The Metaverse: Fully Revised and Updated Edition: Building the Spatial Internet (Hardcover)

Pre-Order Now Badge
The Metaverse: Fully Revised and Updated Edition: Building the Spatial Internet By Matthew Ball Cover Image
Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now


“Ball’s lucid and timely book offers a portal into a new realm.”—The Economist

"The term “Metaverse” is thirty years old, yet only recently entered mainstream conversation, attracting both fascinating and skepticism. While some have promised its imminent arrival, in fact it will take a series of technological and societal leaps to realize its full potential. In The Metaverse, pioneering theorist, former tech executive, and acclaimed entrepreneur Matthew Ball offers an expansive tour of the “next internet”: he presents a comprehensive definition of the Metaverse (going far beyond mere virtual reality headsets), explains the technologies that will power it, addresses governance challenges, and predicts Metaverse winners and losers. Bringing clarity and authority to a frequently misunderstood concept, this revised and updated edition of Ball’s authoritative work demonstrates how the Metaverse will radically reshape society.

“A comprehensive guide to every aspect of the metaverse.”—John Thornhill, Financial Times

“Offers a better understanding of the metaverse than the novel that coined the term—1992’s Snow Crash.”—Cecilia D’Anastasio, Bloomberg

About the Author

Matthew Ball is an entrepreneur; angel investor; film, TV, and video game producer; and national and international best-selling author. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Time. Ball lives in Toronto, New York City, and Miami.

Praise For…

Just as the present internet can be described as a network of networks, so the metaverse will be the virtual world of all virtual worlds. This is the vision offered in The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything by Matthew Ball . . . Ultimately, the fundamental question [Ball addresses] has to do with the social value of the metaverse: Can a human life spent in a virtual world still flourish? [Ball believes] that it can. The structures of our personal and social lives . . . are just as meaningful whether the substrate is our physical reality or a digital world . . . What, by the way, will happen to the real world that so many of us are supposedly eager to leave behind? Mr. Ball is excellent on the enormous infrastructure investments required to build a metaverse.

— Steven Poole - Wall Street Journal

Mr. Ball’s summary of the history of virtual worlds, in both fiction and computer science, provides helpful context. But his book’s most valuable contribution may prove to be his definition of the metaverse . . . For anyone who wants to understand the process [of building the metaverse] and what is at stake, Mr. Ball’s lucid and timely book offers a portal into a new realm.
— The Economist

This is the big reason why Matthew Ball is so influential in shaping our understanding of a conceptual metaverse: he is a skilled communicator and writer with clarity of thought. His book is a showcase of this talent as he traces the contours of our theoretical, collective future. Matthew goes beyond jargon and marketing smoke and mirrors to shine a light on the challenges of evolving the internet. His book is essential reading to anyone interested not just in what digital life may evolve into, but how we’ve already evolved with it throughout time.
— Gene Park, reporter, Washington Post

[In] The Metaverse, Matthew Ball explains how it could operate in practice and explores how it might turn out to be a lot more exciting and beneficial invention than the miserabilists imagine, so long as we help shape its evolution . . . [written] in an informed and provocative style . . . it serves as a comprehensive guide to every aspect of the metaverse, from its technical underpinnings to its societal responsibilities.

— John Thornhill - Financial Times

The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything, offers a better understanding of the metaverse than the novel that coined the term ? 1992’s Snow Crash . . . it tactfully toes the line between enthusiasm and skepticism while weighing possible futures against infrastructural realities . . . A tour of metaverse concepts from heady theory to gritty technicalities

— Cecilia D'Anastasio - Bloomberg

Ball [is] clear and transparent on his assumptions and ground[s] his discussion in real data and facts. His analysis then manages to integrate logic, humor, and an appropriate degree of skepticism of the most extreme claims, often made by those with vested interests. The result is an entertaining and thought-provoking guide to the coming alternative virtual world that should prove indispensable to not just users and developers but investors, competitors, and regulators.
— Jonathan A. Knee - Business Insider

Matthew is the leading thinker on the metaverse and gaming, one of the leading thinkers on media… The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything, in my opinion, [is] the very best book on its topic… [I] recommend highly.

