The Metaverses Dark Side: Here Come Harassment and Assaults The New York Times


Per Nike’s example, a virtual shoe is not of lesser value because it exists in the digital sphere – it holds the capability to compete. Digitally native Gen Z has proven to be tricky to market to; They possess an intuitive understanding of technology unprecedented in previous generations. It is one of the first corporations to not only release NFTs but to actually invest in the metaverse ecosystem itself.

Launched in 2016, Pokémon Go, which incorporated augmented reality into mobile gaming, took the world by storm. In fact, rather than thinking of one virtual space called the metaverse, it’s more appropriate to use the plural form, metaverses, at the current stage. Other good examples include the massively popular multiplayer game “Fortnite.” In games like that, you log on into a cyberspace where you connect with other people by playing against each other. To most people, online social connections are not that much different to physical interactions. MMOs like WoW share an obvious kinship with metaverses in form, if not function. But there are closer analogues to be found in two post-Minecraft games that are hugely popular with kids.

  1. Organizations are also deploying VR for employee safety training, particularly in settings where employee mistakes can cause harm, Asim added.
  2. “The metaverse is a 3D version of the Internet and computing at large,” Mathew Ball, a venture capitalist and angel investor who’s written a series of essays about the potential and structures of the metaverse, told VICE.
  3. The business-oriented side will encompass tools for remote work, IoT, digital twins, computer-aided design, 3D printing and business applications.
  4. Some people may say that making cyberspace and real life overlap is asking for trouble.

Major multinational companies, from JP Morgan, Nike, and Adidas, to McDonald’s, all have initiatives to capture the marketing potential of the metaverse. A major item in the conversation on the metaverse is whether it can create a safe and responsible immersive environment. Earlier this year, Facebook came under fire after a woman reported she had been sexually harassed and “virtually gang-raped” in the metaverse. Digital privacy experts also continue to point out that the metaverse would be the ultimate surveillance tool. Essentially, the metaverse is supposed to be a 3D version of the internet that is seen as the logical next stage of development, and would ideally be accessed through a single gateway. Talking about the metaverse feels a lot like talking about the internet back in the 70s and the 80s.

There’s probably a reason why fictional touchstones for a metaverse, including Ready Player One and Snow Crash, are set in grim dystopias. “The metaverse is a 3D version of the Internet and computing at large,” Mathew Ball, a venture capitalist and angel investor who’s written a series of essays about the potential and structures of the metaverse, told VICE. So, we got a bunch of experts to break it down for those who still don’t get what the metaverse is all about, AKA most of us. Whether Schmidt’s fears are grounded in reality, though, only time will tell.

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Disney has foreseen that building, and attempting to attract people to, its own walled metaverse garden would be a fool’s errand. Fortnite has hundreds of millions of registered users, and its biggest live events draw tens of millions of concurrent players. It is a massive social platform for Disney to build within — something that is available nowhere else other than in Roblox, which is likely too unruly and Wild West for Disney’s tastes.

Moreover, this would mean people are likely to migrate from current platforms to more high fidelity ones at they come out. Modern games are definitely something to consider when envisioning these worlds. “In gaming, you see Roblox, Minecraft and other immersive video games — and even Zoom — foreshadow what the metaverse is designed to offer,” said Ben Bajarin, CEO and analyst at Creative Strategies. In her article “7 top technologies for metaverse development,” technology writer Esther Shein explained that industry watchers shy away from codifying the technologies that will power the metaverse. This is in part because the metaverse is evolving and partly because many of the tools driving the metaverse are themselves made up of multiple technologies. The greater assurance stems not only from VR’s so-called immersive learning techniques, but also from the ability of learners to repeatedly practice skills in a comfortable setting.

Prediction 6: Digital twins will mirror the entire enterprise

The consultancy’s study found its participants completed VR-based soft skills training as much as four times faster than classroom sessions. The same study noted participants were up to 275% more confident in the soft skills they developed through VR training. Medical researchers are also exploring the use of virtual reality in healthcare in fields such as pain management and pediatrics, Xtelligent reported. The metaverse, then, is still very much alive at Meta – but most of the rest of the tech world appears to have moved on. No doubt we’ll also hear again that the metaverse is a long-term project – that we haven’t seen the real metaverse yet. And at any one time, vastly fewer people than that are actually playing the game.

