Metaverse for Kids: How Does It Affect Their Universe?

After the metaverse for everyone comes the metaverse for kids, which is not lacking in both pros and cons. Some companies are starting to position themselves as providers of the best virtual realities for kids. Certainly their initiatives are commendable, but we are aware that this universe also has its share of dangers. Raising awareness of a shared responsibility between parents and promoters of metaverse for children is one of the goals of this article.

Invented by “Snow Crash” (1992) author Neal Stephenson, the word “metaverse” refers to a virtual reality environment. Since it is connected to the Internet, you can therefore access it anywhere and anytime from a computer or a smartphone.

The metaverse that we currently know bears some similarities to that envisioned by Stephenson. Aside from the patchwork of online virtual worlds that serve us nurturing environment is still in its infancy. But that hasn’t stopped people and businesses from dabbling in the metaverse, if only to Buy virtual properties, play games or even train soldiers.

Representing the Metaverse for children endless possibilities from :

  • Socialization;
  • learn new skills;
  • play online games alone or with friends;
  • take virtual courses on educational platforms;
  • Etc

Here we can cite the example of Minecraft, which introduced children to some notions of culture through appropriate learning environments. Soon the duo Epic Games and LEGO will also be well received by young people.

The child metaverse however has its disadvantages. Just to quote:

  • cyberbullying;
  • the dissemination of inappropriate content.

So it was up to parents and educators to help the little ones navigate the Metavarse for children safely.

Adult participation is key! – Source: EmerginEdTech

Some experts don’t seem optimistic about the impact of the metaverse on the child. Already, social networks landed with much misfortune : Depression, self-harm, mental health issues, etc. The Kid Metaverse might be even worse than them.

However, a study of gambling conducted by the University of Southern California showed the opposite of these claims. In fact, it dictates that Games and virtual reality promote empathy and have a positive effect on mental health. Provided, of course, that they are used correctly.

Only problem, the companies that neglected user security seem to be back in the Metaverse. It is very likely that the same actors will continue their old practices in this new virtual reality. And hello loneliness, the massive influx of dangerous content… and why not suicide.

advantages

The child’s metaverse begins various advantagesto know :

  • capture abstract concepts in an engaging way;
  • Access to near-real, hands-on experiences to help children better understand their environment and how it works;
  • improve children’s social skills;
  • Providing a safe and controlled environment to interact and make friends;
  • the existence of a springboard for creativity and the development of children’s social intelligence;
  • the metaverse as a source of entertainment;
  • attachment between parents and children;
  • Etc

However, it is up to parents to be aware of the potential dangers and to respond take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of their offspring. In this way, the children’s metaverse becomes an ideal place for children to explore and learn.

Disadvantages

Sure, the Metaverse for kids has its strengths, but it also has its weak points. In particular, we mention:

  • cyberbullying (often a source of harassment for children);
  • lack of confidentiality and privacy;
  • inappropriate content (violence, sexual content, hate speech, etc.);
  • creating a dependency in the child due to their highly immersive and engaging nature;
  • the physiological and physical risks associated with the Metaverse for children due to intensive use of VR headsets (dizziness, nausea, headaches, etc.);
  • unequal access, leading to an educational disadvantage for the less affluent;
  • Etc

To do this effectively, Parents are advised to closely monitor their children’s activities in the Metaverse. So here are a few things to consider:

  • acute monitoring of their online activity, what they see and do in the Children’s Metaverse;
  • pre-defining the rules and setting clear guidelines for the use of the metaverse (even if this means revising it later);
  • Advice on how to behave when interacting with other people once online (including asking them to be polite and considerate);
  • Help in the optimized management of the time allocated to the virtual world and the real world;
  • Etc

Also the Manufacturers and companies bear their share of the responsibility. Admittedly, it seems illusory to ask them much, but they will have to consider the following parameters:

  • content moderation;
  • Reporting and suppressing misconduct with clear mechanisms for handling such reports;
  • design of VR devices and metaverse systems adapted to the comfort and well-being of children;
  • Integrate antivirus software (including but not limited to password protection and encryption) with children’s VR devices and Metaverse platforms;
  • Etc

When we speak of children and the metaverse for children, we cannot avoid the issue of protection and parental responsibility. Nevertheless, this responsibility must be shared with the technology companies. Because by neglecting the dangers children face on their platform and while using their devices, they are sure to lose customers.

Source: Cointelegraph

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Mikaia ANDRIAMAHAZOARIMANANA

The blockchain and crypto revolution is underway! And the day the impact is felt on the world’s most vulnerable economy, I will say against all hope that I had something to do with it

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