The Metaverse is a post-reality environment, a persistent and perpetual multi-subscriber universe combining actual reality with online virtuality. It is founded on the conjunction of technological innovations that allow multisensory communications with simulated ecosystems, online objects, and persons, comprising augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). As a result, the Metaverse is a linked platform of social, interconnected immersive worlds in persistent multi-consumer websites. It facilitates unified embodied subscriber interaction in actual time and dynamic communications with digital objects. The Metaverse’s first recapitulation was a virtual universe system where avatars were capable of teleporting internally. On the other hand, the current iteration of the Metaverse entails immersive VR websites well-matched with enormous multiplayer virtual video games, AR interactive worlds, virtual game settings, and social spaces.
In the ancient period, the Internet was the physical bridge of governing principles and wires that enabled subscribers to interact within a single system. For instance, Web 1.0 presents the Internet to the public, permitting individuals to consume immobile, read-only material (Mozumder et al., 2022). Web 2.0 introduced an innovative timeframe of dynamic, communicative websites, allowing interaction among subscribers. Finally, Web 3.0 is advancing globally, connecting persons, programs, and material directly to one another, circumventing intermediate applications and programs (Mozumder et al., 2022). Therefore, the Web 3.0 system is projected to develop significantly multi-subscriber economically solid applications, such as the Metaverse. The Metaverse was launched in the 1992 novel “Snow Crash” as an imaginary model by Neal Stephenson (Mozumder et al., 2022). The author identified Metaverse as a perpetual virtual world, which will be a descendant of the Internet. Stephenson further noted that the Metaverse would allow individuals to spend a significant part of their livelihood in digital ecosystems. These locations would be reachable through exceptional goggles and enable the populace to play games, meet, purchase and sell items, and interact.
The Internet’s actual effort to duplicate such an environment was Second Life, an ecosystem to socialize digitally without challenges or storylines. Online jurisdictions, such as MindArk’s Entropia Universe and Second Life, rapidly became dominant, with the latter gaining millions of subscribers by the close of the 2000s (Gadekallu et al., 2022). Even though MindArk’s Entropia Universe subscriber statistics have since declined significantly, there is a loyal and gradually growing populace of users still active on the website.
Presently, the Metaverse, a virtual environment that numerous technological echelons invest in creating, has gained attention. Metaverse is, therefore, a scaled simulated combination of social networking and entertainment and video games that constructs innovative, immersive encounters, comprising swimming while listening to music at a digital performance. According to some companies and users, the Metaverse is the current technological buzzword and is perceived as an advanced version of Virtual Reality (VR) (Gadekallu et al., 2022). On the other hand, campaigners have identified the concept as being transformative. Similarly, more than 550 smartphone applications currently encompass the term Metaverse in their descriptions or identity (Wang et al., 2022). However, it is still uncertain how a fully developed Metaverse will operate. Despite the growing uncertainty, there is a consensus that the public will interact and communicate in linked 3D environments through on-screen representations identified as avatars. Therefore, this project aims to assess the influence of a functional Metaverse and what it can implicate within the society and its economy as leading tech companies invest substantially in the industry.
Metaverse is defined as a channel between the users and virtual reality. Metaverse denotes the 3D virtual collective universe where all the events can be conducted with the assistance of virtual reality and augmented reality services. The Metaverse platforms have achieved dominance over the recent years as the global populace modified their activities online, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the conception of the Metaverse has gained significant importance in online, healthcare, and lifestyle activities.
The Metaverse AI Algorithm (Virtual and Augmented Reality) and Extended Reality Algorithm
The writings from the study of play by Johan Huizinga define various functions employed in the Metaverse. For instance, the Cross Reality or Extended Reality (XR) is an egis word that encompasses a sequence of immersive systems, such as online electronic ecosystems, where information is characterized and proposed (Fouad Selim, 2022). Furthermore, the researchers state that XR includes virtual reality (VR, Mixed Reality (MR), and Augmented Reality (AR). These features allow users to interact and view a partially artificial digital universe established by innovation. On the contrary, VR is another in the extended algorithm that denotes a simulated environment that takes the users into an online world that operates similar to their usual surroundings (Fouad Selim, 2022). With the assistance of specific multisensory tools, such as VR headsets, immersion helmets, and omnidirectional treadmills, the user experience is improved. The user encounters in this virtual world are boosted through modalities, such as touch, natural interaction with virtual objects, sound, and vision.
