On Google Trends searches for “metaverse” soared by 900% in October 2021, after Facebook changed its name to Meta. The creation of Meta brought the term to the mainstream but it is far from a new idea. The term “metaverse” was coined by Neal Stephenson in his book “Snow Crash” in 1992 to describe a virtual universe but the history of the metaverse goes back even further.
The first virtual world Multi-User Dungeon or MUD (called MUD1 to distinguish it from its successor) was developed in 1978 by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle at the University of Essex. Initially, MUD was a text-based game played using a TELNET program and the first game to feature talking avatars and a digital world with multiple players.