John Wiley & Sons Making a Metaverse That Matters Cover An up-close account from the world's first metaverse-embedded reporter In Making a Metaverse That M.. Product #: 978-1-394-15581-1 Regular price: $28.88 $28.88 In Stock

Making a Metaverse That Matters

From Snow Crash & Second Life to A Virtual World Worth Fighting For

Au, Wagner James


1. Edition June 2023
384 Pages, Hardcover
Practical Approach Book

ISBN: 978-1-394-15581-1
John Wiley & Sons

Further versions


An up-close account from the world's first metaverse-embedded reporter

In Making a Metaverse That Matters: From Snow Crash & Second Life to A Virtual World Worth Fighting For, the celebrated author of The Making of Second Life and Game Design Secrets, Wagner James Au, delivers an engrossing exploration of how nascent metaverse platforms have already captured the imagination of millions. Featuring powerful stories and dozens of incisive interviews with insiders including Metaverse creator Neal Stephenson himself, the author uses his unique, grassroots-level perspective as the first reporter embedded in a metaverse platform. Readers will learn about:
* How to understand and define the Metaverse and cut through the many myths and misconceptions around it.
* A behind-the-scenes account of launching Second Life, the first metaverse platform to achieve mainstream awareness, and what its many controversies teach us.
* Where current platforms Meta, Roblox, Fortnite, VRChat, and Lamina1, Neal Stephenson's own metaverse startup, fit in the ecosystem.
* How to address the many dangers inherent in the Metaverse before it becomes central to the Internet.

Perfect for XR industry members and indie creatives, Making a Metaverse That Matters is also for tech professionals, virtual world communities, and anyone interested in the future of culture and commerce.

Preface xiii

Introduction: Five Stories about Five Core Metaverse Concepts xix

Part I Conception 1

Chapter 1 Crash Course--A Simple History of a Complex Idea 3 Creating the Metaverse Immediately after Snow Crash 7 Reclaiming the Metaverse's Definition Taken from Its Source 11

Chapter 2 Second Life and the Mystery of the First Metaverse Platform 23

Chapter 3 How Facebook Became Meta (But Lost the Metaverse on the Way) 77

Part II Realization 101

Chapter 4 Kid Stuff: Minecraft, and the Rise of Roblox 103

Chapter 5 Battle Royale for the Fortnite Metaverse 127

Chapter 6 Neal Stephenson Enters the Metaverse-- Lamina1, Blockchain, and the Utopia of Ownership 141

Chapter 7 VRChat and Finding Furry Anime Utopia 161

Part III Promises and Perils 185

Chapter 8 VR, Interoperability, Web3, and Other Metaverse Myths 187

Chapter 9 Sex, Abuse, and the Eternal Content Moderation Challenge 205

Chapter 10 Metaverse Real-World Use Cases--Separating Substance from Hype 225

Chapter 11 Overcoming the Metaverse Age Cliff and the Immersion Funnel 249

Part IV A Metaverse Worth Fighting For 263

Chapter 12 Future Paths 265

Chapter 13 Future Pitfalls--Manipulation, Takedowns, and the Experience Machine 279

Chapter 14 Metaverse Lessons for the Next 30 Years 295

Glossary 319

Appendix A: Rules for Avatar Radicals and Reformers 323

Appendix B: Advice for Metaverse Reporters 329

Acknowledgments 331

About the Author 333

Index 335
WAGNER JAMES AU is the author of The Making of Second Life (HarperCollins, 2008), based on his experiences as the first journalist officially embedded in a metaverse platform, and Game Design Secrets (Wiley, 2012). His writing about virtual worlds has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Polygon, among many other publications. His blog New World Notes ( is the longest-running news site devoted to the Metaverse.