Rob Nazh, Shutterstock
Kids’ birthday parties. Crypto-harvesting farms. Cat-proof workspaces. The (concept of the) metaverse has just arrived, but it already contains multitudes. From Nigerian teenagers, to Facebook executives, people are buzzing about the potential of these virtual and semi-digital worlds to transform our physical one. Now, the question is what those transformations will actually look like.
The answer might be: anything you want. As John Egan, CEO of L’Atelier BNP Paribas, told TIME, “This metaverse concept gives us the opportunity to create any universe that we’ve ever imagined.” Whether you’re an ordinary person searching for a sense of community, or a business executive hungry for the next big money-making opportunity, it’s easy to see the appeal.
But it’s also easy to see the potential downsides. Digital environments are already overrun with malicious actors, and the metaverse provides even more fertile soil for hate and harassment to grow. Do the potential benefits outweigh the costs? Read the full story and reach your own conclusions.
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