Original Snow Crash Manuscript Goes Up for Auction

According to a page that can be found on the official website of Sotheby’s, the original manuscript of Neil Stephenson’s Snow Crash, the novel that is credited with coining the phrase “metaverse,” will be put up for sale. The auction is a part of a series dubbed “Infocalypse” that will take place on February 23. The series will feature both physical and digital goods linked to the well-known novel.

Lot 2 of the series contains the original manuscript that was written. It is “wrapped in original Xerox 4200 Paper,” it is sealed with masking tape, and it has “corrections and notations throughout written in blue ink by Neal Stephenson in his hand.” Additionally, the author has inscribed the title of the book on the spine of the book using a sharpie marker.

In addition, there is a “updated typesetting document” up for auction in Lot 4 of the sale. This is a later version that was revised and supplemented by the author with extra handwritten notations and alterations.

Other real-world items are also being sold at auction as part of this series. These include the original painting that was used as the cover art for the 1993 mass-market paperback edition of the book; a leather jacket that was going to be used in a video promotion for the graphic novel; slides that were used for the concept of the graphic novel; and a real sword that was inspired by the one that the book’s protagonist wielded.

In addition to these tangible artifacts, the series will also include non-fiction tales (NFTs) of digital art that were created in response to the graphic book idea that came before Snow Crash.

The dystopian novel Snow Crash was first released in 1992 and takes place in a world where the majority of people reside in cramped storage facilities. The main character, Hiro, is a pizza delivery worker who needs to battle robbers in order to deliver pizzas to customers. The story chronicles his adventures. Hiro doesn’t have much of a social life since he spends all of his free time in a virtual world known as “the Metaverse,” which is a place where people go to get away from the stress of ordinary life. The inhabitants of the Metaverse, however, are transformed into “nothing more than a jittering cloud of negative digital karma” due to a computer virus. The journey that Hiro takes through the book to discover a cure for the virus is the driving force behind the story’s action.

According to the Washington Post, the book has racked up sales of more than one million copies on the continent of North America alone. Since the publication of the book, enthusiasts of virtual reality have been increasingly using Stephenson’s term “metaverse” to describe the developing virtual world that is being created by virtual reality technology. In recent years, the term has become a buzzword that is frequently searched for online.

The growth of the metaverse has provided some people with new job prospects and has contributed to the transformation of Web3 gaming.


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Axie Infinity Sells a Genesis Virtual Land Slot for 550 ETH

The most expensive virtual real estate in the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) metaverse has just been sold.

According to a Twitter post by Axie Infinity, a blockchain-based gaming protocol, one of the rarest virtual lands dubbed the Genesis Land Plot was sold for 550 ETH worth approximately $2.48 million.

The Axie Infinity game is one of its kind in the blockchain world whose success since inception has continued to trail the blaze across the board. Developed by Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis, Axie Infinity lets players collect, breed, raise, battle, and trade token-based creatures known as Axies. These Axies live in a virtual world called Lunacia, a 301×301 square grid where each section represents a tokenized plot of land called Terra, which players can also buy, sell, or rent out to other players at will.

The Genesis plot is one of the 220 out of 90,601 land slots that exist in the Axie Infinity world. Beyond selling the plot for 550 ETH, Axie Infinity’s native token, the AXS which users can earn from playing the game, is one of the best performing tokens thus far this year. At a current price of $141, the token has grown by 114409.77% since it printed its all-time low (ATL) price of $0.1234 exactly a year ago per data from CoinMarketCap.

NFT Bogus Valuation: Bubble or New Reality

It is not uncommon to see NFT and metaverse-related digital collectables sell for a very expensive amount of money. While Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5,000 Days remains the most expensive NFT piece sold to date at a price of $69 million, many critics have wondered whether the entire NFT ecosystem is in a bubble or not.

Since the Beeple sale back in March, a number of innovative NFT collections have emerged, all brandishing massive valuations that suggest collectors’ interest is not tapering down in the near term. NFTs are arguably in their infancy, and with room for additional groups, the piece of tech they represent, and the valuations they attract may appear to be the new reality in today’s digital collectable world.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Axie Infinity virtual land slot sells out for 550 ETH

In a tweet posted by Axie Infinity late Thursday, a lucrative land plot within the monster-battle fantasy nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, game sold for 550 ETH ($2.3 million). Axies are creatures that users command to duel other players, battle enemies, and complete daily quests. They are also NFTs can be bred (minted), bought, and sold freely.

The game takes place in the world of Lunacia that Axies inhabit. It is a 301×301 square grid where each section represents a tokeized plot of land called Terra, which players can also buy, sell, or rent out to other players at will. The land that was sold yesterday is classified as Genesis, which is the rarest form of virtual real estate available in the Axie Infinity ecosystem.

Monsters, known as Chimeras, spawn in the game and terrorize Lunaria. By defeating Chimeras, players earn Smooth Love Potions (SLPs), which can then be sold at cryptocurrency exchanges for cash. Defeated Chimeras also drop other types of resources that can be used to upgrade their Axies and land, thereby increasing earnings potential for SLPs. Genesis Land is located strategically at the center of Lunacia, where rare Chimeras raid bosses spawn and drop special items. In addition, only 220 out of 90,601 land slots have the Genesis classification.

Critics of the game say that there’s nothing physically tangible with virtual real estate and wonder why they would have any value at all. But for some, playing Axie Infinity is a full-time job deserving of upfront investments, especially in developing nations, where the earning SLPs each day in the game can often surpass that of countries’ minimum wages.