What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a virtual environment where people can carry out various tasks.
The term “metaverse” was a term originally coined by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his influential 1992 novel Snow Crash to represent a virtual reality environment connected through the internet and accessible from any device such as a computer or smartphone with an internet connection.
Today’s Metaverse isn’t too far off from Stephenson’s version. Although not yet fully existent, you could think of the Metaverse as a patchwork of online virtual worlds that exist online. People can do various things on the Metaverse such as own virtual real estate, play games, work and meet other people.
For kids, this means endless opportunities for socializing, learning new skills and exploring their interests. Minecraft, for example, is already being used in learning environments to expose children to different cultures through the Metaverse.
Kids can truly benefit from the Metaverse, whether they are playing online games with friends or taking virtual classes through educational platforms. However, there are also some potential downsides to this new technology such as cyberbullying and exposure to inappropriate content. Ultimately, it will be up to parents and educators to help kids navigate the Metaverse in a safe and productive way.
What might the Metaverse mean for kids?
Early research shows that experts aren’t too optimistic about how the Metaverse will affect children.