Unlike the extended reality system, the AI algorithm, specifically AR, assumes a distinct approach regarding physical environments. For instance, it inserts digital records and simulated basics into the physical surroundings to improve it. Furthermore, it spatially combines the virtual environment with the artificial universe (Selim, 2022). According to the statements from the study of play by Huizinga, AR establishes a spatially planned sequence of digital equipment interceded by tools, such as a tablet, VR glasses, smartphones, contact lenses, and other transparent devices (Selim, 2022). The scholar further states that AR can be adopted in VR headsets using an intermediate mode capacity through presenting responses from incorporated camera sensors.
Finally, another AI component that the author has assessed is the MR. This more sophisticated model is occasionally identified as an improved AR duplication since it allows the virtual environment to engage with the expected digital information in real-time (Ericsson, 2022). For instance, a designed non-player individual in an MR game will identify the physical environment and shroud under a desk or behind a couch. Ericcson further notes that comparable to VR, MR necessitates special glasses (Ericsson, 2022). Therefore, the MR, AR, and VR are vital components in describing the Metaverse since they constitute the fundamental components that design the virtual universe and how they can impact the user.
The companies focusing on establishing web 3.0 aim to make the Internet and the web more verifiable, secure, and decentralized. According to researchers, the Metaverse will integrate some web 3.0 codes (Vint, 2021). Equally, some players are committed to their idea that decentralization should be at the center of an effective Metaverse (Vint, 2021). Ensuring decentralization within the core of the Metaverse will address the threat of a central entity that can act liberally as a concierge to consumer engagements. Furthermore, it will become an oversight power and execute the standards and guidelines to direct the developers.
In addition, to effect this type of decentralization, the focus of developers has shifted to blockchain technology as a method of certifying the Metaverse setting is safe. It also ensures that Metaverse evades being influenced by a specific section of technological corporations (Palomo Beltrán and Reséndiz Vázquez, 2022). From a blockchain perspective, decentralization denotes the transmission of influence and decision-making from a central entity to distributed systems that has significance for minimizing points, merging information, and augmenting capacities (Palomo Beltrán and Reséndiz Vázquez, 2022). However, researchers have indicated that significantly decentralized websites utilizing community-based principles and standards will not avert the presence of prominent closed stages in the Metaverse. From the assessment of the literature, the existence of the Metaverse in contemporary society has been influenced significantly by the evolution of the Internet.
Data Capitalism and Data Veillance
The topic of data capitalism and dataveillance has been a critical factor in assessing Metaverse and its existence. Data capitalism is the independent demanding of personal understanding as open raw content for interpretation into cognitive information (Dodds, Chopitea and Ruffins, 2021). According to various studies, the concept of data capitalism and dataveillance is perceived by multiple companies as a monetary system where private details are regarded and perceived as a foundation of revenue (Dodds, Chopitea and Ruffins, 2021). The studies had indicated that information capitalism originated and had its peak when the marketing firms comprehended the prospects of utilizing private data to target consumers more effectively. Equally, the topic of data capitalism and dataveillance has been highlighted in the conception of the Metaverse as various works of literature have outlined its benefits and disadvantages to the users (Dodds, Chopitea and Ruffins, 2021). The publications indicated that data capitalism and dataveillance in Metaverse would expose the operators to multiple risks, specifically threats arising from cyber-attacks and private information to customize virtual realities.
