Metaverses of the future are not safe. For starters, these digital worlds recreate the dangers of being online with more immersion. Women are already complaining after being sexually assaulted in different metaverses.
The other facet of such VR/AR technology is the injury it causes to its users in real time. To maximise the usage of virtual reality and augmented reality, current tech support is dependent on immersive glasses that completely cut off the user from their physical surroundings.
Virtual reality can cause serious injuries
If you’re performing high-power activities, you’ll be on a treadmill-like station with Velcro belts to ensure your safety. But that is an expensive paraphernalia and most metaverse users simply won’t have the space to dedicate an entire room to digital worlds.
Many users who are already logged onto the metaverse are reporting injuries – ranging from benign fractures to more serious ones. According to the Wall Street Journal, virtual reality is sending people to emergency rooms.
When you’re immersed in a digital environment, it’s easy to forget your spatial limits – causing injuries. According to WSJ, people are using virtual reality for workouts and gaming – causing fractures of bones, dislocated shoulders, and accidentally hitting bystanders.
Futurism reported how a 31-year-old German man broke his neck while playing a virtual reality game, also suffering a traumatic fracture from intense repetitive motion while gaming in VR.
Most tech companies that make VR tech also ship a safety manual with grids marked as safe limits for the player. While that may be helpful, perhaps more customised solutions are needed to prevent VR injuries – especially given the boom of metaverse platforms with virtual reality headsets witnessing a sale increase of 70% in 2021.
Needleman, S. E., & Rodriguez, S. (2022, February 1). VR to the ER: Metaverse Early Adopters Prove Accident-Prone. WSJ.
Virtual Reality Users Keep Suffering Horrible Injuries. (2022, February 1). Futurism.