As the TNL mini-world-build around the metaverse percolates along, we like to generate visuals to try and map various elements. These can include relationships, flows, dependencies – basically just trying to abstract the incredibly complex space and represent it in a way that we can then do deeper dives and make some progress.
These are early drafts and works-in-progress, but you have to start somewhere. First is an overall schema, with our path to the metaverse on top, and social/policy areas of interest in the bottom. The idea is that each of these areas will play out in the metaverse in different ways, so policy will need to be created – and through the lens of ethics, equity, and sustainability (something lacking in Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 )
This second diagram zooms in on how we get from here to there, with some of the current elements that make up the metaverse, along with issues that have not been solved yet (eg security, privacy, ownership, etc) and will only get more complex in the next generation metaverse(s)
The next graphic looks a bit deeper into the social and policy areas with some examples of topic that will need to be addressed in the metaverse – both inside the metaverse and at the “membrane” of metaverse and physical world. Not clear how many of the analog-world laws/rules/models will actually work if ported into the metaverse.
The final diagram focuses on possible regulation models. Section 230 has been a guiding light for the current social media space, but fairly clear it has issues. And those issues will only increase (probably exponentially) in the metaverse. The idea here: can we look at other areas of regulation and draw inspiration for how we want/need to regulate the metaverse? We have some students working on exactly this approach.
These are early prototype frameworks, and certainly are incomplete and will change over time as we dig deeper into the world build and understand the affordances, responsibilities, and challenges that will reify in the metaverse. But the journey starts with a single step – here’s to a long and productive walk.