Bullying is one of the biggest problems in the real world, be it on the streets or online; it is something to which the whole world is exposed to suffer —some more prone than others, of course—. However, unlike in the real world, in the metaverse, you can control who can get close and how far; and it’s all thanks to Meta’s latest addition to preventing bullying in the metaverse from her.
In The Verge they comment that the new function is activated by default within the Horizon Worlds platform; In addition, it will also be present at the Horizon Venues event service. With the new Meta proposal, your avatar will be protected by an invisible virtual barrier. But don’t worry, you won’t be completely isolated; you can still connect with people through high fives and other greetings.
As Meta has commented, this boundary system will create a 24-inch radius around avatars in the metaverse; in this way, a space of 1.20 meters will be created between each avatar. This feature comes to replace another where users’ hands would disappear if they got too close to others during their VR experience.
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Of course, at the moment you will not be able to choose to deactivate the personal space function. According to Kristina Milian, a spokesperson for the company, the system is designed to stay active at all times. In this way, Meta plans to create standardized norms throughout the entire metaverse. However, a future where users can customize the size of their own protection radius is not ruled out.
If someone invades your personal space in the Metaverse…
As Kristina Milian commented during her statements, violations of users’ personal space will have two different responses in the metaverse. In the first, the avatar of anyone who tries to walk or teleport into your personal space will come to a complete stop; leaving the only option to surround the user.
In the second, you will be able to go through the avatar completely; in this way, Meta prevents users from blocking entrances or locking people in virtual spaces created using their personal space bubbles.
A Personal Boundary prevents someone from invading your avatar’s personal space. If someone tries to enter your personal limit, the system will stop moving forward when they reach the limit. You won’t feel it, there is no tactile feedback.
Meta comments in the closing of his publication that “Virtual Reality can and should be for anyone”. This is why they seek to implement improvements and features that help users have a more pleasant experience within their metaverse. In addition, they claim to believe that Personal Limit is an excellent and powerful tool to demonstrate that, even in virtual reality, people can interact comfortably.
It is not the first time that we see this type of protection for users. In other virtual reality services, such as Rec Room or VRChat, bubbles of personal space already existed; however, in these cases we found options to deactivate or modify their size.