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The Peripheral is debuting on Amazon’s Prime Video tomorrow as yet another way to understand the implications of the metaverse.
The television series is based on The Peripheral, a novel by William Gibson, who — before Neal Stephenson coined the term “metaverse” in 1992 with Snow Crash — gave us the term “cyberspace” in his short story Burning Chrome (1982) and his first novel Neuromancer (1984).
Why is this important? Well, science fiction, tech, and games are all converging. Things we thought were sci-fi are becoming real. And this topic is one of those we’ll discuss with Stephenson himself at our upcoming GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 event in San Francisco on October 25-26.
This show is yet another that lights the way to the metaverse. While the plot may be mysterious and complicated, it mirrors Stranger Things as well as Marvel’s efforts to explain the “multiverse” to us with The Avenger series and Dr. Strange movies. Audiences familiar with those works today should be able to grasp the kind of story we have here. And it’s no surprise that The Peripheral’s executive producers are Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, the creators of Westworld, which has its own complicated timelines.
This is good for the world because there should be more nerds, who are people thinking deeply about the world and the implications of technology for humanity. Science fiction is a way to make complex ideas more interesting to digest. And with the pandemic, we have more reason to think deeply and figure out hard problems.
Is it good?
So I hope it will be a good show. Is it a good show? I’ve seen a couple of episodes in advance and I think it’s well done. It gives you a …