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We are excited that Neal Stephenson, author of the novel, will be our special guest speaker for GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 in San Francisco October 25-26. snow crash and the science fiction thinker who first coined the term metaverse.
This is a dreamy day for us geeks at GamesBeat, but it is also relevant to the world as Stephenson co-founded the blockchain gaming platform startup Lamina1. And he’s also become an advocate for the open metaverse, as it looks like the metaverse is moving from sci-fi to reality. In fact, McKinsey estimated that the metaverse will be worth $5 trillion by 2030.
Waves of hype are always pouring into the gaming industry, but we never know if they’re getting our feet wet or if they’re tidal waves that change the entire industry. GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 will explore the next big opportunities in a disciplined manner with industry thought leaders. With the discount code Dean50 you get a temporary 50% discount on the ticket price.
You don’t want to get FOMO about our event about the emerging areas of gaming that could become the next big markets. Our main sub-themes will focus on key areas and how they will grow in the post-pandemic world. Those sub-themes include the metaverse, user-generated content and the creative economy, influencers and the upheavals in marketing, non-replaceable tokens and cryptocurrency, emerging markets, subscription and cloud gaming, and the evolving infrastructure of games. And as always, we’ll be looking at deal closing and the financial trends in gaming.
Many of us consider this science fiction because the metaverse is the universe of virtual worlds all connected together, as in novels like snow crash. It’s no different from Marvel’s Multiverse, right?
Well, our session at the October 25-26 event in San Francisco will be titled, “From Science Fiction to Reality: Bringing the Open and Real-Time Metaverse to Life.” Stephenson coined the term “metaverse” in the 1990s when it was a science fiction vision for a digital world in which we could fully immerse ourselves in a virtual experience. Now we are much closer to turning that vision into a reality. But how do we do it so that it can be as fair as possible for independent creators and developers? We will talk about the requirements of an open metaverse and the technologies, policies and content to make it happen in a way that fits our collective imagination.
Stephenson is a bestselling author, futurist and visionary. Known for his works of speculative fiction, Stephenson has written for the past five decades on topics ranging from science fiction to technology to mathematics and philosophy.
Stephenson grew up among scientists and engineers in Midwestern college towns. After studying physics and geography at Boston University, he wrote his first novel The Big U, a campus satire, which was published in 1984. Four years later he published Zodiac, a thriller about an environmentalist’s struggle against corporate pollution. In 1992 Stephenson would reach his breakthrough moment with Snow Crash, a cyberpunk novel most famous for creating and coining the term “metaverse.”
Now a multimillion-selling New York Times acclaimed novel, Snow Crash is a must-read for many of the greatest minds in business and technology today. His next novel The age of diamonds went on to explore the possibilities of distributed payment systems in a global media network and won the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1996.
In 1999 Stephenson went on to publish cryptonomicona novel exploring everything from deciphering codes and cryptography during World War II to what a modern ‘data port’ or unregulated data server might look like in the future. cryptonomicon went on to win the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award and is often credited with inspiring a generation of cryptocurrency pioneers. In addition to writing, in the early 2000s, he became the first employee at Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin, where he spent nearly seven years. At Blue Origin, he worked with a small team of physicists and engineers to evaluate alternative approaches to space travel and propulsion systems.
Between 2003 and 2013, he published several additional novels and several shorter non-fiction pieces. His 2015 novel seveneves appeared on Bill Gates and Barack Obama’s summer reading lists. In 2014, Stephenson was hired as the chief futurist at Magic Leap, the world’s leading spatial computing company. There he led a substantive R&D team developing new augmented reality experiences. In June 2021, Stephenson and several colleagues were released New found land: The Long Haul, an audible audio drama based on the world they developed at Magic Leap. After departing from Magic Leap in 2020, he received an Epic MegaGrant to fund a virtual production project based on ideas from The Rise and Fall of DODOa 2017 novel he co-wrote with Nicole Galland.
