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EU Promotes Metaverse’s Health Benefits for Kids Despite Risks

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EU Promotes Metaverse's Health Benefits for Kids Despite Risks

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), a think tank for the European Union, recently published a letter addressing the potential benefits and challenges for children in the metaverse. The author, EPRS policy analyst Maria Niestadt, believes that the metaverse can enhance children’s creativity, motivation to learn, and even aid in their healing from diseases. It can also provide cultural and social experiences that they may not have access to otherwise. The EPRS also recognizes various challenges that the EU must confront, including safeguarding children from negative mental and physical outcomes associated with virtual, augmented, and mixed reality headsets, as well as privacy and security concerns.

The EPRS highlights the numerous opportunities the metaverse presents for children. While it does not explicitly endorse the use of virtual and mixed reality headsets by children, it acknowledges the positive uses of these technologies. The EPRS suggests that virtual world technologies can be utilized in diagnosing and treating pediatric mental and physical health disorders, promoting physical well-being through immersive fitness exercises, assisting children in overcoming psychological difficulties, and aiding in their physical rehabilitation. Virtual immersion in educational lessons and the potential for positive social interaction are also seen as valuable opportunities.

Despite the abundance of opportunities, the EPRS points out various challenges that must be addressed to protect EU children from potential harms associated with the metaverse. The primary concerns are the negative effects on children’s mental and physical well-being due to their exposure to digital worlds and associated hardware. These include social and real-world isolation, exposure to harassment and inappropriate communication, as well as physical discomfort like nausea, anxiety, and fear. Determining the appropriate age for children to operate in the metaverse poses a legislative challenge, as it currently varies among private sector manufacturers. Some manufacturers have lowered the minimum age for using VR headsets, raising concerns about age appropriateness.

The state of the metaverse in the European Union is in a state of flux. Regulators are exploring future strategies while relying on the private sector to self-regulate based on existing laws and internal guidelines. It is crucial to strike a balance between reaping the benefits of the metaverse for children and ensuring their safety and well-being in this evolving digital landscape.

10 thoughts on “EU Promotes Metaverse’s Health Benefits for Kids Despite Risks

  1. The EU needs to focus on protecting kids from the harmful effects of technology, not promoting it as a solution. This is a step in the wrong direction.

  2. Immersive fitness exercises through the metaverse? Count me in! This could be an innovative way to keep kids active and healthy.

  3. Positive social interaction in the metaverse? That’s fantastic! It could help children build social skills and connect with peers from all over the EU.

  4. Seriously, the EU has nothing better to do than advocate for virtual reality for children? This is just irresponsible.

  5. Learning through the metaverse sounds like an incredible opportunity. It could really make education more engaging and interactive for children.

  6. It’s heartwarming to hear that the metaverse can aid in children’s healing from diseases. This could be a game-changer for their well-being.

  7. The cultural and social experiences offered by the metaverse are fantastic. It can open doors for children to explore and connect with different cultures. So cool!

  8. The EU needs to prioritize the mental and physical well-being of children, not push them into the metaverse. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

  9. I can’t believe the EU is even considering exposing children to the potential dangers of the metaverse. This is a reckless decision.

  10. What happened to good old-fashioned childhood? This virtual reality obsession is robbing kids of their innocence. Shame on the EU!

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