Our Top 5 Books You MUST Read (If You Wanna Work in The Metaverse...)
So you wanna get into VR and you don’t know where to start.
Well, you can find tons of online resources—youtube and the like, but what about something to get you into the vibe of it all? The feeeeeling?
Here at BroadVersity we say there are 4 books you’ve got to read if you wanna work in the metaverse/virtual reality. Uhh, 4? Isn’t the title of this blog 5?! Yeah, stick with us, we’ll get there.
Let’s jump right in:
1. READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline
Quintessential virtual reality/metaverse pop culture reference right here. We begin with the one most people have likely heard about due to the 2018 Steven Spielberg film (attaching that guy to anything will get it at least a little attention winkwink).
The story follows Wade Watts on his journey through The Oasis and how his life develops and changes as a result of his journey in The Metaverse (The Oasis plays the role of premiere Metaverse/Virtual Reality platform in the story). But enough spoilers! We’re not here to give the game away, you’re gonna have to pick it up for yourself.
Here from the Broadway side of things and thinking there’s no way this book could interest you? Think again. When our social media manager Sasha (a Broadway junkie with very little vr experience, if any) joined the BroadVersity/Apples and Oranges team, this book was suggested to her early on, and here’s her reaction, no spoilers!
“Honestly, it took me a while to get into it. It felt like an assignment (though Tim didn’t force me to read it or anything, it just felt like I should). I slogged through the first bit of it like a high schooler reading This Side of Paradise…and then there was a moment that made me audibly gasp. I threw my hand up to my face to cover my mouth and was INSTANTLY invested in the story. Then it was a quick journey through the rest. Very fun adventure, not at all what I expected.”
It feels both futuristic and very current all at the same time. Give it a read, seriously! You won’t regret it.
2. SNOW CRASH by Neil Stephenson
You’ve gotta give this guy accolades. Without Stephenson we might not have the term The Metaverse at all! That’s right, Snow Crash gave us the moniker we use today.
This 1992 science fiction novel focuses on a hacker who is a pizza delivery guy for the Mafia, if you can believe that. It explores the boundaries of what it means to be human in a digital world.
Stephenson garnered many awards for this novel and has the community’s respect for including history, linguistics, anthropology, politics, philosophy and more all in one book.
A great read in its own right, we’ve included it on our list because of it’s importance around yes, the author coining the term The Metaverse, but also his explanation of what it could be. He saw it as a successor to the internet (interesting as many today see it as a part of the internet), and wrote of what he imagined that next step could be in a few years. As we sit here thirty years later…well, you read the book and tell us if you think he was right!
3. AI 2041
A newer addition by far than the previous two books, AI 2041 by Chen Qiufan blends classic storytelling with emerging technology to juxtapose the benefits and concerns that rapidly approach.
Unlike Ready Player One and Snow Crash, Qiufan writes about virtual reality and the metaverse in a time when they already exist. He doesn’t have to imagine that wild idea for the future—it’s here. Chen Qiufan has a wealth of experience working in technology and is quoted in TIME saying of his book, “So as someone who has studied and worked in AI for the better part of four decades, I thought it would be valuable to write a book, AI 2041, focused on the thought experiment describing how AI will transform the world in twenty years.”
He goes on to say that soon enough AI (artificial intelligence) will know us better than we know ourselves. Yikes. A scary thought, to be sure, but also a worthwhile read.
4. Metaverse: An AR Enabled Guide to VR & AR by Charlie Fink
Ready for a wild one!? This book comes with AR enabled features! How much better could it get? You’re learning about AR/VR/The Metaverse with practical application right in front of your face. That’s the magic of this technology at work.
Charlie Fink covers AR and VR for Forbes of all places, so you know he’s legit, but did you know that our own co-founder Tim Kashani wrote a chapter in this book?? I suppose that makes us a tiny bit bias, but we’re into it anyway!
We’ve got one more uber cool element to mention before we stop gushing about this one: he constantly updates it! That’s right, because it’s a living document with all those VR/AR features, Charlie makes sure that his work stays up-to-date. What a champ, whew, we appreciate it!
5. THE METAVERSE by Matthew Ball
Didn’t we promise we’d explain ourselves? Yes, this list is both a 4 and 5 book recommendation all at once—because this last one hasn’t been released yet! But we’re close. Mere days from The Metaverse coming out, we recommend it because of the previous (excellent) work done by Matthew Ball in this field.
While you’re waiting to grab a copy of his newly penned piece, take a look at his website and his Metaverse Primer.
The Metaverse comes out July 19th, but you can pre-order it along with us and be on the bleeding edge!
Drop us a comment if you’ve read any of these books, or if you’re adding them to your list as we speak!