The first companies now want to develop Metaverse offers for children. These include Lego and Epic Games. But how do you guarantee the safety of young users?
The issue of user and data security has become the main issue in the development of new products and services in recent years. It was actually to be expected that given the security of the metaverse – what some are calling the next major step in development – security would not be treated as a so-called “afterthought”. Instead, it makes it a central topic from the start.
However, the first incidents show that the signs are bad in this regard. Thus, in the development of the Metaverse, Meta did not initially think about protecting avatars from each other. This is despite the fact that reports, mostly of women who have been sexually harassed in virtual worlds, have existed for years. It was only later, after negative experiences accumulated here too, that Meta introduced a margin of safety into the virtual world. But that can’t protect against anything that turns out to be particularly urgent, because children are now also becoming a target group. Game publisher Epic Games and Lego are collaborating on a metaverse for kids and families.
Lego and Epic Games are developing a metaverse for children
The long-term cooperation was announced in a press release:
The two companies will team up to create an immersive, inspiring and engaging digital experience for kids of all ages to enjoy together. The digital family experience will give children access to tools that will empower them to become confident creators and provide amazing play opportunities in a safe and positive space.
At Lego, we don’t just think about how kids can switch between the real world and the digital world and how creative play can be encouraged. Security should also be a main aspect of development. Thus explained Niels B. ChristiansenLego Group CEO:
[…] we have a responsibility to make them safe, inspiring and beneficial for all. Just as we have protected children’s rights to safe physical play for generations, we are committed to doing the same for digital play. We look forward to working with Epic Games to shape this exciting and fun future.
With pleasure – and safety?
To this end, three principles have been agreed:
- Protect children’s right to play by making safety and well-being a priority.
- Protect children’s privacy by prioritizing their interests.
- Equip children and adults with tools that put them in control of their digital experiences.
Epic Games can draw on many years of experience. Additionally, the game company purchased the SuperAwesome company in 2020. This provides tools for developers so that they can create safe worlds of experience for children. The basic equipment for a successful cooperation is thus given. How successful the project will be remains to be seen. More recently, Meta’s “Instagram for Kids” failed to gain traction as criticisms of lack of security and potentially negative effects on younger users were voiced.