I Followed Hiro Protagonist into the Metaverse and Now I’m Stuck by@Tom

I Followed Hiro Protagonist into the Metaverse and Now I’m Stuck

The metaverse is a virtual world, unrestrained by the laws of physics, it gives way to a land purely based on information theory powered by ones and zeroes. Anything you can imagine is possible in the metaverse, except when your internet drops out, as I am intermittently reminded. Tom is a crypto content writer at [Cointree] who sells tokens that people use to swap and gain entry to the Metaverse. He says we must ensure we use it to enhance our lives, not escape from it.
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Tom Chanter

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I thought the metaverse was stupid at first, but I was wrong. The metaverse is going to have a huge impact on our world, and I’m excited for what comes next. That being said, we must ensure we use the metaverse to enhance our lives, not escape from it.



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Who am I?

I’m Tom, a crypto content writer from Australia.


I thought the metaverse was stupid at first. I grew up as one of those ‘outdoors kids’, always kicking the football or going surfing. The idea of living in the metaverse seemed unnatural to me. Of course, I was wrong.


Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

I realised I was wrong during the world’s longest lockdown in Melbourne, Australia.


Working remotely, I spent most of my day on Slack huddles or Zoom calls and then most of my nights on Twitter and Discord with a jpeg/NFT profile picture. Surprisingly, after a few weeks, it felt normal.


With restaurants and cinemas closed, the Twitter spaces and Discord servers were a new place to go. The food sucked but the conversations were great.


Please sum up what the metaverse is in 1 to two paragraphs.

It wasn’t until I read the infamous cypberpunk book based in the metaverse, Snow Crash, that I realised I had gone somewhere other than my apartment when I visited those Discord servers and Twitter spaces; I’d visited the beginnings of the metaverse.


Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

That book was where the word ‘metaverse’ was first coined, by the obtuse and brilliant novelist Neal Stephenson. Giving the lead character the name Hiro Protagonist, he didn’t only predict the rise of the metaverse and how it would become interwoven with our lives, he knew some would take it a little too seriously. Hiro’s a good reminder that the metaverse is both completely real and completely fiction at the same time; a new internet reality.


Snow Crash even inspired me to venture into the decentralised metaverse known as Decentraland.


Of course, it’s not finished yet. But the metaverse isn’t only about gaming.


Ultimately, the metaverse is a virtual world, unrestrained by the laws of physics, it gives way to a land purely based on information theory powered by ones and zeroes. Anything you can imagine is possible in the metaverse, except when your internet drops out, as I am intermittently reminded.

Are you currently, directly or indirectly, working on building a metaverse?

A picture of Illuvium I took for an article on NFT games.

A picture of Illuvium I took for an article on NFT games.

Indirectly, sure. I write about the metaverse working as a crypto content writer at Cointree. We sell the tokens that people use to swap and gain entry to the metaverse — Ethereum and Solana. We also have metaverse tokens like Sandbox and Decentraland, which I write about in articles like this one on NFT games.

In your opinion, is the metaverse inevitable, or is it just another passing trending tech topic that'll lose hype?

I think the ‘metaverse’ buzzword is a passing phenomenon. It has become a bit of a joke now. However, interactions through online worlds will grow exponentially for gaming and business. For example, many of the social aspects of networking and remote work will move to the metaverse. And it’ll feel so natural by then that we don’t even consciously realise that we’re in a metaverse.

Why is the metaverse such a revolutionary concept?

It’s revolutionary because we can own property in cyberspace. Gaming has always been artificial because it has no real-world impact.


The virtual world becomes much more real now that it has a real economy.


Coins in the Sandbox metaverse.

Coins in the Sandbox metaverse.

At its core, money is a tool to signal our preferences. This will make both the economic and social development of the metaverse much more complex and interesting.

What can people build in the metaverse that we can't build on the Internet, or in virtual reality today? What limitations of our current technology does the metaverse free us from?

You can curate a museum that houses a hundred million dollars worth of art. Thanks to NFTs, we now have price signals that show us what art is most valued by society. Like it or not, this has always been an important part of art. Most people don’t visit the Mona Lisa because they inherently love the painting, they visit it because they want to see what the fuss is all about — they visit it because hundreds of millions of other people also visit it.


Credit: Delta Reality

Credit: Delta Reality

There’s already a museum in the metaverse. The Museum of Digital Life (MoDaL) was created by XR studio Delta Reality in a self-contained metaverse. It houses digital art and anyone, anywhere in the world can visit.

How are the metaverse and blockchain related? Can we build a metaverse without blockchain technology?

Yes, we can build a metaverse technology without blockchain technology, but that would be like building a city where the state owns everything and you have no property rights. Blockchain will be at the core of the most popular metaverse platforms because people will choose to visit a metaverse that they have verifiable control over their virtual goods.

How quickly do you think the metaverse will be developed? How much can we expect metaverse tech to grow in the next 5 to 10 years?

It’s going to grow fast. With big tech companies like Facebook and crypto innovators both acquiring talent and investing significant capital, this space will move quickly. Much like social media platforms, the most valuable part of a metaverse will be the network of people in it.


Companies and DAOs building metaverses know they have to move fast and grow, otherwise a competitor will gain a network advantage that makes them impossible to catch.

What is your hope for the metaverse? Do you have any worries or does the concept pose any threats?

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook's virtual reality.

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook's virtual reality.

I worry Facebook will build a walled garden metaverse and millions of people will be there. But I don’t worry that much. People generally choose to live in freer societies with more autonomy when they have a choice, and now that decentralised networks exist, more people will choose this option.

Thanks for your time! Any final words?

Ready Player One by Steven Spielberg

Ready Player One by Steven Spielberg

I worried it was unnatural to spend all of your time in the metaverse. I still think that’s true. Just like Steven Spielberg teaches us in his metaverse movie Ready Player One, we can’t forget about life in the real world too. The metaverse must be an enhancement to our lives, not an escape.



This article is part of The Gaming Metaverse Writing Contest hosted by HackerNoon in partnership with The Sandbox.


Submit your #gaming-metaverse story today for your chance to win up to $2000.

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