- France has asked for public views on building a French-style metaverse that’s not dominated by giant web companies
- The country wants to understand the risks posed by virtual worlds on the environment, health and user privacy
- The consultation is part of ongoing efforts to ensure Europe has digital sovereignty
France has asked the public to share its views on building a French-styled metaverse that’s not dominated by web heavyweights like Meta Platforms. In a consultation released on April 11, the country wants to understand the risks posed by virtual worlds on the environment, health, and user privacy. The consultation is part of ongoing efforts aimed at securing Europe’s digital sovereignty and comes roughly six months after an exploratory mission by the country’s Ministry of Culture and Economy concluded that the metaverse should exist in real time.
An Alternative Metaverse Away from International Giants
According to the consultation, the metaverse will evolve into different forms in the future with augmented reality, gaming, blockchain, and virtual reality playing a major role in providing an immersive experience in the virtual space.
It also noted that the consultation’s main aim is to come up with suggestions on how the country, and Europe at large, can create “an alternative” metaverse away from the controlling hands of “international [web] giants.”
A likely international web company that France is worried about is social media giant Meta Platforms which is aggressively building a metaverse platform despite the undertaking drilling a $13.7 billion loss in its financial books in 2022.
Virtual Worlds Can Induce Suicidal Thoughts
Apart from France, some United States lawmakers are also concerned with Meta’s efforts to build a virtual world saying that it poses potential harms that can induce suicidal thoughts in teenagers.
An observation by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has also revealed that metaverse-based crimes are likely to increase as virtual worlds gain adoption. However, despite the perceived risks, countries like Japan have already declared support for the metaverse and NFTs.
With France worried about big tech companies becoming metaverse gatekeepers, there’s a possibility of having a controlled French-style metaverse.