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A Brave New (Virtual) World: Ethics and Governance of XR and the Metaverse

Micaela Mantegna  (Abogamer. Video Games and XR Policy Affiliate, Berkman Klein Center at Harvard)

Avi Bar-Zeev  (CTO At Large, RealityPrime)

Kurt Opsahl  ( Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel, Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Andres Guadamuz  (Senior Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law, University of Sussex)

Dylan Urquidi  (Research-Engineer & XR Designer, Unity Technologies & Unity Labs)

Location: Room 2001, West Hall

Date: Friday, March 25

Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Plus Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass, Career Development Pass, All Access Online Only Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person/Virtual

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: No

The Metaverse has reached the mainstream as the new buzzword. Every company wants to be in it, profit from it, and -a few-, proclaim that they are already building it. But who decides what it is and how it will be shaped? Seen alternatively as a digital utopia, the next iteration of the internet, a mixture of social and gaming platforms, a marketplace destination for NFTs and the future of XR, it presents novel governance and ethical challenges, not limited to privacy concerns, collection of biometric data, and freedom for self-determination. Beyond the marketing hype, lies a complex landscape of intertwined phenomena: interoperability, decentralization, the use of generative artificial intelligence, UGC, content portability and ownership of digital assets confronted with intellectual property law. This session brings together experts from academia, digital rights activists and industry leaders to shed light on these nuances, and talk the difficult talk: who will control the Metaverse?


Attendees can expect to leave the session with a clearer understanding of the ethical debates that the governance of the Metaverse presents, and the challenges to human rights, mental privacy, and self-determination created by biometric data collection and algorithmic content curation.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for anyone interested in XR technologies, ethics in gaming industry practices, and digital rights.
No prior knowledge is necessary, only interest in the topic and willingness to participate in a respectful and thoughtful way.