In the Lingo, This Imaginary Place Is Known as the Metaverse

Mark Zuckerberg? Neal Stephenson? William Gibson? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company was changing its name to Meta (full name Meta Platforms). Zuckerberg spoke about an immersive internet called the metaverse. I think some science fiction (SF) author coined the term metaverse. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: In 1992 prominent SF author Neal Stephenson published the novel “Snow Crash” with main character Hiro Protagonist. Stephenson used the term “metaverse” to refer to a technology he envisioned which combined virtual reality, augmented reality, and a social network. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

So 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.

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  1. 1993 (1992 Copyright), Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, Chapter 3, Quote Page 24, Bantam Books, New York. (Verified with scans)