The Metaverse Series is a forthcoming series of books from Taylor & Francis which will explore the role, opportunities and challenges of the Metaverse in the present and near future, from business and entertainment to our personal lives and to humanity’s future.
Social virtual worlds such as Active Worlds and Second Life gave an early glimpse of the possibilities of the Metaverse two decades ago. In recent years the widespread availability of virtual reality headsets, the pronouncements of companies like Meta and the increasing popularity of environments such as Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite and VRChat suggest that the Metaverse is a concept whose time may finally have come.
The Metaverse Series will take a critical view of the potential and opportunities, dangers and challenges of the Metaverse. The series intends to focus more on the consensual social virtual space that the Metaverse creates rather than any specific technology used to build it. The value of the Metaverse is that it offers people opportunities to transcend and blur personal, cultural, geographic and temporal barriers, and even physical existence. Equally, inappropriate use may result in unimaginative education, unproductive collaboration, intolerance and psychological abuse, corporate greed and profiteering, and even government surveillance and control. Whilst many of its features are already finding their way into everyday activities, these early manifestations give little sense of the long term impact that the Metaverse could have on the future of humanity. Yet, even the form and scope of the “metaverse” are subject to debate, and this series will aim to ensure that such discussion is well informed.