Metaverse: Harmful hype or fantastic future?

This is the 10th of 12 primers on current affairs issues under the news outreach programme by The Straits Times to engage younger readers on issues of interest to them

Visitors at an immersive art installation titled ''Machine Hallucinations - Space:Metaverse'' by media artist Refik Anadol. PHOTO: REUTERS
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In the metaverse, hailed as the future Internet, you interact through a character or an avatar you create. Everything down to the avatar's face shape, eyebrow, skin colour, eye colour, hair style and even gender can be personalised.

Your avatar can buy land or goods in the metaverse using digital currencies, live in a big mansion and sport quintessential Balenciaga or Prada looks. With a wave of your hand, motion-sensing technologies built into a connected virtual reality headset or haptic suit you wear will transport you to exotic destinations and on exhilarating adventures.

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