The Metaverse Is Bad.
In Snow Crash, as in other cyberpunk stories (including the 1995 Kathryn Bigelow film Strange Days), the metaverse comes across as intrinsically dangerous. The book’s title refers to a digital drug for denizens of the metaverse, with harmful neurological effects that extend outside it.
That danger hasn’t survived the metaverse’s translation into contemporary technological fantasy. Instead, the concept appeals to tech magnates because it connects the rather prosaic reality of technologized consumer attention to a science-fictional dream of escape.