Successor to The Mobile Internet
Since the idea of the Metaverse really arrived in people’s consciousness late last year with Mark Zuckerberg’s rebranding of Facebook to Meta and his subsequent declaration that “[…] the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet”, we have seen a surge in interest in the Metaverse, Web3, and literature such as books.
General understanding of the Metaverse for the average layman is that it is virtual reality (VR) with headsets and gaming, yet it is so much more than that — and will continue to evolve as we move deeper into this decade.
As the shift in technological innovation moves away from Web 2.0 to Web3 applications, the way we use social media, the Internet, and how we shop and get our entertainment, will be swallowed up in the new platform. And as it happens, companies like Meta, Amazon and others will take advantage of it along with the plethora of Web3/Metaverse startups that have come about during this disruptive time.
To celebrate this, the Metaverse Insider has collated a list of ten of the best reads out there for 2022 on the Metaverse and Web3. These are not book reviews — more a guide to what reads are available online and in book stores.
It’s more than two decades since The Matrix hit our movie screens; almost thirty years since Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash was first published. Those were two precursors of a modern world, one taking us away from the physical to the realm of the virtual.
The ten books here do exactly the same. Enjoy.
1. The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything by Matthew Ball
Publication date: (19 July 2022)
Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of an American video game, software developer and publisher Epic Games, said of the book The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything:
“Matthew Ball’s essays have defined, analyzed, and inspired the Metaverse for years. His book is an approachable and essential guide to the strategic, technical, and philosophical foundations of this new medium.”
That’s about all the validation you need, I’d say.
Taking us on an expansive tour of the “next internet,” Ball — the CEO of EpyllionCo and the former global head of strategy for Amazon Studios — demonstrates that many proto-Metaverses are already here, such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox. Yet these offer only a glimpse of what is to come. Ball presents a comprehensive definition of the Metaverse before explaining the technologies that will power it — and the breakthroughs that will be necessary to fully realize it. He addresses the governance challenges the Metaverse entails; investigates the role of Web3, blockchains, and NFTs; and predicts Metaverse winners and losers. Most importantly, he examines many of the Metaverse’s almost unlimited applications.
Talking exclusively to the Metaverse Insider, Ball had this to say about his work:
My book explains what the Metaverse is and isn’t, where it comes from, why it matters (and why now), how it’ll be built (and what it needs), what sorts of experiences it’ll enable, where it’s going, the businesses that will be built for it, who is likely to lead it, the likely regulatory response, as well as what we can’t know for now. But the purpose of the book was to make it easier for everyone — consumers, voters, developers, users — to positively affect the trajectory and future of the Metaverse.
For an expert who has written essays that have appeared in the New York Times, the Economist, Bloomberg and on his popular website, MatthewBall.vc., Ball is — like Kathy Hackl (more about her a bit later) — one of the most preeminent thought leaders in the Metaverse space.
This book, then, is essential reading.
2. The Metaverse: Prepare Now For the Next Big Thing! by Terry Winters
Publisher: Independently published
Publication date: (August 27, 2021)
Curious about the Metaverse but can’t quite wrap your head around it? Maybe you want to get a headstart but don’t know where to begin? Then the Metaverse Insider has just the books for you, The Metaverse: Prepare Now For the Next Big Thing!, a book written by Terry Winters.
A nice easy read and a great practical primer and introduction to get you into Web3 and all it entails, in it you will learn why and how we should prepare for a new digital renaissance and what it means in terms of job opportunities, investments and new business models.
3. Charlie Fink’s Metaverse — An AR Enabled Guide to AR & VR by Charlie Fink
Publisher: Cool Blue Media
Publication date: (8 Jan. 2018)
A tech journalist who writes about VR and AR for Forbes — Charlie Fink’s Metaverse — An AR Enabled Guide to AR & VR brings Fink’s thirty-five years of experience as an entertainment and technology executive to what he calls “the greatest business and technology story of our time”.
Along with his collaborators, Fink has created a guide to emerging VR and AR that is engaging to professionals, accessible to non-technical readers and relentlessly entertaining to everyone.
4. Learning in Metaverses: Co-Existing in Real Virtuality (Advances in Educational Technologies and Instructional Design) by Eliane Schlemmer
Publisher: IGI Global
Publication date: (30 Dec. 2014)
Eliane Schlemmer’s Learning in Metaverses: Co-Existing in Real Virtuality (Advances in Educational Technologies and Instructional Design) was published way back in 2014 when the Metaverse — in theory at least — didn’t even exist, or in its infancy as far as the application and realization of this new technological paradigm was concerned.
And eight years on, this book still has certain relevance, as it discusses a better way to understand this universe, exploring the possibilities of new social organization through the use of avatars in virtual worlds. Examining platforms such as Web3D, Metaverse, MDV3D, ECODI, hybrid living and sharing spaces, gamification, alternate reality, mingled reality, and augmented reality to evaluate the possibilities for their implementation in education, this book will be of use to academics, educators, students, researchers, gamers, and professionals.
Though not as evergreen in relevant content as some of the others books on the list, worth the read anyway.
