The World Economic Forum (WEF), one of the most influential international institutions, has expressed its worries about the safety of metaverse dwellers, especially younger ones. The group has raised a number of concerns regarding the anonymity and safety of young individuals in this upcoming alternate world, and has given a number of recommendations to preserve them.
World Economic Forum Puts Metaverse Child Safety First
Big forums and institutions in the world are thinking about the implications that living a part of our lives in the metaverse might bring. The World Economic Forum (WEF), an “international institution for public private cooperation,” has expressed its worries about the safety of young individuals in the metaverse. In an article written as part of the Davos 2022 meeting of the forum, Mark Read, CEO of WPP, explains the growth of this sector and why building a safe metaverse is a priority.
The article conveys that while the metaverse is being promoted as an alternate world for everyone, due to its traits, gaming applications will be the ones garnering the most attention at first glance, which means that children will be the first exposed to these experiences. In this sense, it explains:
Children are in front of more games across more devices for longer – partly because of the pandemic. They are witnessing wide-ranging behaviour (including abuse, if they are not monitored). And monitoring itself is becoming so much more of a challenge.
The Institution also made some recommendations about how to achieve this safety for younger people in the future of the metaverse. According to a survey made by Wunderman Thompson, 72% of the parents that know what the metaverse is are worried about the privacy of their children therein, and 66% are also worried about their safety.
In view of this, some companies have already started to produce walled and protected metaverse experiences designed especially for children. But in a multi-connected metaverse, this approach does not apply. The article notes that “we must learn how to design better algorithms and business models, and intervene well.” It explains:
Anticipating new behaviors should surely be part of the mix. The metaverse enables immersive, 3D digital experiences and actions not seen before, but we are also seeing a new set of behaviors, some of them worrying, and many of which should not surprise us.
Companies are already building metaverse experiences for kids. In April, Epic Games announced a partnership with Lego to produce a joint metaverse, allowing children to be entertained by building their own experiences. Epic Games owns Superawesome, a company that deals with maintaining these experiences safely for children.