On the contrary, other researchers claimed that the practice of data capitalism and dataveillance in the creation of Metaverse would give the system a perception regarding each user, thus presenting an exciting environment for them. This idea was backed by the move by the government to monitor the credit of American enterprises in the 1870s (Johnstone, McDonnell and Williamson, 2022). The introduction of such strategies in the American business marketplace helped augment the companies’ capability to gather and record information about their consumers to customize products. According to the studies, these steps allowed the companies to customize their products to satisfy each group of consumers (Johnstone, McDonnell and Williamson, 2022). Similarly, this collection of literature argues that data capitalism effectively establishes Metaverse since it will ensure that users are exposed to surroundings and objects that conform to their beliefs, needs, and capabilities.
Perceptions from Healthcare Researchers
According to various scholars such as Shotton, the capability to incorporate and reutilize appropriate scientific outcomes from past research is vital for innovative study. The publication also presents ideas regarding the support from users who perceive Metaverse as beneficial. According to the researcher, the Metaverse helps them bridge the social gaps and achieve their dreams (Gursoy, Malodia and Dhir, 2022). The scholar claimed that this group of individuals is inclined to consume the Metaverse since it allows them to create their virtual world, which they can later actualize in the real world. Likewise, the conception of the Metaverse has a diverse impact on users as some perceive it as being beneficial while others are opposed to the innovation.
The scholar highlighted the significance of information and technological regulation in designing the future of users and societies. The researcher further emphasized that knowledge and technology have become crucial factors at the end of contemporary communities. With the effective utilization of technologies and information, an approach can be implemented for users, states, and corporations to ensure they address the mental issues linked to the Metaverse concept (Sparkes, 2021). Furthermore, strategies should be established to assess the Metaverse consumers, specifically during their registration. According to the academician, regulating information and technological innovations, such as Metaverse, is critical to prevent psychological breakdowns (Sparkes, 2021). From the literature, it is evident that despite the benefits presented by Metaverse, legal restrictions should be introduced to boost its significance within the global populace.
From the assessment of the previous publications, it can be concluded that the selected works of literature are relevant to this study since they are focused on answering the research subject. Furthermore, the writings are focused on expanding the understanding of the Metaverse by focusing on its algorithms, functionalities, and its health impacts on individuals. Finally, the article further explains how Metaverse established its existence within society.
Based on the similarity and close relationship between the subject of Metaverse and the actual world in literature review assessments, this thesis chooses to examine the existing works extensively. Whereas undertaking this approach, the paper purposes of creating an evaluation according to the systematic review of numerous publications connected to Metaverse. The selection will be conducted precisely to help answer the subject’s questions. Furthermore, the choice of publications will be dependent on their ability to present an in-depth investigation of the topic. This method will be effective in this study since it effectively requires a diverse knowledge of the subject to answer the research questions. Therefore, the research questions that the study purposes of answering are as follows:
- What is the algorithm?
- Is the Metaverse already here?
- How will the Metaverse impact mental health?
From the evaluation of the previous literature publications, there is a close connection and generally founded relationship between Metaverse and the actual world. There are various reasons for the close relationship between the two environments, impact on mental health, and the Metaverse’s existence expressly stated in the literature studies. First, the Metaverse algorithms such as virtual reality and augmented reality are meant to immerse users in an alternative universe (Vint, 2021). The writings investigated the influence of distinct types of AI components used in Metaverse, notably mixed, augmented, virtual, and extended reality. The utilized algorithms were diverse, and the output was unmatched and scarce to conclude (Vint, 2021). This is because the AI aspects have their unique functionalities in affecting the activities within Metaverse. For instance, AR incorporates digital information into the Metaverse universe to enhance it.
The assessment is backed by the conception of VR technology into the AI algorithm. The VR facilitates the functioning of AR through the transmission of virtual data from the Metaverse surrounding to the user. While the algorithms employed in Metaverse denote a specific accomplishment, background performance is linked to the aspects of a user’s input that holds and enhances the creation of the Metaverse environment (Franco, 2019). The literature determines that Metaverse algorithms influence the contextual productivity of the system but not the surroundings of the virtual universe.
