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The metaverse is a collection of largely unregulated extended reality spaces, accessed through diverse interoperable technologies, enabling real-time interactions. Web 3.0 technologies are essential to its framework and innovators have the opportunity to capitalise on characteristics such as its blockchain architecture and decentralised governance framework. These strengths are also weak nodes in the metaverse which, without appropriate policy interventions, may exacerbate existing challenges such as data exploitation, diminution of privacy, unbounded and radicalised expression, and the rise of plutocratic governance. This paper argues that current policy has insufficient boundaries to respond to the metaverse in its current embryonic state, much less what it may become as it develops at the speed of thought. Through secondary research, we identified that a new approach is required, predicated on co-regulation, omi-stakeholderism, inclusion and accessibility, whilst prioritising human-centricity, health, the environment, fair business models, security and human rights.
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