How to use the Metaverse for good
The Metaverse allows us to create unique virtual experiences and can be a powerful tool for progress and empowerment. A Meta-initiated interactive art exhibit at Horizon Worlds demonstrates that.
Although the first metaverse products still face social problems and technical issues, they can already serve as a space to raise awareness and broaden perspectives. For example, in art that addresses history and important socio-political issues.
In fact, one artist, Gabe Gault, created an immersive VR exhibition entitled I Am A Man, which lets users look at Black history from a fresher, more contemporary perspective.
Gabe Gault and the Art in the Metaverse
Gault, an artist and muralist, launched his exhibition on February 22, 2022 in Meta’s Horizon Worlds. His latest work focuses on creating a captivating virtual journey that transports users to key periods in Black history. It features prominent figures in the Civil Rights movement, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.
Gault is part of Meta’s Metaverse Culture Series, an immersive VR experience that allows participants to build their own worlds in the metaverse as a way to explore Black culture. The program’s goal is to give historically excluded communities accessible entry points that can enable them to become a part of the future of tech.
I Am A Man will run until February 28 and can be accessed by users daily, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. PT.
The Metaverse as a space for good
The Metaverse is still in its early stages. Moderation issues and challenges - such as misinformation, discrimination, and harassment - are currently an issue and, as in the real world, are likely to remain so.
Some people may therefore perceive the Metaverse as an unsafe place. Metaverse providers such as Meta, Rec Room, and VRChat are taking steps to protect their users, such as creating a "safe zone" that encloses avatars in a protective bubble.
Currently, the Metaverse (or its variations like Horizon Worlds) appeals to only a small group of people. But it is continually growing and can be a powerful tool for progress, such as overcoming social anxiety.
So the metaverse is more than a self-contained virtual surrogate world designed to generate high revenues for corporations. It can equally be seen as a new digital space where anything can happen - including the exploration of history, creativity, culture and new social experiences.
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