In addition, the research on the existence of the Metaverse has been explained through the evolution of the Internet. The Internet has transformed significantly from the previous web 2.0 to web 3.0 (Franco, 2019). The introduction and continued utilization of web 3.0 in companies affirm the presence of Metaverse in the current society. From the literature readings, businesses aim to use this technological evolution to make the Internet more verifiable and decentralized. The presence of web 3.0 has equally facilitated the establishment of Metaverse (Franco, 2019). As a result, the increased use of web 3.0 has also helped in the successful creation of the Metaverse (Franco, 2019). Therefore, from the writings, the Metaverse’s existence in contemporary society has been influenced by web 3.0.
From the assessments on the impact of the Metaverse on mental health, the literature readings concluded that the Metaverse has a direct influence on the psychological outcomes of a user. The study conducted by Huizinga backs this assumption by explaining the importance of incorporating regulations on Metaverse technology (Mystakidis, 2022). The researcher contended that such legal guidelines aim to help mitigate instances of psychological breakdowns amongst users and to safeguard consumer information. Therefore, the works of literature assessed in this study determined that companies, algorithms, and users have played a significant role in the success of Metaverse. Similarly, the evolution of the Internet has also influenced the creation and actualization of the Metaverse world.
Finally, from evaluating the literature on data capitalism and dataveillance, this research established that the practice would present both risks and benefits to the Metaverse users. For instance, regarding risks, data capitalism will allow companies to collect and hold the operators’ information (Almarzouqi, Aburayya and Salloum, 2022). These details can later be used to boost the economic value of various companies at the expense of the users (Almarzouqi, Aburayya and Salloum, 2022). On the other hand, the concept of data capitalism and dataveillance can effectively determine the Metaverse environment and objects that will be presented to satisfy the preferences and beliefs of every user. Therefore, data capitalism and dataveillance are fundamental principles in the study since they connect the consumer to Metaverse.
The creation of Metaverse presented various algorithms designed to feed on users’ engagement. As stated in the assessment of the works of Johan Huizinga from the book Study of Play, the algorithms are meant to use the communication between the consumer and the platform to establish a relational and interactive surrounding (Beer, 2017). Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the pillar on which the Metaverse is designed. The algorithm effectively handles the user-produced information and establishes photorealistic graphical surroundings and avatars that resemble the operators (Beer, 2017). The AI capability to create an actual visual environment for the user is instigated by using the Virtual Reality (VR) system. Virtual reality is a computer-simulated world with objects and scenes that seem accurate. The AI algorithm used in Metaverse feeds off the user engagement and designs an environment that makes individuals feel they are absorbed into the universe. This surrounding is usually perceived through the use of virtual reality kits.
Furthermore, the AI is designed to transform the beliefs and decision-making skills of user engagement through its ability to detect body movements and, hence, influence the Metaverse experience to become accurate. Similarly, the AI’s ability to consume information from user engagements is facilitated by Augmented Reality (AR) (Duan et al., 2021). The AR is effective since it gathers data from the interaction between the users and the digital characters that inhibit the Metaverse universe, such as personal assistants and non-human characters. This capability ensures mutual understanding between the operators by establishing a shared dialect through the translation of the speech.
Finally, when the AI utilizes the user’s data, it helps create universally engaging and operator-friendly encounters to enhance activities and engagement periods similar to contemporary social media platforms. This has transformed the universal belief regarding social media being the leading platform for interaction. The capability to develop a virtually simulated environment is affected by Augmented Reality (AR) (Duan et al., 2021). In this case, the AI processes the data and ideas of the user and utilizes them to construct a virtual environment that compliments the user’s preference. Therefore, from the assessment, the AI algorithm is influential in transforming the beliefs of the user, engagement between the operator and the society, and the decisions made by individuals.
Extended Reality (XR)
Comparable to artificial intelligence (AI), the extended reality is shaping the Metaverse through the incorporation of augmented reality (AR), blockchain, virtual reality (VR), cryptocurrencies, and artificial intelligence to redesign how users work, communicate, and socialize (Schroeder, Guedes and Kuzmenko, 2020). The XR algorithm drives projections on various prospects within the rapidly evolving Metaverse. Furthermore, the XR system will transform users’ decisions, beliefs, and lifestyles in multiple ways. For instance, by 2030, the operators will be spending a significant period in the Metaverse than in the actual environment (Schroeder, Guedes and Kuzmenko, 2020). This is because, through the extended reality algorithms, individuals will be seeking employment opportunities, engaging with friends, earning a living, shopping, and undertaking weddings using the virtual capabilities of Metaverse.
