Neal Stephenson released the sci-novel Snow Crash in 1992, just years after the Internet first registered on the global consciousness. He probably couldn’t have anticipated the lasting effect it would have on the direction of the world then, or that his story would provide the formula for the future of the web.
Much of the novel’s frenetic plot occurs within the Metaverse, a virtual world accessed from a peripheral headset that taps into the senses. It’s a place where shrewd hackers can pick up a decent gig, if they’re smart about turning down offers from the more uptight gaming studios. You could spend your whole life there, so long as you’re wary of suspicious downloads from undisclosed webizens.
Stephenson’s Metaverse — and its major thoroughfare, the Street — inspired a generation of game developers and technologists to realize a Metaverse of our own. Put your goggles on, Chefs. We’re mapping the Metaverse.
Hiro’s not actually here at all. He’s in a computer-generated universe that his computer is drawing onto his goggles and pumping into his earphones. In the lingo, this imaginary place is known as the Metaverse. Hiro spends a lot of time in the Metaverse.
— Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
Our Metaverse will arise as the culmination of seemingly unrelated trends in entertainment and computer technology. Paragons from these disparate industries are working in tandem to define the bounds of a shared irreality that we may soon be able to enter at a whim from any screen on the planet. Salad has the same ambition.
We’re doing our part to fundamentally change the way we think about home computers. Thanks to everyone in the Kitchen, our network already outpaces multimillion-dollar data centers. Salad is bringing all of our gaming battlestations online to power and perpetuate the decentralized web. In time, our hardware will define the legacy of the Internet as we know it.
Every device on Earth may soon become a springboard to the psychic pool of the Metaverse. Our world already hosts innumerable entryways to that pan-human daydream, and there are billions more Internet-of-Things devices inbound. As the line between reality and fiction grows thin, we’ll help everyone leap the divide.
#MAPPINGTHEMETAVERSE SUMMER SERIES
In the summer of 2021, we lost some of our intrepid Chefs in the Metaverse. Our users helped amplify the signal of those transmissions so we could triangulate their location and bring them back to Reality.
Learn the basics in these classic #MappingtheMetaverse transmissions:
- What Is the Metaverse?
- Roblox Puts the “Me” in Metaverse
- Epic Games vs. Fortified Philosophies
- Are We Already in the Metaverse?
- The User-Generated Civilization of Roblox
- Fortnite Built the Metaverse On-Ramp
Now that we’ve established good comms with the other side, we can continue exploring that psychic terrain. Visit the Mapping the Metaverse catalog on the Salad Blog to read more from our ongoing feature series.