Examine and research the technology that is currently in development which we publicly know about and how it will be used for the metaverse and the what it may hold regarding issues around mental health and the user’s privacy.

Examine the concept of a ‘metaverse’ that has seen an explosive growth for funding and development by big tech companies as of recent. This project will examine the impact of a working metaverse and what it may implicate to our society and it’s economy as we see these companies investing heavily to become a dominant force in the industry. E.g Facebook (Meta) shifting their business focus to Metaverse related. Examine and research the technology that is currently in development which we publicly know about and how it will be used for the metaverse and the what it may hold regarding issues around mental health and the user’s privacy. • Upcoming technology associated with VR. Project Cambria, Face tracking, Eye Tracking used to enhance users experience by tracking emotions. Similar to algorithms designed to drive engagement up based on users actions and emotional reactions. Dopamine overloading. Oculus Quest brand. Research Questions The following questions will be used to guide the chapters within this project. • What is the Algorithm? Research into the algorithms that are designed to feed off of engagement. Talk about how the algorithm can influence your decisions, lifestyle and beliefs. The algorithm adapts to your inputs to cater to your fantasies and emotions. Talk about the rise of Data Veillance and Data capitalism, tie it to the metaverse and how the Metaverse will be designed around these factors and the implications they may have on society. Research into how algorithms create a false sense of reality to keep us engaged and boost dopamine levels and instant gratification. How does the algorithm keep us comfortable, talk about the study of play – Johan Huizinga. • Is the Metaverse already here? Examine the current technology that we use and the early developed technology which is being prepared. For example the Metaverse may have already been in beta testing with the current apps and social media that we use on our smartphones. These apps and social media are a gateway to a manufactured version of our reality that is accessed through our smartphones which only allow us to perceive the metaverse and not fully immerse ourselves like how a Virtual Reality device can, which diverts our attention and cuts all perception of our actual reality out. Talk about the value each user has to companies and how this might workout in the metaverse, E.g the value of users harvested data. • How will the Metaverse effect Mental Health? This will introduce conflict and allow for comparisons in the project to ultimately provide a conclusion. While on one hand the idea of a Metaverse could be seen as a way to fulfil one’s dreams and connect us closer socially, it will also hold an enormous amount of negatives regarding our mental health as seen in peer reviewed analytics linking the effects of social media with one’s own mental health. Drawing examples of the rising rates of depression and suicide amongst young people and their relationship with social media and smartphones. How young people follow influencers. How likes and engagement are perceived to determine your social status. How might this look when we take these modern day issue and apply it to the metaverse. How doe practices such as body positivity, social pressure, apps like Instagram effect us and how might the escapism of virtual perfect avatars effect how we perceive ourselves in reality?. References and sources Draw upon relevant sources regarding the topics discussed. Here are some examples to get started. More files can be found attached on feedback. Also look into pop culture reference, E.g Black Mirror. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0747563219303723#sec4 https://www.ted.com/talks/zeynep_tufekci_we_re_building_a_dystopia_just_to_make_people_click_on_ads?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2017-10-28&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_content=bottom_right_image#t-1359229 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/feb/16/nick-clegg-facebook-meta-president-global-affairs https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/29/the-metaverse-is-dystopian-but-to-big-tech-its-a-business-opportunity Timnit Gebru https://www.google.com/search?gs_ssp=eJzj4tVP1zc0TMuyLCwuyLUwYPTiKcnMzcssUUhPTSoqBQCHLQmS&q=timnit+gebru&rlz=1C1CHBF_enIE895IE895&oq=timnit+&aqs=chrome.1.0i355i512j46i512j69i57j0i512l4j46i512j0i512l2.6285j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 Shoshana Zuboff https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/oct/04/shoshana-zuboff-surveillance-capitalism-assault-human-automomy-digital-privacy https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/feb/06/is-big-tech-now-just-too-big-to-stomach http://computationalculture.net/what-do-metrics-want/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HzW5rzPUy8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvufun6xer8

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