In addition, college education and employment training will increasingly be offered in Metaverse alongside workplace meetings in the future years. Similarly, companies and state administrations will depend on the influence and dominance of Metaverse to transmit information, suggest services and collaborate with the communities (Mozumder et al., 2022). This will be a shift from the previous operations where governments and corporations would directly engage with the members of the society. Changes in the workplace will equally be experienced as workers will be encircled by facades that offer novel interfaces and realms of instant virtual links to colleagues and various project locations (Mozumder et al., 2022). These XR capabilities will enable individuals to encounter moments and recollections from another person’s livelihood. Through the XR algorithm, synthetic information produced from the Metaverse environment will further help in guiding robots to resolve and substitute humans from undertaking life-threatening tasks (Mozumder et al., 2022). Therefore, the XR algorithm plays a significant role in creating and functioning the Metaverse since it helps transform physical activities into simple virtual assignments and further simplifies various decision-making processes.
Data Capitalism and Data Veillance
The Metaverse will be customized to accommodate the practice of data capitalism through registration processes that will entail a person registering on the platform using their personal information. Regarding the factor of data capitalism, the introduction of Metaverse presented a new possibility and measure of tracing that ascertained transformative for information gathering practices (Couldry and Mejias, 2018). Initially, social media focused on the engagement of users and interaction with various companies to pursue revenues from the growing number of social media platforms consumers. Conversely, the Metaverse will be differentiated using the aspect of data capitalism in multiple ways (Couldry and Mejias, 2018). For instance, Metaverse will use the concept of information capitalism to collect standard instructions or commands issued by users to equip their virtual environments with activities and objects that complement their preferences.
On the other hand, Metaverse inclination to data capitalism will expose the users to cyber-attacks or unsafe data transmission. This practice in Metaverse will make it challenging for individuals to review the channels through which their personal information was collected. As a result, these practices will have specific implications for society. For instance, data capitalism will boost engagement within the public as their virtual environments will be customized to improve their experiences, especially during workplace meetings. Furthermore, the use of data capitalism in the Metaverse will impact the overall outcome of activities since individuals will be exposed to other users of similar personalities (Almarzouqi, Aburayya and Salloum, 2022). This will improve their belief in socialization and establish a sense of belonging within the community. Therefore, from the assessment of the aspect of data capitalism, this practice will play a significant role in defining every user’s environment and virtual settings, thus improving the overall user experience.
Dataveillance is tracking digital information regarding an individual’s details or online activity. Metaverse intends to utilize this practice to expose the users to specific experiences and activities that will help them realize their goals. For instance, in the case of job seekers, Metaverse incorporates a dataveillance approach to simplify the search for individuals aiming to attain employment opportunities. Equally, dataveillance in Metaverse is purposed to assess security risks linked to cyber threats. Metaverse will utilize data surveillance practice to enable the system to understand and project prospective cyber-attacks on users, preventing them (Almarzouqi, Aburayya and Salloum, 2022). Since dataveillance is a fundamental element of predictive policing, incorporating it into Metaverse will change users’ beliefs regarding digital safety. As a result, the Metaverse integration with dataveillance operations allows the system to intercede in prospective online threats, develop safe virtual societies, and comprehensively understand users’ needs.
How Algorithms Create False Sense of Reality
The main objective of Metaverse algorithms, such as extended reality and artificial intelligence, is to create a false reality to boost users’ dopamine levels and keep them engaged. This description of the Metaverse systems is comparable to an illustration of play, which is central to keeping people engaged and boosting their dopamine levels (Beer, 2017). Joan Huizinga supports this function of the Metaverse algorithms as the author defines play as the fundamental activity to help the communities succeed. The scholar illustrates the five characteristics of play, notably not being ordinary or natural. It is free. It is unique compared to actual life in relation to duration and locality, facilitates order, and generates revenues (Beer, 2017). Equally, the Metaverse algorithms affirm this concept of play by creating a false sense of reality in various ways.
