The creators of FORTNITE are building a special Metaverse world for “kids to play with.”
Epic Games has teamed up with toy giant Lego for the surprise project that could rival Mark Zuckerberg’s own Metaverse virtual world.
That metaverse is like a collection of virtual worlds for users to live, work and play in.
Now, Epic Games has vowed to create an “immersive, creatively inspiring and engaging digital experience” for kids.
The gaming giant said it wants to “shape the future of the metaverse” with Lego.
It’s unclear what exactly the pair will be launching.
But it’s described as a family-friendly digital experience that lets kids create their own virtual worlds.
There are already similar Metaverse games like Minecraft and Roblox – both allow virtual worlds to be created and enjoyed by multiple users online.
“Kids love to play in digital and physical worlds and move seamlessly between the two,” said Lego CEO Niels B. Christiansen.
“We believe there is tremendous potential for them to develop lifelong skills such as creativity, collaboration and communication through digital experiences.”
It’s possible that the Metaverse world is a brick-based construction kit like Minecraft, given Lego’s involvement.
And it will almost certainly go into multiplayer since it’s being touted as a Metaverse project.
“For nearly a century, the LEGO Group has been inspiring the imaginations of children and adults through creative play,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, who helped develop Fortnite.
“And we look forward to coming together to create a space in the Metaverse that is fun, entertaining and made for kids and families.”
But experts are becoming increasingly concerned Online security in the Metaverse.
The Sun recently spoke to experts who warned that the metaverse is a “playground for pedophiles”.
Users create avatars in the metaverse that roam the rapidly evolving and immersive 3D digital world and interact with people from around the world.
“The Metaverse’s one-to-one terms make it easier for
bad actors to persuade, mislead and manipulate them,” according to a March 2022 report by Common Sense Media.
“The deceptive possibilities of bots, ‘deep fakes’ and AR-altered realities are daunting, especially for tweens who will struggle to discern what or who is real.”
Attorney Patrick Roberts of North Carolina Robert’s legal groupsaid it was “easy” to go from the metaverse to the dissemination of explicit material via video chat.
“We’re talking about a matter of minutes,” he said.
“Predators can meet children through kid-friendly avatars, gain their trust in the metaverse, and then take their interactions offline.
“That can mean meeting in real life or having chat room conversations and video chats where a child can be persuaded to undress.”
As part of his announcement, Lego CEO Christiansen said safety is the top priority.
“We have a responsibility to take on [the metaverse] safe, inspiring and useful for everyone,” explained toy mogul Christiansen.
“Just as we have protected children’s rights to safe physical play for generations, we are committed to doing the same for digital play.
“We look forward to working with Epic Games to create this exciting and fun future.”
“It’s not about spending more time in front of screens. It’s about making the time we’re already spending better,” Zuckerberg said of the Metaverse.
“The next version of the internet can do that.”
Speaking to journalists including The Sun, Facebook VR CEO Andrew Bosworth described the company’s bold vision.
“The Metaverse is a series of 3D virtual spaces where you can share immersive experiences with each other when you can’t be together,” Bosworth explained.
“What comes after the Internet? Instead of looking at a screen, you can immerse yourself in the experiences.
“You don’t have to experience it in VR. Most people will first experience it on screens they already have.”
He described it as “the next generation of the internet”.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8626801/fortnite-metaverse-lego-epic-games-mark-zuckerberg/ Fortnite creates a “metaverse for KIDS” meant to compete with Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook virtual world