Designing the Metaverse: a Scoping Review to Map Current Research Effort on Ethical Implications.

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Matteo ZallioTakumi OhashiJohn Clarkson

Abstract: The metaverse and digital, virtual environments have been part of recent history as places in which people can socialize, work and spend time playing games. However, the infancy of the development of these digital, virtual environments brings some challenges that are still not fully depicted. With this article, we seek to identify and map the currently available knowledge and scientific effort to discover what principles, guidelines, laws, policies, and practices are currently in place to allow for the design of digital, virtual environments, and the metaverse. Through a scoping review, we aimed to systematically survey the existing literature and discern gaps in knowledge within the domain of metaverse research from sociological, anthropological, cultural, and experiential perspectives. The objective of this review was twofold: (1) to examine the focus of the literature studying the metaverse from various angles and (2) to formulate a research agenda for the design and development of ethical digital, virtual environments. With this paper, we identified several works and articles detailing experiments and research on the design of digital, virtual environments and metaverses. We found an increased number of publications in the year 2022. This finding, together with the fact that only a few articles were focused on the domain of ethics, culture and society shows that there is still a vast amount of work to be done to create awareness, principles and policies that could help to design safe, secure and inclusive digital, virtual environments and metaverses.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Metaverse, Digital Environments, Virtual Environments, Inclusion, Diversity, Accessibility, Literature Review

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003935

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