Thirty years after Snow Crash was first published, Neal teamed up with crypto pioneer Peter Vessenes to finally bring his idea of the Metaverse to life. In June 2022, Stephenson launched Lamina1, a Layer-1 blockchain built specifically for Open Metaverse, where he is now co-founder and chairman.
Previously announced speakers
Mark Pincus, the co-founder and former CEO of Zynga (acquired by Take-Two Interactive earlier this year for $12.7 billion), pioneered social games and virtual goods to help establish gaming as a mass-market activity.
During Pincus’s run as CEO of Zynga, the company took the wave of social gaming on Facebook and then made a somewhat rocky transition to mobile. Under his tenure, the San Francisco company spawned big hits like FarmVille, CityVille, and FrontierVille. That brought in over a billion players, and it showed that a company could reach a lot more people than the hardcore gaming companies of the time.
Andrea Cutright is Head of Global Marketing, Prime Gaming & Game Growth at Amazon Games.
We also mentioned a number of other speakers. They include Umesh Lakshman, head of solutions architecture, West, media and entertainment at Lumen. He will talk in a session about the journey to build the real-time metaverse
We also have Uri Marchand, CEO of Overwolf, on a session on the future of user-generated content with Enrico D’Angelo, vice president of product, economics and ecosystems at Roblox; and Ada Duan, general manager of growth products and partnerships for Mojang Studios.
Our speakers will also include Jay Chang, Genopets co-founder and CMO; Joan Kim, investor, Samsung Next; Chris Early, senior vice president of strategic partnerships and business development at Ubisoft; Andrea Cutright, head of global marketing for Prime Gaming & Game Growth at Amazon Games; Mike Lucero, director of product management for gaming at Samsung; and Perrin Kaplan, former chief of marketing at Nintendo of America and co-founder of Zebra Partners.
We also have Will Wright, creator of Sim City, now co-founder of Gallium; and Matthew Ball, CEO of Epyllion and author of the popular book, The Metaverse.Wright will talk about his new startup, Gallium Studios, and his take on gaming in a fireplace chat with Peter Levin, managing partner at Griffin Gaming Partners, while Ball will expand into the open metaverse.
Neville Spiteri, CEO of the pioneering virtual reality company Wevr, will talk about the tools for next-generation game development. They are among the best visionaries in the industry with a track record of excellence. Renee Gittins, general manager of Phoenix Labs and former executive director of the International Game Developers Association, will be part of an interesting panel titled Soft Skills for Hard Problems. She will be joined by Aleissia Laidacker, mixed reality expert and head of product and technology at Open Meta Association.
Other panelists include Yaprak Decarmine, CEO of Game Jolt; Lauren Hetu, senior software engineer, Phoenix Labs; and Zak Whaley, technical director at PlayEveryWare. This speaker illustrates what we can learn from thinkers who solve modern problems in different ways.
Susan Bonds is CEO of 42 Entertainment.
We also have a good series of sessions on the rise of user generated content spearheaded by modding platform company Overwolf. Speakers include Overwolf’s Marchand and Shahar Sorek, Overwolf’s chief marketing officer.
Brooks Brown, founder of Consortium9, will also brief us on the right way to think about blockchain, and Umesh Lakshman, head of solutions architecture West, media and entertainment at Lumen, a tech infrastructure company preparing for the real-time metaverse. We also have Susan Bonds, CEO of 42 Entertainment, a creator of alternative reality games, and her new work in AR at Animal Repair Shop.
This is just the first set of some great speakers we’ve lined up for the event, which will be held in person at the Midway in San Francisco on October 25-26. We’ve put together an excellent multi-track experience so you can explore the emerging part of gaming that matters to you.
Our target audience is the decision makers who lead the way to a bigger and better gaming industry. The path through the recession won’t be easy, especially since things aren’t growing as fast as they once were and high-flying areas like blockchain games have crashed. But we’ve got the right people to explain the key trends in games so you can pave the way for growth.
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