To begin, the algorithms allow users to create their unique virtual environments, occupy them, interact with the surrounding, and undertake several activities permitted within the specific ecosystem. This aspect gives a person a false sense of belonging within the environment despite their actual reality not reflecting the concept in the Metaverse (Gadekallu et al., 2022). The AI algorithm is influential in creating this perception since it can comprehensively generate virtual worlds complimenting the desires of a user. The explanation of the play by Huizinga supports this aspect of false reality. According to the scholar, humans are imaginative and establish systems that will allow them to create and control their environments to boost their sense of achievement and belonging.
Similarly, Huizinga explains play’s subject as the capability to create something and function effectively. The author stipulates that the human civilization originated as a play in its earliest phases as those in power dictated all the happenings within the society, comprising the structure of homes, towns, the government, and interactions between individuals (Gadekallu et al., 2022). The Metaverse algorithms back this idea of creation and control by allowing the users to build their avatars. Considering the concept of play as illustrated by Huizinga, avatars will act as representatives of actual individuals in the instances of business meetings. The artificial intelligence algorithm will be central in this situation as it constitutes models that will analyze the user’s photos and redevelop a 3D avatar in their images. This capability of Metaverse algorithms supports the notion presented by Huizinga regarding creativity and power.
In addition, according to Huizinga, the concept of play is centered on the ability to perform actions and tasks and learn from the personal mistakes committed throughout the process. In the Metaverse, the algorithm simulates similar experiences when handling assignments and complex activities. For instance, the algorithms allow the users, specifically construction engineers, to explore the Metaverse and run errands, such as building projects, identify their mistakes and recommend methods to rectify them (Mystakidis, 2022). Equally, digital secretaries can receive incoming calls and messages while the user is in a business meeting and later alert them when the conference is completed. Therefore, the Metaverse algorithms’ capability to handle tasks for users and present solutions to mistakes is central to the concept of play since it helps increase individuals’ success levels.
Finally, real-time interpretation is another capability of the Metaverse algorithms. This function is purposed to help different societies and ethnic groups to communicate and understand each other. The algorithms will achieve this by identifying the dialect spoken by an individual, translating every word, recognizing the meaning, and correctly converting it to the language spoken by the other user (Mystakidis, 2022). With cross-ethnic examples from different communities, Huizinga identifies play in its different appearances, particularly the ethnicity factor. According to the author, for people from other regions to interact and engage in various activities, language should be a central factor as it will drive the achievement of tasks and cohesion (Mystakidis, 2022). In this case, the Metaverse algorithms create a false reality of ethnicity by translating languages between different users, thus allowing them to communicate effectively and accomplish tasks. From the comprehensive examination of how algorithms generate fabricated logic of reality, it is evident that play is the core of Metaverse creation.
Is Metaverse Already Here?
Facebook introduced the Metaverse concept to help the company establish a sense of belonging in its subscribers’ lives. The move to introduce Metaverse saw the corporation change its name to Meta. Despite being introduced in the recent decade, the idea of the Metaverse had been attempted initially through a virtual space denoted as Second Life, which was introduced in 2003 (Kessler, 2021). In the case of Second Life, users were allowed to purchase digital assets and clothing using real money and interact with blocky avatars. According to scholars, the concept of Second Life was for persons who perceived their normal livelihoods as boring (Kessler, 2021). The previous virtual technology allowed consumers to interact with their counterparts, engage in social activities, and purchase properties inexpensively.
Furthermore, Second Life used 3D-navigable solutions to allow the users to accomplish their dreams, which would be impossible in the actual environment. For instance, an individual could buy sports cars and luxurious mansions lower than their value (Cichoka, 2022). The idea of the Metaverse was, therefore, present before through the capability of virtual reality systems. Despite the suggestion that the Metaverse concept originated from social media and networking technologies, the innovation that has been developed over the years to actualize the objective of creating virtual environments is Second Life (Cichoka, 2022). However, the Second Life virtual platform lacked several features that limited its ability to develop a comprehensive virtual reality, as in the case of Metaverse. Various technological innovations facilitated the Metaverse transition and actualization. For instance, the capability of amber and green text monitors to provide a graphical user interface, which simplified the use of computers.
