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The Current and Future Ethical Challenges in Games: XR and the Metaverse

Celia Hodent  (Game UX Strategist, independent)

Gaetano Dimita  (Senior Lecturer in International Intellectual Property Law, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London)

Albert Fox Cahn  (Executive Director, Surveillance Technology Oversight Project)

Micaela Mantegna  (Affiliate, Video Game Policy Research, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University)

Ryan Black  (Partner; Chair, EGVC, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP)

Location: Room 207, South Hall

Date: Thursday, March 23

Time: 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Panel

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

The future of video games will happen online with games already played today, and it will also happen in XR and the metaverse—each bringing their own specific ethics challenges that game developers need to be aware of in order to design safe spaces for players, but also for themselves.

Today, business models and practices related to data collection can be enhanced in connection with devices to interface the metaverse. These future interfaces intended for immersion present augmented risks for privacy, anonymity, and self determination for users and players, which must be acknowledged while designing applications and games that take advantage of these capabilities.

Thinking ahead, incipient neurotechnology applications open the possibility of imagining the future of interfaces in immersive environments, but at the same time, they open even more ethically daunting questions, as in conjunction with design practices and affective computing research, they can be used for invasive, exploitative or manipulative practices.

The panel will explore how the current ethical challenges for game development connect with a possible future, through a set of questions and key points.


Attendees will receive a comprehensive and concise roadmap of ethical questions that, as a result of debate and feedback, can be condensed into a concrete set of good practices to be considered at early stages of development.

Intended Audience

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