Title: Imagining and Designing the Metaverse
Description: Interest in the metaverse has increased dramatically since Mark Zuckerberg’s talk in October 2021. By turning to the metaverse, Facebook/Meta indicated a paradigm shift from a platform and social media based internet to an immersive, integrated and experience-based environment. But what precisely the metaverse will be is still undetermined, indicating that the current period will shape its future form. It is therefore important to study the sociotechnical imaginaries around the metaverse as they will end up feeding into relevant policy and to the design of metaverse applications. The project focuses on two key areas, games and health, and seeks to identify the sociotechnical imaginaries of metaverse applications in these areas as they are encountered among different publics, including technology developers, gamers/users, and public bodies. The project explores their views on challenges around user engagement, privacy and other ethical issues, including transparency, human dignity, individual and societal wellbeing, transparency, accountability and non-discrimination. The outcome of the research is expected to include a set of ethical and policy guidelines for the metaverse.