Furthermore, the modems improved users’ connectivity to the Internet, thus exposing them to the barren-search website edges of Google and Yahoo. Similarly, photos and graphics, particularly in social media and blogs, became prominent, and smartphones with camera-enabled individuals to take pictures. Finally, the idea of videos was incorporated into the technological world through various platforms, such as Zoom and TikTok (Duan et al., 2021). The innovations presented that consumers would spend minimal time navigating their computers and the additional chance for the Metaverse to boost its dominance. These technological transformations influenced the creation of the Metaverse and its effectiveness in the global communities and companies. Compared to the inventions, the Metaverse integrated such solutions into one platform to provide users with simulated experiences within one system that they initially enjoyed on different platforms (Duan et al., 2021). From the assessments of the previous technological developments, Metaverse is not a new concept since it has existed through these social media platforms, search engines, and virtual space, notably Second Life.
Value of User Harvested Information
In addition, the users of these innovations have noticeable value to corporations, which can eventually be successful in the case of Metaverse. For instance, the collected users’ data will help the companies establish a comprehensive understanding of the target market, describe their inclusive demographics, and recognize methods to improve their experiences (Couldry and Mejias, 2018). The Metaverse will use this objective of data harvesting to advance the system to accommodate the needs of each specific user. Metaverse will achieve this by monitoring individuals’ data traffic and designing their environments according to their search preferences.
Similarly, data collection enables businesses to improve their consumer database. For instance, when firms harvest customers’ email addresses, phone numbers, and IP addresses, they can use this information to contact their clients regarding future opportunities (Couldry and Mejias, 2018). Metaverse can use this strategy to boost the lead generation approach and successfully measure the degree of interest of the users based on their behavior in the system (Couldry and Mejias, 2018). This will further allow Metaverse to send notifications to individuals on how they can improve their avatars, surroundings, and business meetings.
Additionally, consumer data harvesting creates value for companies by facilitating improved personalization. The collection of operators’ details enables businesses to realize customer expectations concerning tailored communications and recommendations (Purdy, 2022). Metaverse will also gain value from this approach by using the users’ details to design unique touches and interface recommendations depending on their preferences. For instance, in a user who consumes Metaverse for business conferences, the system will issue alerts on the most effective avatar to use (Purdy, 2022). This capacity will enable the operators to create avatars using their photos.
Finally, harvesting user details enables businesses to improve their promotional strategies. Since corporations operate in a competitive marketplace, identifying a practical marketing approach is fundamental to attracting more consumers (Boggan, 2021). Comparably, collecting user data will play a significant part in presenting Metaverse to their target market. When Metaverse utilizes such information, it will understand the promotional approaches that attract specific audiences (Boggan, 2021). This technique guarantees Metaverse exposure to social media platforms and businesses to various users. From the assessment of how user data harvesting creates value for firms, it is evident that the approach will improve Metaverse exposure to the global community and improve user experiences.
How Metaverse will Impact Mental Health
The introduction of Metaverse and its consumption has sparked several debates across the globe regarding its positive and negative effects on users, specifically their mental health. According to healthcare scholars, such as Shotton, the overuse of virtual technology will influence numerous psychological complications, comprising paranoid ideation, depression, and psychoticism (Morenne, 2022). According to research, the prominent prospective effect of Metaverse is psychoses, especially those that encompass hallucinations and delusions. The misuse of Metaverse will increase cases of psychoticism by 6 percent (Morenne, 2022). Exposure to a digital world will influence these impacts, enabling users to solve their issues and create objects and environments according to their preferences. Consequently, these influences will be experienced in the real world as operators deviate from real-life issues or solve those using virtual solutions rather than actual resolutions.
