Making a Metaverse That Matters: From Snow Crash & Second Life to A Virtual World Worth Fighting For

  • 10h 54m 25s
  • Wagner James Au
  • Gildan Media
  • 2023

An up-close account from the world's first metaverse-embedded reporter

In Making a Metaverse That Matters: From Snow Crash & Second Life to A Virtual World Worth Fighting For, the celebrated author of The Making of Second Life and Game Design Secrets, Wagner James Au, delivers an engrossing exploration of how nascent metaverse platforms have already captured the imagination of millions. Featuring powerful stories and dozens of incisive interviews with insiders including Metaverse creator Neal Stephenson himself, the author uses his unique, grassroots-level perspective as the first reporter embedded in a metaverse platform. Listeners will learn about: how to understand the Metaverse and cut through the many myths and misconceptions around it; a behind-the-scenes account of launching Second Life, the first metaverse platform to achieve mainstream awareness, and what its many controversies teach us; where current platforms Meta, Roblox, Fortnite, VRChat, and Lamina1, Neal Stephenson's own metaverse startup, fit in the ecosystem; and how to address the many dangers inherent in the Metaverse before it becomes central to the Internet.

Perfect for XR industry members and indie creatives, Making a Metaverse That Matters is also for tech professionals, virtual world communities, and anyone interested in the future of culture and commerce.

About the Author

WAGNER JAMES AU is the author of The Making of Second Life (HarperCollins, 2008), based on his experiences as the first journalist officially embedded in a metaverse platform, and Game Design Secrets (Wiley, 2012). His writing about virtual worlds has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Polygon, among many other publications. His blog New World Notes ( is the longest-running news site devoted to the Metaverse.

In this Audiobook

  • Introduction: Five Stories about Five Core Metaverse Concepts
  • Chapter 1 - Crash Course—A Simple History of a Complex Idea
  • Chapter 2 - Second Life and the Mystery of the First Metaverse Platform
  • Chapter 3 - How Facebook Became Meta (But Lost the Metaverse on the Way)
  • Chapter 4 - Kid Stuff: Minecraft, and the Rise of Roblox
  • Chapter 5 - Battle Royale for the Fortnite Metaverse
  • Chapter 6 - Neal Stephenson Enters the Metaverse—Lamina1, Blockchain, and the Utopia of Ownership
  • Chapter 7 - VRChat and Finding Furry Anime Utopia
  • Chapter 8 - VR, Interoperability, Web3, and Other Metaverse Myths
  • Chapter 9 - Sex, Abuse, and the Eternal Content Moderation Challenge
  • Chapter 10 - Metaverse Real-World Use Cases—Separating Substance from Hype
  • Chapter 11 - Overcoming the Metaverse Age Cliff and the Immersion Funnel
  • Chapter 12 - Future Paths
  • Chapter 13 - Future Pitfalls—Manipulation, Takedowns, and the Experience Machine
  • Chapter 14 - Metaverse Lessons for the Next 30 Years
  • Afterword: Where in the Virtual World the Platforms and People from This Book Are Now
  • Appendix A: Rules for Avatar Radicals and Reformers
  • Appendix B: Advice for Metaverse Reporters