The metaverse is a term popularized in science-fiction writing, first coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 book 'Snow Crash.' It has since been adopted as a way of thinking about a future evolution of the Internet; characterized by a seamless 'extended reality' between fluid physical-virtual spaces, complete with the interoperability and fluidity such an experience would demand.

In this discussion, we outline vectors and manifestations of proto-metaversal experiences including how Covid-19 has polarized our physical and virtual experiences, why gaming leads the conditions for the metaverse, and how work is the likely arena for a metaverse to congregate around.

We use case studies from gaming, entertainment, video conferencing and work to think about how the metaverse may develop in the near future.

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