Likewise, another mental concern associated with Metaverse is addiction. The consumption of Metaverse has gained significant prominence globally, and young users are utilizing the system at an alarming rate (Reed, 2021). Consequently, the surging impact of addiction to digital technology, such as Metaverse, will expose the users to depression. The anxiety cases amongst these individuals are influenced by the escape from the real world, making them socially isolated. As a result, when exposed to virtual environments, users will feel lonely and afraid to face real life. Comparable to social media, Metaverse will allow individuals to create their worlds of fantasy and luxury (Reed, 2021). When such individuals are exposed to the real world that lacks the luxury they have made in Metaverse, they are likely to become depressed.
Similar to Metaverse, social media platforms, such as Instagram, will equally impact users. According to the social displacement concept, the more periods users spend interacting online will move their association with the ordinary world. As a result, there will be a decline in the users’ general wellness. Furthermore, various studies have equally indicated that social media consumption impacts an individual’s body positivity (Mystakidis, 2022). For instance, in the case of persons with disability, when this group of operators uses Metaverse to create avatars, they are likely to feel inferior owing to their incapacities. Finally, social media applications further create social pressures, especially in persons with low self-esteem.
Finally, the escapism of perfect virtual avatars will affect how persons view their actual reality. The capability of Metaverse to allow users to create avatars according to their preferences limits their social interaction abilities. Whereas social media platforms are tailored to permit the uploading of photos and apprising statuses, the Metaverse improves these capacities by enabling avatars with synthetic clothing and decorations (Wang et al., 2022). Conversely, the introduction of Metaverse can potentially intensify the adverse outcomes of social media and the personal perception of users. For instance, research has shown that social networking impacts individuals to look in a specific way.
The filtered aspect of social media complemented by the Metaverse’s existence will worsen this issue since the transitional influence of having privileges increases displeasure. Furthermore, the need to look in a specific way makes persons unsatisfied with their bodies, thus reducing their confidence and self-appreciation (Duan et al., 2021). However, the Metaverse can improve users’ perception through prominent historical events. For instance, Martin Luther King’s famous speech “I have a dream” can be incorporated into the Metaverse to boost consumers’ confidence and give them a submerse encounter. Therefore, from the evaluation of the effect of the ability to create avatars on users, it is evident that this Metaverse feature will adversely impact the users.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The previous century has been prominent with its mass manufacturing and the conception of the Internet. However, the 21st century will be dominant for developing and advancing virtual reality through Metaverse. Whereas the web has realized various high points, the Metaverse is projected to offer engaging, immersive, and collaborative encounters. Yet, irrespective of the substantial ambitions and potentials made by different prospective companies experimenting with this virtual universe, it is evident that the Metaverse will present various opportunities, health risks, and impacts on social life. The paper outlines have answered the multiple questions regarding the existence of the Metaverse. From the assessment, it is evident that the establishment and development of Metaverse have been facilitated by the presence of Social Life and the gradual advancements in technologies.
Furthermore, the presence of Metaverse algorithms, such as artificial intelligence and extended reality, has improved the system’s conception and improvement of user experiences. The algorithms have used consumer data to customize their Metaverse environments and create avatars. The assessment of the topic of Metaverse has also shed more light on the mental impact of Metaverse on the user. According to the research, despite presenting positive effects to the businesses and users through simplifying business operations, such as meetings and improved social interactions, Metaverse will have adverse effects on users, notably addiction, depression, and anxiety.
However, the Metaverse can be improved and advanced to improve the overall outcomes of users and alienate mental issues. For instance, the system should be customized to include warnings, especially when users spend a significant part of their day in Metaverse. This approach will avert the users’ dependency on Metaverse and create a balance between virtual life and actual life. Moreover, companies should incorporate awareness campaigns to enlighten society regarding the adverse impacts of Metaverse on mental and social health. Finally, the introduction of data collection regulations is fundamental to protect the users from potential cyber-attacks and malicious use of the information by companies. The topic of Metaverse, a dystopia of tomorrow, is a complex and extensive subject that should be investigated further to identify ways of improving consumer outcomes and how to address its adverse impacts on society.
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