What is the difference between the internet and the metaverse?

Ever since the dawn of the internet, people have been putting up online communities. They’ve existed since at least the 80s, eventually growing during the 90s with the likes of chat rooms and discussion boards discussing literally anyone or anything deemed of interest. They are not necessarily, however, enthusiasts declare the Blockchain may be an efficient consensus mechanism to identify ownership of property and create persistent avatars and reputation systems. By definition, there is no one “Metaverse” but the Metaverse is the sum of all the interconnected worlds which make up the future of the internet. Other futurists, however, argue that while it is early days for the metaverse and fundamental technical barriers still exist, the metaverse will happen. And so, on Wednesday, we’ll hear from Zuckerberg as he attempts to breathe life into a concept in desperate need of oxygen.

With pandemic restrictions easing, many consumers have been eager to connect in person, drawing their interest away from virtual meeting places. Since any digital goods can be copied and replicated easily, the metaverse needs a way to identify the authenticity of the goods and the owners. The management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, estimated the metaverse could generate $5 trillion in revenue for businesses by 2030. In 2023, the development and adoption of the metaverse has gone beyond gaming and into other industries. While this definition is generally true, it’s important to know that Meta doesn’t control the metaverse; no company does.

Still, like the internet in the 1990s, the metaverse represents an opportunity to “shrink the world,” said Andrew Hawken, co-founder and CEO of Mesmerise, a VR technology vendor. Done right, the experts Lawton interviewed said, metaverse technologies could increase teleworker camaraderie, improve collaboration, speed up training, reduce the need for office space and make work a happier place in general. The metaverse will also eliminate jobs, requiring companies to reskill workers, said Frank Diana, managing partner and futurist at Tata Consultancy Services. At present, many of the metaverse-like experiences offered by gaming platforms such as Roblox, Decentraland and Minecraft can be accessed through browsers or mobile devices and a fast internet connection. The first waves of digital transformation focused on how technology could improve electronic processes.

What is the Metaverse in detail?

The word “metaverse” is made up of the prefix “meta” (meaning beyond) and the stem “verse” (a backformation from “universe”); the term is typically used to describe the concept of a future iteration of the internet. In October, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, said he believed so much in the metaverse that he would invest billions in the effort. The consumer-oriented manifestation of the metaverse will evolve from early roots in social media, massive multiplayer games and more immersive commerce. The business-oriented side will encompass tools for remote work, IoT, digital twins, computer-aided design, 3D printing and business applications. Along the way, the metaverse must navigate various challenges surrounding privacy, security, hardware and networking latency. Progress will likely evolve in fits and starts that mirror early efforts to get mobile off the ground before the iPhone created a template for the mobile industry.

VR and digital twinning provide some of the basic building blocks for the emerging industrial metaverse, noted TechTarget news writer Jim O’Donnell in his article on how this metaverse subset is poised to transform manufacturing. The industrial metaverse will link digital twins into a wider virtual environment that pros and cons of paas encompasses machines, factories, products and supply chains. What are enterprise leaders to make of a fast-evolving, hyped-up concept could fundamentally change how humans live? TechTarget’s in-depth guide to the metaverse breaks down where this nascent technology revolution stands today and where it is headed.

The new service lets Teams users in different physical locations join collaborative and shared holographic experiences during virtual meetings. At its October 2022 Ignite conference, the software giant launched in private preview a feature that lets people create and use avatars in place of live video during Teams meetings. Meta’s massive investment in the metaverse is considered a gamble by investors as the company experiences revenue declines and layoffs in an uncertain economy. The Metaverse is a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the Internet.

Deepfake attacks will utilize this expanded data to craft increasingly sophisticated attacks mimicking bosses, customers, regulators or institutions. Brands must also watch out for new digital counterfeits or 3D-printed knockoffs. This ambitious vision will likely undergo numerous manifestations until some profitable incarnations eventually dominate, as did Apple and Google Android with mobile.