The Metaverse and You: What the REAL Metaverse Looks Like

Jason Dookeran
5 min readNov 8, 2022
This isn’t REALLY what it looks like.

In 2021, the CEO of Facebook (now Meta), Mark Zuckerberg, announced that they would create a virtual world named The Metaverse. This, by itself, was not surprising. Facebook is well-known for trying things within the social media space. Even with Facebook’s ham-handed approach to the announcement and Zuck’s Bill Gates impression giving people feelings of discomfort for years, they weren’t the first to have the idea. The idea and even the name was taken from the decentralized web (web3). And the idea is the complete opposite of what Facebook or any corporate overlord would want for the future of the internet.

Where Does The Metaverse Come From?

It came from the pages of a book

The term “Metaverse” is a strange combination of English and Greek roots. Meta in modern usage defines something self-referential (e.g., metadata or metaphysics). The verse has been the short form for “universe” since the 80s. However, the first person to combine these things into one word was Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. The novel presents the Metaverse as a shared virtual reality that everyone can use for everything from parties to education.

Another example is Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, released in 2011. Tabletop RPG games like Cyberpunk 2077 have also referenced the Metaverse in their gameplay, with edge runners accessing an interlinked neural network with an overlay to interact with it. It’s no wonder Facebook’s idea of the Metaverse was some VR/AR hybrid thing. The problem is that it’s not the first nor the actual representation of what the Metaverse should be.

Web3 and the Real Metaverse

Also not how it looks

If Facebook wasn’t the first to come up with the idea, who was? The Decentralized web, also known as web3, were the first people to coin the term “metaverse” when dealing with a reality layered on our own. Yet, instead of seeing that as a VR/AR future with quirky avatars and the like…

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Jason Dookeran

Freelance author, ghostwriter, and crypto/blockchain enthusiast. I write about personal finance, emerging technology and freelancing