Newsletter Article #02: Women in the NFT/Metaverse Space
The history of computer science is a map to the Metaverse. It is a rich tapestry of invention, dedication and single-minded belief, the lines between success and failure as tiny as the resistors controlling the device you are reading this on. Names like Babbage, Turing, Zuse, Bell, Gates, Shockler, Hopper, Metcalfe and Jobs are synonymous with its progression.
But for all the men, we wouldn’t be where we are without the work, determination and genius of many, many women. Names like Lovelace, Hopper, Vaughan, Holz, Perlman, Feinler, Sparck-Jones and Kaelbling should be acknowledged in the same breath as their male counterparts.
In her book How to Talk To Robots — A Girls’ Guide to a Future Dominated by AI — Tabitha Goldstaub shines a light on some of these women, women that have been central to the development of computers, artificial intelligence and the internet.
The story begins with Ada Lovelace. In her short 36 years on planet Earth, Ada Lovelace accomplished more than most. An English mathematician, Lovelace was the first person to recognise Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine (commonly agreed as the first ‘computer’) could be used for applications beyond mere calculation.
Although contested, her ideas would lead her to publish the first algorithm and, we like to think, lay the first brick on the long road to the Realm and the larger Metaverse space. She also spurred on many women to follow in her wake. Grace Hopper, for example.
As if programming Harvard’s Mark 1 computer during World War II wasn’t enough, Grace Hopper was part of a team which developed the UNIVAC 1 computer and was instrumental in the development of COBOL.
And still more women followed. Radia Perlman invented the Spanning Tree Protocol, allowing computers on LANs to larger, more complicated networks. Karen Sparck-Jones pioneered NLT, which is now critical to computer programming. Leslie Kaelbling was at the forefront of AI in the 1990s.
Dorothy Vaughn (whose story you can watch unfold in Hidden Figures) had a resume that would have been accepted by, well, NASA.
“Vaughn was the first ever African-American woman to be promoted to supervisor for the West computer group. She led the electric computing department there and stayed at NASA until 1971.”
Modern Metaverse History
Which leads us to 2022. Web3, blockchains and the maturing Metaverse are creating an inclusive environment which can be stripped of stereotypes, discrimination and the outdated tropes that computers and the internet are a boy’s club.
There is still great unbalance, but the tide is turning. Entrepreneurs, CFOs, artists, consultants, programmers, CEOs, leaders, developers, investors. At every point, women are ripping up the design and leading the Metaverse charge. At Realm, our Chief Marketing Officer Nefertiti Strong is joined by full stack developer Nihel Akremi.
Outside of the walls of Realm, I wanted to showcase the work of women who are making a difference and building a better space. Check out their work, collections and projects, explore their Metaverse vision and enjoy their impact on your life.
Women in the Metaverse
Cathy Hackl, or the Godmother of the Metaverse, to give her her more regal title, is a writer for Forbes and one, if not the, voice of the Metaverse. She is joined on the roster by Betty at DeadFellaz, Karisa Winett of NFTGenius and Cryptobitches, software engineers such as Alyse Sue, Co-founder of Rogue Fox guild Anna Stoilova and web3 keynote speaker, writer, founder and advisor Alison McCauley.
Women In Metaverse is a group of women recognizing the contributions of women-led projects in the growth and development of the Metaverse. There are too many exceptional talents to name all of them here, instead I implore you to go on your own journey of discovery.
Sydney Phillips is CEO of Zuke AR, a leading augmented reality platform for the AEC & building industry. Shefali Roy is on the Board for MakerDAO. Bec Jones is CEO & Co-founder Clutch Wallet, Sarah Ticho is Founder of Hatsumi VR and XR Health Alliance. Raffaela Camera is Head of Brands and Advertiser Solutions at Epic Games.
Twitter is the best place to get the latest web3, Metaverse and blockchain news. It is also an incubator of the world’s best Metaverse creators, builders and founders. Flori Marquez is Founder of BlockFi, bridging the worlds of fintech and blockchain.
Women In NFTs
The public unmasking and subsequent taking back of Fame Lady Squad demonstrated the power of an engaged and adamant NFT community and the power of women-led NFT projects. Boss Beauties, Sad Girls Bar, 8Sian, World of Women, Kumo X World Residents and Sol Sisters are all now globally recognised for their excellence and changing the narrative.
Barriers continue to be knocked down. By sharing the work of these inspiring women, hopefully we can inspire more change.
Want some more content from women in the metaverse? Check out this podcast with Realm’s own CMO, Nefertiti Strong.
See you in two weeks for more on the Metaverse.