Tech companies have spent months touting the potential of the Metaverse, a platform that’s not yet real. Even still, Epic and LEGO are already trying to make sure the concept is safe for kids – or so they claim. The ad was light on details.
companies said Thursday that they enter into a “long-term” partnership to create a “family” metaverse. Lego Group CEO Niels Christiansen said in a statement that “there is enormous potential to develop lifelong skills such as creativity, collaboration and communication through digital experiences”, and the partnership is heading in that direction.
But the corporate metaverse for kids seems to be in its infancy. It’s unclear when it will launch and what the platform will entail, exactly. The three principles behind the project, the companies said, are to put the safety and well-being of children first, to protect children’s privacy and to give children and parents “tools that allow them to control their digital experience”.
“We are thrilled to come together to create a space in the Metaverse that is fun, entertaining, and designed for kids and families,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic.
While it sounds heartwarming, a metaverse for kids isn’t a new concept. Virtual worlds of games like Epic’s World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Roblox, and Fortnite give a glimpse of what the Lego/Epic co-branded metaverse could look like, and could even use existing games as building blocks for a platform. -virtual social form where players can dress up their avatars, buy virtual goods with digital currency, and hang out with friends – similar to other metaverse concepts, probably with more parental controls. Sweeney has been bullish on the concept for months, telling a conference in Seoul in November that “over the next few decades, the metaverse has the potential to become part of the multi-trillion dollar global economy.” Bloomberg reported.
Epic also clashes with other major game companies that have claimed the metaverse, including Pokémon Go creator Niantic, which announced plans to create “real-world metaverse” apps in November, and of course Meta, which pivoted in the last year to make metaverse development its entire identity.