Metaverse, for better or worse?

03 Mar 2022 03.00 PM - 04.00 PM NISTH Events Alumni, Current Students, Industry/Academic Partners, Prospective Students, Public


Metaverse is the internet built by game developers. - Ryan Gill (Co-Founder & CEO, Crucible)

So, is the Metaverse a big game room?  Will it be a passing fancy, a new form of entertainment or will it change the world of communication and interaction? 

Well, the Metaverse or the Web 3.0, is defined as a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection (Wikipedia). More plainly, in the metaverse, individuals interact using virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR respectively) technologies to share experiences in a common space.  Instead of reading information on web pages (Web 1.0) or using interactive web pages (Web 2.0), one can now virtually immerse themselves into it.

The lack of human contact, that we crave in our ‘new normal’ digital interactions and remote communications will become a thing of the past.  The Metaverse will provide for alternate reality spaces where you can shop, play games, meet people, own places and pets.  This digital escape, enhanced brain-computer interface (BCI) technology, will enrich our social media experience into a 360 degree one, provide new avenues for businesses, create a valuable virtual economy, and slowly but steadily replace most human experiences.

While it sounds like a utopia of sorts, it also comes with its own baggage.  The impact it will have on emotional, mental, and physical health of individuals, value of human relations and society, the privacy and security issues that evolve and the disconnect from real-life experience are of paramount concern.  So, will the Metaverse change our lives for the better or make it worse?

Join our panelists Assoc Prof Vivian Chen (WKW, NTU) and Assoc Prof Cai Yiyu (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, NTU) as they discuss, the topic, ‘Metaverse, for the better or worse?’ from two different viewpoints.  Prof Chen will examine the psycho-social impact on human interactions and communication while Prof Cai, will give us a more in-depth view of the technology used and that which is being developed to make this new alternate universe more interactive. The session will be moderated by Prof Vanessa Evers (Director, NISTH) and Assoc Prof Hallam Stevens (Assoc Director, NISTH).