The metaverse: how did we get here?

You might be surprised to learn that the term metaverse has been with us since the early 90s. As the digital world we know and love today edges towards the big 3–0, we take a look back at the journey towards the new norm, as well as why our industry continues to embrace it with open arms.

In a recent piece, we gave our lowdown on what the digital world actually is in our Welcome to the metaverse blog. So, now we know why we love the metaverse, here’s everything you need to know about where the concept comes from.

The Origins

Originating in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel, Snow Crash, the term was first used to describe a virtual, reality-based alternative, and eventual successor, to the internet. The flexibility in its original definition has meant that the term itself can adopt a multitude of meanings — none of which contradict with its past uses.

The fact that the metaverse is driven by individual experience gives it an enormous sense of shape-shifting freedom — an edge that’s become the driving force behind its creativity. Like Stephenson’s definition, which was later reimagined in Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One, the metaverse can be redefined limitlessly.

If you’ve been gaming for a while you may look at some descriptions of the metaverse and wonder what is new about it. After all, gamers have been socialising in online experiences since the 90s thanks to the likes of Second Life, World of Warcraft and social games like Farmville. But it’s not just about digital socialising

The real value of the metaverse comes from the collaborations it enables between the physical and virtual worlds. Between digital dancefloors and your favourite artists, real brands and virtual buyers. It’s this crossover which helps travellers through the metaverse create unforgettable memories.

Accelerated ascension

So what transformed the metaverse into popular culture’s hottest trend? Well, like so many of the other changes our world has seen over the last year, it’s recent explosion in recognition is a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. While no one would have wished for the world to come crashing to a halt, in many ways the gaming industry was perfectly placed to help the world come to terms with our new environment.

The metaverse meant our in-game community was still able to come together and celebrate important events such as Thanksgiving, Fashion Week and Pride Month. Every day, close to 1,000,000 Avakin’s login, team up and share their lives together. The metaverse has become their home from (and sometimes at) home.

The rest of 2021 is guaranteed to see the metaverse continue to dip into other aspects of the wider world. And we have some very exciting partnerships and events on the way — so watch this space!

What the future holds

There are some technological developments on the horizon that could pave the way for a newlook metaverse. The shift towards the increased data transfer rate that more widespread use of 5G will bring is set to enable internet connection in even more synchronised real-time. Virtual concerts will soon be experienced by millions more gig-goers simultaneously. Add that to the 14,000,000 plus who attended our Solar Sounds Festival in July, and the potential “metaverse numbers” become staggering.

The pandemic has also played a pivotal role in further reducing apprehension of digital experiences outside of the gaming community. So-called “non-gamers” are discovering the joys of our community for the first time — and we welcome them with open arms!

Unlike many, Avakin Life doesn’t require cat-like dexterity — or a plethora of cheat codes in order to flourish in-game. Just an appetite for creativity and a desire to play an active role in positive safe-spaces for everybody. We know we’re not alone either. Just like Niantic, we firmly believe that the metaverse should be underpinned by the want to “build a better future”.

There’s certainly work to be done, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun doing it along the way!

How do you predict the next 29 years of the metaverse panning out? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or drop us a message on Instagram!




We’re Lockwood Publishing, leading independent developers and creators of Avakin Life.

Recommended from Medium Tutorial 🧪

Where have all the Graphics Cards Gone?

Please Don’t Judge White People by Xbox Live

62 Most Popular Mobile Development Blogs [2020]

The Gamer Who Came in From the Cold pt. 3

The Safari Zone (For Ashton James)

Halo Infinite Glitch Is Erasing Player’s Progress and Other Gaming Stories

Virtual Skies are Full of Real Idiots

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Lockwood Publishing

Lockwood Publishing

We’re Lockwood Publishing, leading independent developers and creators of Avakin Life.

More from Medium

Make this Holiday a Million Girls Moonshot

The Metaverse: from “Ready Player One” to Capitalist Hellscape

Marbles and pinky promises