Field notes weekly #3

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: 69,279


I haven’t been writing much, instead spending the time re-organizing my personal notes and sources. But I thought it might be fun to share more about what these sources are and how I use them: What are these “Fieldnotes”, exactly? – Fieldnotes from the Metaverse.

Reading & Watching

I have been watching a lot of “The Future Of X” videos recently to get a better idea how different organizations and industries viewed the metaverse, and what narratives they wanted to establish. Here are some highlights:

IP and Metaverse(s) – a research report commissioned by the UK Government

This is a pretty good report on potential intellectual property (IP) issues that relate to the development of the Metaverse. That said, it’s good in the sense that it concedes that the whole field is a mess, driven by relatively clear physical realities (“virtual worlds run in databases on a computer owned by a legal entity“) and the contradicting expectation of inhabitants (“this is my property because I bought this in a virtual shopping mall“). This is actually a big topic in the upcoming interview with Julian Dibbell.

“This study highlights that: there is no consensus of what the Metaverse specifically entails and whether and in what form we may experience and access it now or in the future and it is therefore difficult to anticipate specific IP issues and challenges.”

“IP and Metaverse(s) – an externally commissioned research report”

Introducing Metaverse for education and research

SURF (a cooperative association of Dutch educational and research institutions) published a Metaverse report to capture the current state of the metaverse narrative by experts and institutions. But I’m more impressed by the introduction: It’s short, but goes into many of the different narratives and perspectives, from cyberpunk to mirror worlds to immersion & presence to Web3. Many thumbs up!

Overall, the Metaverse can be described as a future vision of a fully immersive and interconnected digital reality, using 3D and XR technologies to connect the digital world seamlessly to the physical while the other terms describe various aspects of virtual environments and digital communication. It is both understandable and, arguably, useful that we are seeing some confusion and disagreement around the definitions and terms used to describe the Metaverse.

“Introducing Metaverse for education and research”

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