Field notes weekly #8

This is a weekly update on my progress to document the history, perspectives, and narratives of the metaverse. For more on the contents and structure of the book, please see “Structuring my field notes“.

Current book word count: 76,962


I have published a first work-in-progress look into the book. The sample chapters are lifted from the section “A new subculture is born”, which describes what led to the cyberpunk genre, how cyberpunk spawned different visions for digital virtual worlds, and how these visions influenced the development of the emerging Internet.

So far, the feedback has been very positive and I got some really deep and thoughtful comments – thank you all so very much! 🩵

I will be publishing more glimpses into the book every other week or so.

In terms of writing, I’m back at the Web3 chapters. I am still struggling with the structure of it, as I want to describe Web3 in the context of the desire to re-decentralize the Web, but the history is tightly coupled to cryptocurrencies being used as speculative asset. Specifically unbacked, unregulated zero-sum casinos, pyramid schemes, wash trading, securities fraud and overall market manipulation.

It’s hard to disentangle this mess without being overly judgmental or dismissive. I think I have rewritten the respective chapters in the book more than a dozen times and it just doesn’t feel right. It is a weird ecosystem within itself, maybe worthy of its own book. But for now, I need to make it work in this book, as one of the main metaverse narratives today.

I am also writing on some other articles not connected to the book. It feels good to regularly work on something else to clear my head – especially when I am a bit stuck. Those might end up in my medium blog, eventually.


I have finished writing up the interview with Edward Castonova and it will be published later this week. In our conversation, we talked about the economical, legal, and societal implications of virtual worlds and his motivations to (literally) make a case for the real-world value of virtual items.

This concludes the interviews from the “Terra Nova Era” and I will now focus on interviews around the “MMO-Web Era.”

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