As with digital platforms and artificial intelligence, each new wave of technological innovation brings benefits and risks, and the emerging ‘metaverse’ tests this philosophical debate. In this essay, I explore how romanticisation of the metaverse as a ‘novel’ phenomenon act as a red herring, distracting us from current systemic issues. Exploring the forces at work in technology, consumer habits, and market dynamics, constructs a silhouette of the metaverse that imparts more questions than answers. This analysis also exposes a set of key policy considerations that need to be addressed urgently and proactively: how can safety be prioritised, how will data be protected, and how will the market respond? As the boundaries of the communications paradigm continues to shift, adding in new, persistent, and immersive realities, the core policy considerations around technology remain unchanged and warrant attention.Download
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