Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting to another fellow metaverse aficionado when joined by Tom Ffiske, editor of Immersive Wire. Founded in 2016, the website aims to keep subscribers in-the-know about the latest developments in VR, AR and the metaverse. Tom is passionate about keeping a pulse on innovation and helping professionals interested in immersive tech to reach new heights, and has published a bestselling book on the sector. His latest book, The Metaverse: A Professional Guide was also published this year. Alongside Immersive Wire, Tom works as a full-time account director within the Technology team at 3 Monkeys Zeno, a leading global communications agency.
Tom shared how he found his way to exploring AR and VR in 2015, where he got to play a first person version of Pac Man during a meetup. After continuing to follow his interest in this emerging technology, he started Immersive Wire in 2016, and has continuously released breaking news in the sector in his weekly newsletter, which provides guidance on new trends (with the main exception of NFTs, he noted) with a healthy dose of wit.
In discussing his latest book, The Metaverse: A Professional Guide, Tom explained how he wanted to “declutter” the metaverse for his readers, breaking it down into composite parts and explaining each in a clear and entertaining way. A quick read, Tom’s book was created to be accessible and un-intimidating for readers, so that they might gain a firm grasp on this emerging space.
When I asked him to break down the metaverse into layman’s terms, Tom explained how we might consider it a kind of immersive expansion of the internet we have currently, but how, instead of just opening up a new window, “clicking” on something in the metaverse would open up a whole experience.
We also reflected on what the future of the metaverse might look like. Naturally, as we are inÇ the early stages, the discussion was largely hypothetical. Envisioning the shape of the metaverse, Tom explained, would be as fickle as guessing the weather: it is largely going to be determined by the ways we end up using it, and that is extremely hard to predict. (We both reflected on how no one could have imagined the way social media turned out, or the fact that our ready access to information at the early days of the World Wide Web would turn into today’s difficulties with misinformation.)
However, even in this hypothetical space, Tom was willing to bet that there are ways for those looking to enter into the metaverse in the future to prepare themselves for proficiency in the space today. In particular, he encourages the curious to gain comfort at spatial design. In particular, he recommended getting comfortable with games like Roblox, which could help one build up a portfolio of work and open up future roles.
From debating the roles of the big tech companies in developing the metaverse and VR tech to discussing the incredible creative potential for art within the virtual space, our conversation took a number of fascinating turns. To listen our full chat, you can check out the full episode here.