Written By: Aashish Vashistha
Metaverse is a new concept of 3 D online universe that combines multiple different virtual spaces. It can be seen as a future iteration of the internet. The metaverse will allow users to work, meet, game, and socialize together in these 3D spaces. Video games is recently providing the closest metaverse experience on offer. Developers of the game have pushed the boundaries of what a game is through hosting in-game events and creating virtual economies. Also cryptocurrencies are also working on metaverse. They allow for creating a digital economy with different types of utility tokens and virtual collectibles (NFTs).
Recently a 43-year-old British woman has alleged that she was verbally and sexually harassed in Facebook’s metaverse, Horizon Venues. She explained that within 60 seconds of her joining the virtual world, three or four male avatars “virtually gang raped” her avatar and took photos of the same. According to some reports, she was Nina Jane Patel, a mother, who has chronicled the entire scenario in a Medium blog post, alleging that it all transpired within seconds of her entering the virtual world. She further went on to describe how she witnessed her avatar being sexually raped by a group of male avatars, who photographed her and gave her messages like “don’t pretend you didn’t love it.”
The 43-year-old experienced this dreadful incident and she said, “A horrible experience that happened so fast and before I could even think about putting the safety barrier in place. I froze, ” she added. “It was surreal. It was a nightmare. After joining the Facebook’s version of the ‘metaverse’, anyone could witness the torture firsthand. In an interview, she told that she is experiencing anxiety ever since she encountered this horrible experience.This dreadful incident of Ms. Patel forced Meta to give a prompt and elicit response.Meta stated that technical obstacles may be put in place to prevent this from happening again. One of the spokesperson from Meta added, “We’re sorry to hear this happened. We want everyone in Horizon Venues to have a positive experience, and easily find the safety tools that can help in a situation like this–and help us investigate and take action.”
The lady works for Kabuni Ventures, an immersive technology company, as Vice President of Metaverse Research. These incidents only acts as an ‘early warning signal’ for so many people who are so much active in virtual world and distancing them from the real world. Metaverse needs to learn a very clear lesson from this and should be accountable for further issues which might happen in future.
Sexual Assault with a woman, seconds after she joins Metaverse, a virtual world