[PRESS RELEASE] Metaverse: A Thrill or Potential Temporary? | DIFUSSION #67

March 25, 2022 3:33 pm || By

Writer: Septiana Noor M
Editor: Firya Qurratuain Abisono

Google Meet, 20th January 2022 — Metaverse is currently becoming a topic discussed in IT, economics, business, and marketing. The Metaverse is seen as a gateway to the future. As a virtual world, Metaverse can make humans carry out various activities that are usually carried out in the real world, such as holding concerts, playing games, and owning land. This raises some questions regarding the consequences of the Metaverse concept, which is considered cannot be fully understood. CfDS on DIFUSSION #67 raised the theme “Metaverse: A Mere Sensation or Potential in Front of Your Eyes?” to discuss this further. This discussion also invited Irnasya Shafira and Rizka Herdiani as CfDS research assistants. The full discussion can be watched here: Difussion #67 “Metaverse: Sensasi Semata atau Potensi di Depan Mata?”

Indonesia: Towards the Metaverse

Irnasya opens the presentation by discussing the meaning of Metaverse as a debatable term. Metaverse is often known as a product of the Meta Platform as the new name of Mark Zuckerberg’s company, originally called Facebook. However, Neal Stephenson first introduced Metaverse in his novel Snow Crash in 1992. Stephenson defines Metaverse as the latest form of the internet in the form of VR with virtual interactions in which it has a direct impact on the real world. However, the definition of Metaverse is still much debated because of the different perceptions of various parties.

Regarding the development of the Metaverse in Indonesia, Irnasya takes the opinion from Kominfo that Indonesia can be said to have great potential. One of these things can be realized by promoting the natural beauty of Indonesia through Metaverse targeting Icelandic people who have different natural appearances from Indonesia. On the other hand, if Indonesia wants to develop Metaverse seriously, it needs to pay great attention to security. This is because there are still cases of data leaks that occur. Therefore, the significance of the Metaverse needs to be preceded by the development of infrastructure, society, and policies to support digital activities.

Closing his presentation regarding the urgency of Metaverse in Indonesia, Irnasya stated, “There are only two technological developments, left behind or keeping up. It could be that Indonesia develops Metaverse in big cities, which has the potential to exacerbate inequality with other cities. However, it does not seem too urgent when talking about Metaverse technology specifically in Indonesia.”

New Technology with the Same Fault: The Inevitable Emergence of Sexual Violence in the Metaverse

At the beginning of her presentation, Rizka said a beta tester was sexually harassed during a trial at Horizon Worlds in December 2021. Horizon Worlds itself is Meta’s VR-based social media platform. Rizka emphasized that sexual harassment and violence have happened in the virtual world and can impact the real world, so it requires specific ways to eliminate them. “Toxic behavior such as sexual violence that occurs online can impact a person’s psychological health in the real world. Several things can be done to prevent sexual violence in virtual spaces, namely by including moderators and banning perpetrators. One thing I can suggest is to have a help button.”

The platform has a significant role in protecting its users. However, Rizka believes that users must also have awareness and mindset on the virtual world as a public space. Therefore users should behave respectfully like in the real world. High awareness can foster the next step by reporting to the community if users know that there are incidents of sexual violence in the virtual world.

Closing the discussion, Irnasya and Rizka agree that discussions about Metaverse on social media can be said to be chaotic. However, it is essential to know that various problems, including sexual violence, in Metaverse in parallel also occur in the real world. Therefore, in creating a conducive and safe relationship in cyberspace, it is necessary to carry out promotions related to netiquette in a disciplined and continuous manner.