen the UIs they've perfected (e.g. WASD + mouse). However, this is how route dependence works in the computer world.”

Stephenson went on to say that present game production is still centered on displays for both the developer and the customer and that in the Metaverse, a hybrid method that includes both 2D screens and AR/VR technology, rather than just VR, will be used.