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European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) Letter on Benefits and Challenges for Children in the Metaverse

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European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) Letter on Benefits and Challenges for Children in the Metaverse


The metaverse, which is a virtual environment in which individuals may connect with one another and participate in a variety of activities, has the potential to provide youngsters with a great deal of advantages. Nevertheless, it also offers issues that need to be addressed in order to safeguard children from the possibility of being harmed. These advantages and disadvantages have been investigated by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), which has shed light on the significance of ensuring the safety of minors involved in the metaverse phenomenon.

Metaverse advantages for children include the following

Increasing Creativity: The metaverse gives children a platform to explore their creativity via virtual experiences, such as developing and constructing their own virtual worlds. This fosters creativity and helps children develop their creative potential.

Learning that is Motivating Virtual worlds in the metaverse may be built to provide children with instructional information and interactive learning experiences, which will make learning more interesting and delightful for them.

Children have the opportunity to engage in social and cultural experiences by interacting with classmates who come from a variety of nations, cultures, and backgrounds. This helps to build cultural exchange and social ties.

In the Metaverse, Children Face the Following Obstacles

Concerns Regarding Privacy The metaverse presents privacy concerns since it is possible for youngsters to reveal personal information without their knowledge or to be confronted with data breaches. Protecting the privacy of children requires the implementation of more stringent privacy legislation as well as the education of users.

Exposure to Harmful Content The metaverse has the potential to expose children to content that is improper or harmful, such as content that involves harassing or violent behaviour, or behaviours that are addictive. It is of the utmost importance to include safety measures, parental controls, and relevant rules in order to counteract hazardous material.

Child exploitation and online predators: Children who are present in the metaverse have the potential to become victims of online predators or to be exploited via the use of frauds, grooming, or improper interactions. Educating youngsters about the dangers of using the internet and ensuring that adequate safety measures are in place are necessities.

Attempts to Ensure the Safety of Children Within the Metaverse

European Union Initiatives: The European Union has taken measures to safeguard children in virtual worlds, including the introduction of rules such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ePrivacy Directive. These regulations are examples of the initiative that the EU has taken. The purpose of these restrictions is to protect the privacy of children and to restrict the amount of hazardous information that they are exposed to.

Companies that operate in the metaverse are also taking precautions to safeguard youngsters. These actions are being taken by the private sector. In order to make the environment safer for minors, they are putting in place age verification systems, safety measures, and content control.

The metaverse presents children with a number of issues that need to be handled, despite the fact that it presents children with a number of fascinating chances for imaginative expression, learning, and social engagement. It is necessary for parents, legislators, and the corporate sector to work together in order to fulfil the responsibility of protecting children in the metaverse. It is essential to implement more stringent privacy restrictions, implement strong safety measures, and educate users in order to guarantee that children will have a happy and secure experience when using the metaverse.

Image source: Shutterstock

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