Popular Gaming Platforms Reveal the Danger of the Metaverse

Photo by Alexey Savchenko via Unsplash

Popular Gaming Platforms Reveal the Danger of the Metaverse

By Movieguide® Contributor

More evidence continues to mount that Facebook’s Metaverse could be an incredibly dangerous experience for younger users, as evidenced by popular gaming platforms.

Facebook unveiled their plans for a Metaverse late last year, and rebranded their overarching company as Meta to emphasize their push. Facebook has frequently come under fire for its dangers to younger users through its apps, and it seems like the Metaverse will be no exception.

Sites like Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite, which are very popular with young kids, have shown us that there is danger in these online communities. 

According to a report from Variety:

From player-created rooms where users try to get away with sexual imagery, far right recruitment or inappropriate voice chats to genuine instances of child predation that have occurred, the overall Roblox experience is rife with the same risks facing kids across the internet. Per its financials, the company has had to devote more funds every quarter to one of four main “expense buckets” that includes player safety initiatives, with Q4 2021 showing those initiatives contributed to as much as $93 million for the expense category housing them. 

Companies that are looking to expand into the Metaverse can expect to face the same challenges that these gaming sites are still working on. 

Movieguide® has previously reported on Roblox’s issues:

Roblox, an online game platform marketed to kids, has faced scrutiny recently as some of its games expose children to explicit images, simulated sexual acts, and crude language.

The platform allows users to program games and, in turn, play games created by other users. The problem, though, is that some of the games contain sexually explicit content that sneaks past Roblox’s child safety features, reports Fast Company.

The games causing the most concern are called “condo games,” which one 19-year-old user called “the dark side of Roblox,” according to DigitalTrends.

Condo games contain characters who can undress, simulate sexual acts, and use crude language.

“Roblox has made a world where kids can build whatever they want and with condo games, what they want is to be much more grown-up than I think anyone imagines they would try,” Burt Helm, Fast Company’s editor at large, told CBS News. “But the most shocking thing is that you see characters that are naked, and you see that kids have coded ways for these characters to have sex.”

Movieguide® also reported on virtual strip clubs that were appearing on Roblox’s site and the efforts the company made to crack down:

Roblox reportedly reached out to the virtual club’s developer, and warnings were added for incoming players. 

“You may receive warnings, kicks, and bans if you engage in behavior that is against the Roblox Terms of Service (TOS),” the warning reads. “In addition, we have a zero tolerance policy regarding any inappropriate behavior including, but not limited to: re-enacting inappropriate scenes or poses, online dating, bypassed clothing/inappropriate avatars, and any VR players caught performing inappropriate actions. Players caught performing any of the above or other inappropriate actions will be permanently banned on the spot and will have to appeal within the communications server in the game description. Repeat offenders will be immediately blacklisted and will not be allowed to return to Club Iris.”

Roblox also released a statement that denies that their platform exploits or targets minors with inappropriate content. 

“Roblox has no tolerance for sexual content which violates our Community Rules, and we take swift action to address any content or developer that violates our terms of use,” the statement reads. “It is our responsibility to keep our platform safe, and we work relentlessly to create a safe, civil, and diverse community. As with any community, there are a small number of bad actors who may attempt to undermine the rules, and we continue to evolve our platform and policies to combat this challenge.” 

Parents should be especially wary as big tech pushes new boundaries. In order to protect their children, parents should teach their children media wisdom and the importance of maintaining a biblical worldview.

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