— Tyler Cowen - Conversations with Tyler

[Ball’s] book puts some meat behind the buzzword . . . his arguments are rooted in reality, and his optimism is tempered with the murkiness of real life . . . a good read that handles the hard work of describing the technology and defining the metaverse in elegant ways that don’t sacrifice all of the complexity. And so it’s worth your time, particularly if you want to know what the future is going to be about and whether the metaverse will truly generate trillions of dollars in new wealth.
— Dean Takahashi - VentureBeat

[A]n instant classic . . . detailed, meticulously researched, and dense with observations and insight. I read it twice, just to make sure I scooped up every gem within it . . . a must-read for those in digital media . . . I loved this book and can’t recommend it highly enough.
— Charlie Fink,

Written by luminary Metaverse theorist, essayist, and VC, Matthew Ball, this book explores the ‘next internet.’ Ball demonstrates that many proto-Metaverses are already here. Yet, these offer only a glimpse of what is to come . . . The Metaverse is a timely, authoritative overview of the subject. Don’t miss it!

— Cathy Hackl - Forbes

[Ball] has long been one of the most interesting writers analyzing the technological and cultural shifts behind the emergence of the Metaverse, and his new book, The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything, provides an informative account on where our online existence is heading…. [Ball] knows what he is talking about, and perhaps more importantly, when the enthusiastic prophets of the new digital age are blowing smoke… If Ball’s illuminating guide is anything to go by, there is a bright future ahead for those building the Metaverse — and time perhaps for the rest of us to dust off those mirror-shades.

— Paul Dicken - Los Angeles Review of Books

[P]rovides more than just a definitive definition of the metaverse, which despite mounting interest, many people still fail to fully understand . . . Much of the book is a breezy read . . . [it details] what systems will be necessary for the metaverse to thrive.
— Dov Greenbaum - Science

Intersperses anecdotes from the pre-Internet era with comprehensive current evidence to convince the reader that a scalable, interoperable metaverse is coming, and that it will be transformative…. Ball demystifies the narrative on the metaverse by clarifying [it]… We all may be understandably wary when it comes to the idea of the intrusion of the metaverse into our lives, but this book reinforces my belief in the need to seize the untouched opportunity.
— Pooja Singh, International Monetary Fund

A great historical perspective on technology and how it brought us to this point . . . an excellent book if people want to learn where we are and where we are going.
— Raju Mudhar - Toronto Star

Excellent . . . Chapters on bringing the various iterations of the developing metaverse together, making them interact, and the hardware required, are lucid and logical. The third section is even better. Ball prophesies about where and how the metaverse might arrive, and what it could do to our lives. Its strength is testament to years of thinking deeply about the area.
— Chris Stokel-Walker, New Scientist (UK)

For this emerging generation the metaverse will be a perfectly natural psychological extension of everything they have ever known. For the rest of us, who will soon need to catch up, Ball’s book is the best crash course we have.
— Kit Wilson, The Times (UK)

The Metaverse is a timely, authoritative, and accessible overview of the subject . . . well-pitched for the interested non-expert.

— Hilary Lamb, Engineering and Technology Magazine (UK)

Where big tech waffles about the metaverse while spending billions on making it a reality, Ball has exacting standards for what the metaverse must be and what would be needed to achieve it.
— James Ball - The Spectator

A robust explanation of a ‘persistent, 3D, virtual world—a network of interconnected experiences and devices, tools and infrastructure, far beyond mere virtual reality’…. A foremost expert on the metaverse, the author defines and demystifies what has yet to materialize, encouraging readers to suspend disbelief and instead consider the concept as they did their early interactions with tech innovations such as touchscreens, app stores, and Zoom… Readers will gain unprecedented insight into an otherwise insular aspect of the tech world.
— Kirkus Reviews

There is no better guide to where the Internet may—or may not—be heading... Ball has an intimate understanding of the work necessary to bring the metaverse to fruition, and what might derail it.
— Sue Halpern - New York Review of Books

I’m reading [The Metaverse]. It’s fascinating, because it’s both about the technical infrastructure that is being built and has yet to be built to really enable mass application of this digital existence—which I find so thought-provoking on an industrial, human, and creative level.

— Karlie Kloss
Product Details
ISBN: 9781324095286
ISBN-10: 1324095288
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2024
Pages: 480
Language: English