The metaverse is where fantasy and opportunity meet. It’s our universe, digitalised.
But what's the point in being able to teleport or fly if our avatars are still harassed, discriminated against and excluded?
In a new place where we can transcend physical limitations, this article explores the importance of underrepresented voices being involved in the development, creation and execution of these new worlds.
What is the metaverse
The metaverse is the next iteration of the internet, where users have access to a 3D experience of real time activities between Interconnected worlds. There will be various realities, different worlds and new abilities to explore. Technologies such as cryptocurrency, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) create an attractive investment for global companies.
An example is Decentraland: a virtual world with its own currency, where users can influence the metaverse through a democratic voting process.
Why is it so significant?
This new continuum is set to revolutionise nearly all aspects of business in the next decade, allowing collaboration in virtual spaces, augmented physical places and a blend of both.
Imagine being front row at an exclusive gig with your favourite artist from your living room.
Virtual experiences can either simulate the real world or imagine worlds beyond it.
With founders essentially ‘playing God’, it is important to sincerely consider diversity and challenge human bias.
What industries it will affect
A huge questions remains: when the metaverse is fully realised, how will it change our lives? It’s safe to say the metaverse will transform all industries, either directly or indirectly.
Forecasts predict that by 2026 a quarter of the global population will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverseNew business models, marketing channels and and supply chains will be created to deliver value for users.
Corporate businesses will increasingly hold meetings in virtual boardrooms, and set up digital ecosystems for employees.
Interactive and more immersive gaming will only continue to draw attention, with games such as Sim City coming to life.
Media and Entertainment
Disney’s Chief Executive describes the metaverse as “the next great storytelling frontier” - evidencing the interest from the industry.
Luxury brands see the value of exclusivity in the metaverse, with Gucci already leveraging existing virtual platforms.
The classroom can be turned into a catalyst for creativity, with history students able to interview an avatar of Mary Seacole, or look around Einstein’s lab in 3D.
With the potential to improve international collaboration, it’s no wonder the market is valued at $800 billion.
Diversity and Inclusion
Cyber bullying, harassment, and disinformation has plagued the internet. With the metaverse, founders have an unrivalled opportunity to learn from those mistakes and consequences and think creatively about mitigation.
The immersive technology industry is white-male dominated. We need diverse talent involved in the creation of these experiences to ensure that bias is eliminated from programming through to use.
Underrepresented founders need to take up space, be visible, and demand to take part in the building of the metaverse. Colorintech hosts a Metaverse Creator Award, helping those from diverse backgrounds gain the skills required to create and enter the metaverse.
If we can encourage more underrepresented groups to get involved in its creation, the metaverse is a golden opportunity to be a force for good.