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How might we embed social equity and diversity in the Metaverse?

As the culture of DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) grew prominently in different companies due to several societal facts, it is clear that access to a technology or a service can create a baseline of social equity. However, what people experience in the physical world might not reflect a similar experience, or somehow a similar but with an amplified form, in the digital world.

For example, if a child is excluded from playing with another group at school because of ADHD, a similar or even an amplified experience can happen in the metaverse. If someone walks up to a group in the physical world, people are conscious of each other and turn to include the new entrant or put in place behaviors that won’t allow the person to join the conversation. Will this be the case in the metaverse?

What heuristics will be developed to guarantee inclusion and an equitable experience for all in the metaverse?

When talking about digital immersive environments, the boundaries of DEI are becoming blurred and several layers of complexity emerge.

For example, the human sense of belonging to the metaverse could drive different perceptions of inclusion and exclusion of people of different gender, culture, age, ability, religions, or languages.

The richness of diversity of people and businesses that can create and access the metaverse will spark new solutions, scenarios, and experiences, however, there is a high risk of concentrating the availability of the resources only to a reduced number of individuals.

This practice can lead to a profound exclusion process that, despite the effort to create an inclusive metaverse, the socio-economic and educational barriers, together with accessibility barriers, will potentially reduce the effort to create a Metaverse based on the principle of inclusion by design.

Designing a metaverse and digital, virtual, and immersive environments that embrace DEI is not only about creating a sense of belonging and respect in the digital space, but starts ahead in the process, by having more diverse voices join the conversation about the concept of the metaverse and that provide inputs to shape what the future of a good metaverse would be.

The metaverse offers a great opportunity to overcome so many challenges people face in the physical world.

From physical disabilities limiting access to places to social exclusion due to lack of exposure to a diversity of human beings to opportunities to enable new sensorial experiences for people who have sensory or cognitive impairments.

To accelerate the design of a metaverse that is ethically inclusive and accessible, at the Metavethics Institute we are dedicated to establishing ethical policies, best practices, and standards across accessibility, integrity, privacy, safety, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our vision is to enable sustainable ethical, and inclusive efforts for technology-driven organizations by securing access for people of different ages and abilities, guaranteeing socio-economical access for people across the world.

Do you want to become a Metavethicist?


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