5. The Augmented Workforce: How the Metaverse Will Impact Every Dollar you Make by Cathy Hackl and John Buzzell
Publisher: Renown Publishing
Publication date: (23 May 2021)
The Augmented Workforce: How the Metaverse Will Impact Every Dollar you Make was written by none other than the “Godmother of the Metaverse”, Cathy Hackl, along with her co-author, award-winning technology leader, John Buzzell.
Hot off the press, this book is loaded to the teeth with insight into the Metaverse, arming you with frameworks and examples to tackle the rapid disruption happening in every industry. This book is for business leaders who want to learn more about 5G, AI, augmented reality, and other areas of emerging tech. It explains how you can wield this new tech for scale and revenue growth. As you read, you’ll hear real-life examples from business leaders and authors — industry experts in technology years in the making. By the end, you’ll be seeing the world through AR glasses and AI applications, and at the speed of 5G.
This is one the Metaverse Insider definitely recommends.
6. The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything by Robert Scoble Patrick and Shel Israel
Publisher: Brewster Press; 1st edition
Publication date: (7 Dec. 2016)
Published over half a decade ago now, The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything by Robert Scoble Patrick and Shel Israel is really a business thinker’s guidebook to the near-term future. Scoble Patrick and Israel wrote it with the intention that readers would walk away understanding the massive changes rapidly arising so that they can navigate a successful course through the changes they will be facing sooner than they — or their competitors — may realize.
More than five years on, the book still has relevance and is easy to follow. Experts in their fields, the authors accurately focus on the new paradigms that await us in the future.
7. Navigating the Metaverse: A Guide to Limitless Possibilities in a Web 3.0 World by Cathy Hackl, Dirk Lueth and Tommaso Di Bartolo
Publication date: (28 June 2022)
Navigating the Metaverse: A Guide to Limitless Possibilities in a Web 3.0 World is another book written by that master of the Metaverse Cathy Hackl, co-authored by Dirk Lueth and Tommaso Di Bartolo, distinguished Silicon Valley thought leaders who deliver a startling and exciting guide to uncovering opportunities in this fast-moving, new, digital universe. From understanding Metaverse basics to commercial strategy and even launching your first Metaverse project, you’ll find practical and hands-on insight into this cutting-edge technology.
In the book, the authors analyze data and markets that erase any doubt that the Metaverse is, in fact, the next big thing, while also offering foundational knowledge about the Metaverse, Metaverse economy, Web3 technology, and more for people new to the subject. They also discuss the essential connection between metaverse environments, businesses, communities, and digital products that make the metaverse economy such a potent force.
You’ll get deep dives on topics like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and how to make the most of them, as well as frameworks to help find, nurture, measure, and monetize new innovations in the metaverse.
An essential read for entrepreneurs, executives and innovators seeking a place at the front of the line in a new age of online business, and a superb introduction for those just getting into this exciting new technological world who are unaware of the ins and outs of Web3.
8. Your Life In The Metaverse: Everything you need to know about the virtual internet of tomorrow by Gideon Burrows
Publication date: (26 Jan. 2022)
Like Hackl’s et al’s Navigating the Metaverse, Your Life In The Metaverse: Everything you need to know about the virtual internet of tomorrow by Gideon Burrows is a book published this year, so all the information comes with a perspective relevant to what is happening today in the Metaverse, unlike some of the other books on this list.
From the award-winning writer Gideon Burrows comes this easy-to-understand guide to everything you need to know about the Metaverse.
With humour and just the right amount of non-technical detail, Gideon Burrows leads you through what to expect from the Metaverse, what it will look like, and what you will need to think about to make the most of the platform. As well as how to protect your privacy, data, mental and physical health in a world where we spend almost every waking hour online.
9. Metaverse: The Visionary Guide for Beginners to Discover and Invest in Virtual Lands, Blockchain Gaming, Digital art of NFTs and the Fascinating technologies of VR, AR and AI by Clark Griffin
Publisher: Top Notch International
Publication date: (February 16, 2022)
Yet another book fresh off the press, Metaverse: The Visionary Guide for Beginners to Discover and Invest in Virtual Lands, Blockchain Gaming, Digital art of NFTs and the Fascinating technologies of VR, AR and AI by Clark Griffin contains some of the most up-to-date material on the Metaverse and NTFs available.
With clear explanations, this book goes through five low-risk ways to invest in the Metaverse and you will learn them by following this book. While there is — as with any type of investment — inherent risk, this book is an excellent primer on how it is possible to make money from the Metaverse.
10. What is the Metaverse?: The Virtual Future In A Guide and the Best Cryptocurrencies To Invest in 2022 by Peter Zakin
Publisher: Independently published
Publication date: (January 7, 2022)
The only independently published book on the list, Peter Zakin’s What is the Metaverse?: The Virtual Future In A Guide and the Best Cryptocurrencies To Invest in 2022 covers all the basic concepts of the Metaverse, including NFTs, cryptocurrencies, Web 2.0 versus Web3, virtual estate investing, and virtual reality (VR) in contrast to augmented reality (AR) along with many other things.
Not a bad read, though the majority of the books already mentioned do this and a lot more, too.