Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal.
By Rowynn Dumont, Agora Gallery (NYC) & COOPH Magazine (Austria)
Simulation is not just the reflection of ourselves in the mirror anymore. We can see the development of an “expanding network of persistent, real-time rendered 3D worlds and simulations,” what is now known as “the Metaverse,” in real-time through technological evolution. But, from where did this idea originate? What is the history of the Metaverse?
The term was first coined in the book “Snow Crash” in 1992 by the author Neal Stephenson. In the novel, the Metaverse is a virtual topography where real estate can be bought and sold, and humans interact with avatars (originally a Hindu concept) and other software programs.
Hiro, the main character in the book, is a pizza delivery driver and hacker who lives in squalor. When he plugs into the Metaverse, his physical surroundings disappear, and he is immersed in this digitized universe. Hiro owns property in this virtual realm and people have respect for him. In this altered state, one has the power to choose one’s own identity. You hold the power to change how others perceive you. Everything is a construct. Identity formation can be etched into your represented character within the realm of a Subjective becoming. One could relate this to the Lacanian “object of desire,” as that which is attainable within the reflection of ourselves through replicant duplication. In this way, the Metaverse generates the means to emulate our most wanted desires into a codified tokenization of digital civilization. Thus one’s identity in the Metaverse is a simulacrum within a Neo Nation-State. As Stephenson puts it, “You can look like a gorilla or a dragon or a giant talking penis.”
Outside of Stephenson, academics, philosophers, and pop culture icons have been skirting the territories of what is now commonly becoming accepted as a newly founded ‘ultra reality’ within the Metaverse. Particles of this can be seen in William Gibson’s short story, “Burning Chrome,” which was the first work to mention the concept of “cyberspace.” Gibson later develops this formerly abstract concept in his novel “Neuromancer:”
Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every…
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