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Lamina1, a blockchain technology company cofounder by Snow Crash author Neal Stephenson, today announced it is organizing the Open Metaverse Conference.

Lamina1, started by futurist Stephenson and cryptocurrency pioneer Peter Vessenes, will be the founding sponsor of the conference, a first-of-its-kind industry event bringing together the worlds of the metaverse and Web3 to build a more open and immersive Internet.

The two-day conference will take place from February 8-9, 2023 in Los Angeles, and it will gather experts and builders spanning metaverse experiences, Web3, and entertainment. Lamina1 last week unveiled its white paper on how it wants to help build the open metaverse. Stephenson is also speaking at our GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 conference on October 25-26.

Stephenson coined the term “metaverse” 30 years ago in his science fiction book Snow Crash. And now it has become the rage as huge industries strive to take the idea of an online paradise — or dystopia — from science fiction to reality.

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Lamina1 aims to use blockchain technology to provide the infrastructure to empower rapid expansion of the open metaverse. As the founding sponsor of the Open Metaverse Conference, Lamina1 will provide a forum for critical conversations around identity, privacy and interoperability, while exploring how audience engagement, creative storytelling, and the technicalities of blockchain can work hand-in-hand to make the vision of the Open Metaverse a reality.

The Open Metaverse Conference will feature keynotes from renowned technologists and storytellers who are pioneering visions for the next era of the Internet. Attendees will hear from Stephenson and Vessenes, as well as Philip Rosedale, founder of virtual world Second Life (Linden Lab) and cofounder of virtual platform High Fidelity; John Gaeta, Oscar-winning VFX pioneer (The Matrix) and chief creative officer of character persona company Inworld AI; Cathy Hackl, metaverse and Web3 strategist and founder of design consultancy Journey, and other industry crossover leaders to be announced.

Keynote sessions will be complemented by diverse speakers and side events spanning games, art, entertainment, and commerce. To connect these key areas of culture with the technology that enables them, the Open Metaverse Conference will also facilitate technological deep dives for attendees from
leaders in Web3, immersive computing, and technology standards groups.

Peter Vessenes (left) and Neal Stephenson are the founders of Lamina1.
Peter Vessenes (left) and Neal Stephenson are the founders of Lamina1.

Presenting partners include the Metaverse Standards Forum, the Open Metaverse Interoperability Group, and the Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3), all organizations fostering interoperability.

“We are at a moment in time when developers, creatives, and producers can finally design the seamless and persistent experiences we’ve dreamed about,” said Jamil Moledina, vice president of games partnerships and media at Lamina1, in a statement. “The Open Metaverse Conference will serve as the big tent for everyone who’s thinking about creating never-before-possible experiences that allow creators and consumers to enter unique virtual worlds on a level playing field.”

“OMA3 is pleased to collaborate with Lamina1 and the Open Metaverse Conference in promoting interoperability,” said Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands, in a statement. “OMA3 looks forward to developing talk tracks to encourage the creation of a more open and immersive internet.”

The conference will encourage interdisciplinary dialogue through debates, pitch sessions, roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities to help drive new ideas and connections.

“We felt a real sense of urgency to facilitate discussion with our colleagues and creators across the spectrum,” said Rebecca Barkin, president of Lamina1, in a statement. “We know that the Open Metaverse will be built collaboratively and with a set of shared values, and we’re happy to provide this forum to address the needs of the community and to solve big problems together.”

Jamil Moledina, vice president of games partnerships and media at Lamina1, said in an interview with GamesBeat that industry needs something like the conference to pull it together.

“I’m thinking of the standards bodies that are coming together, like the Metaverse Standards Forum, and the Open Metaverse Alliance of Web3 (OMA3) and the Open Metaverse Interoperability Group,” Moledina said. “These folks are so full of energy and enthusiasm and excitement about what the metaverse can be. And you realize there’s an opportunity to give all these people a place to come together, share ideas, and then network a little. They can have the ideas presented on stage percolate a little bit. You can find the person who set you down a new and interesting path and then come back to that person.”

The whole idea is to help build a community and sense of urgency to capitalize on ideas, Moledina said.

“It’s hard to generate that momentum when we’re all stuck in our basements,” Moledina said. “The timing of everything is precipitated more by the fact that the opportunity is wide open. We have a chance to set some ground rules and start from a level playing field.”

Moledina said the metaverse is at such an early stage that all groups are invited to help plan it.

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