Meta has announced a new feature to allow more personal space for user avatars in VR worlds. The metaverse is still in the concept stage, but the latest attempts to create virtual worlds already face an age-old problem: bullying and objectionable behavior.
To try to limit all this, Meta has now announced a new function in its brand new social network (remember that Facebook had to be renamed as a result of the worst reputation crisis that the company is going through in its entire history). The new implementation that Meta is preparing is called Personal Boundary, and it will start working soon.
A tool to prevent bullying
Personal Boundary prevents avatars from coming within a certain distance of each other, creating more personal space for participants and making it easier to avoid these unwanted interactions. It is something very similar to real life, where there are situations (such as a crowded street or public transport) where the excessive approach and contact of people is very uncomfortable.
From Meta they have ensured that this idea prevents other users from “invading the personal space of your avatar. If someone tries to cross their personal limit, the system will stop their movement forward when they reach that limit,” the company clarified.
Personal Boundary is available in Meta’s Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues software. The firm said it was a “powerful example of how virtual reality has the potential to help people interact comfortably” but acknowledged there was much more work to be done.
Since the beta phases of the Metaverse, bullying is the main issue that Meta has faced. If, unfortunately, harassment through social networks is a widespread scourge throughout the world, the opening of the Metaverse is only one more sphere for users to carry out ” creepy behavior “, as it has come to be. to define goal.
Even so, also from the first moment and the beginning of the experimental phases of the Metaverse, the company has worked to prevent these behaviors from occurring, although it is not easy at all. On the Horizon Worlds virtual reality platform, anyone over the age of 18 can create an avatar and come in to hang out.
To do so, users need one of Meta’s VR headsets, and the space offers the opportunity to play games and chat with other avatars, none of whom have legs. The visual concept doesn’t differ much from Microsoft’s virtual reality platform.
However, there are already some cases of women reporting sexual harassment in the Metaverse. In the UK, a woman named Nina Jane Patel described how a group of male avatars touched her and subjected her to a round of sexual advances (when one avatar is close to another they can talk to them into the microphone). They photographed her and sent her a message saying, “Don’t pretend you didn’t like it.”