Going meta: Digital cities, attacks on female creators and more
Seoul looks to join the metaverse starting in 2023, Meta challenges a woman’s right to control the Instagram handle “metaverse” and Francis Haugen issues a warning about the potential risks of the virtual world.
The downtown Santa Monica District, west of Los Angeles, was one of the first real-world areas to allow users to have access to the metaverse through the FlickPlay app. Branded as a metaverse tool, walking around the district seems to be more of a limited augmented reality experience rather than a virtual one,
services related to the economy, culture, education and civil complaints. In addition, the Korean capital planned to create virtual versions of its major tourist attractions and hold festivals in the Metaverse.
Does Meta have a ‘women problem’?
Following the launch of Horizon Worlds, the virtual reality game and online community platform released by Meta — formerly Facebook — at least one user reported that the virtual environment allowed sexual harassment. In a Thursday report from MIT Technology Review, one of Horizon’s beta testers said a stranger had groped her avatar. Though there is a feature capable of encasing an avatar in a protective bubble to seemingly stop such an attack, the user was either unable to activate it in time or was otherwise unaware of it.
“At the end of the day, the nature of virtual-reality spaces is such that it is designed to trick the user into thinking they are physically in a certain space, that their every bodily action is occurring in a 3D environment,” said Katherine Cross, an online harassment researcher at the University of Washington. “It’s part of the reason why emotional reactions can be stronger in that space, and why VR triggers the same internal nervous system and psychological responses.”