Can the metaverse be an inclusive and safe space for women?

Photo by Bradley Hook: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-using-vr-goggles-outdoors-123335/
What could Tripti look like in the metaverse?: An avatar she created
  • Lack of respect: Many women have to work twice as hard to earn the same respect as their male peers and this might continue into virtual worlds.
  • Hardware design: Just like phones are too big for women’s hands or for their trouser pockets, VR headsets have been primarily designed for men which means they are not only physically incompatible but physiologically unsuitable for women. Many women have complained of nausea and dizziness after using VR headsets.
  • Self-image concerns and body dysmorphia: What fashion magazines were in 90s, VR avatars could be in the future. Just like video games, in which female characters are hyper-sexualised, VR avatars for women could present similar issues which would result in mental health concerns for women.
  • Boy’s club: As the birth of VR comes largely from the video game industry, which is historically male dominated, there is a huge risk that these legacies would spill into the metaverse making it another non-inclusive boy’s club.

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