For months now, Mark Zuckerberg has told the world that Facebook is becoming "a metaverse company." What is the metaverse? It depends on who you ask. Fortune's definition is particularly expansive: "The metaverse is a virtual world that blends aspects of digital technologies including video-conferencing, games like Minecraft or Roblox, cryptocurrencies, email, virtual reality, social media and live-streaming."
The term has been around for almost thirty years, but based on Google Trends, its usage wasn't common until the spring of this year.
Coined in Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson's 1992 sci-fi novel, the term refers to a convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space. Earlier this month, The New York Times explored how companies and products including Epic Games' Fortnite, Roblox, and even Animal Crossing: New Horizons increasingly had metaverse-like elements. (Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has been discussing his desire to contribute to a metaverse for many months now.)The Verge
As a play on all the metaverse-talk, one developer created a spinoff: the meataverse. On Reddit, Tim Broddin declared that he was so tired of hearing about the metaverse that he created the meataverse— even though he doesn't support meat consumption (You could say he's meat averse).