Virtual realities have intrigued and inspired scientists and storytellers since at least the 1930s. Neil Stephenson’s prescient description of the Metaverse in his novel Snow Crash contemplated cryptocurrencies, history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography, memetics and philosophy in the Metaverse at a time prior to commercial use of the Internet. In the following decades, several successful implementations of a Metaverse appeared, most notably Linden Lab’s Second Life which was hugely popular, but crashed spectacularly in 2008 when it tried to extend its reach through a partnership with CBS television. Second Life created its own currency (Linden Dollars) which could be converted to fiat dollars. At its peak, Second Life had millions of users, a $2 billion economy, and a full-time economist (a position that also exists at Blizzard, EA and Sony game Metaverses). More recently, Meta, the firm previously known as Facebook, has spent $36 billion creating a poorly received Metaverse, and in doing so has lost 70% of its market value.
The tumultuous history of Metaverses has made them controversial, and thus worthy of academic study. This special issue of Data Science and Management encourages original, high-quality and wide-ranging research into the technologies, sociology, economics, business structure regulation and content moderation needed for a successful Metaverse.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Empirical studies using novel or available databases relevant to Metaverse implementations
- Studies on user interface and user experience design
- Applications to the Metaverse of theory from psychology, economics, social science and organizational behavior
- Technologies, current and future, for implementation of a Metaverse
- Scalable, robust business models for implementation of a Metaverse
- Currencies, cryptocurrencies and in-Metaverse economies and economic statistics
- Gaming and alternative lifestyles centered in a Metaverse
- Alternative near-Metaverse technologies, such as Apple’s mixed reality, Microsoft’s HoloLens, and Neuralink’s implants
Submission deadline: 30 September 2023
- Dr. Jian Mou, Associate Professor, Pusan National University, South Korea. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. J. Christopher Westland, Full Professor, University of Illinois-Chicago, USA. Email: email@example.com
For further enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and the editing team will respond promptly.