By Ella Strange, Bond University Student Reporter
The Metaverse is growing fast but this digital landscape is currently dominated by men.
Currently, the universal estimated value of the Metaverse is US$6 trillion.
By 2030, experts say it will be worth more than $30 trillion – that’s a five-time increase in just eight years.
The Metaverse’s infancy will not last long. Fuelled by rapidly evolving technology, digital innovation, and hungry tech investors looking for opportunities in new media landscapes, it’s predicted that people will be interacting online as their primary mode of communication before the decade ends.
Beyond Facebook’s recent marketing makeover, you may wonder – what exactly is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse refers to a digital landscape where all existing information, across time and space, is enmeshed into an online world where people can interact from any corner of the globe and beyond.
Although the Metaverse will transform our understanding of identity and challenge cyber-security, it will also serve as a diverse and gender-fluid environment for social connection and interaction, increasing inclusivity and accessibility for all involved.
However, the representation of women involved in establishing the foundations of this digital giant falls behind – again.
Discourse shaped by men
According to Dr Jeffery Brand, Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching at Bond University, the Metaverse is currently dominated by males, and female representation is sorely needed.
Dr Brand says the creation of the Metaverse is deterministic in nature, and the social discourse within this realm is currently being shaped by men.
“I would like to see more communication about the social change that this space could potentially bring,” he said.
In an age of content creators and digital citizens, Dr Brand said the Metaverse would act as a content funnel to connect people from any distance and share information at lightning speed.
“This will be a place for your content to be shared to help with issues that are so critically important to our future,” he said.
Just as we became accustomed to people wearing masks in response to the pandemic, we can expect the same reaction to those wearing smart eyeglasses, goggles, or contact lenses on their way to the supermarket.
International non-profit organisation Reporters Without Borders established an incredible project known as The Uncensored Library, which enables people living under oppressive regimes to access independent information through Minecraft servers.
Source: The Uncensored Library
This project serves as an example of the power and creativity of the Metaverse, where granting people access to a global community has allowed journalists and digital citizens to discover information censored by their governments.
As this virtual reality grows, so will the participation of women pioneering its development.
Until then, we must place a higher priority on informing and encouraging women about the opportunities for taking part in the early stages of Metaverse’s adoption into society.