Amplification of Addictive New Media Features in the Metaverse
PubDate: Jan 2024
Teams:University of Vienna；University of Kragujevac
Writers:Ljubisa Bojic, Joerg Matthes, Milan Cabarkapa
The emergence of the metaverse, envisioned as a hyperreal virtual universe facilitating boundless human interaction, stands to revolutionize our conception of media, with significant impacts on addiction, creativity, relationships, and social polarization. This paper aims to dissect the addictive potential of the metaverse due to its immersive and interactive features, scrutinize the effects of its recommender systems on creativity and social polarization, and explore potential consequences stemming from the metaverse development. We employed a literature review methodology, drawing parallels from the research on new media platforms and examining the progression of reality-mimicking features in media from historical perspectives to understand this transformative digital frontier. The findings suggest that these immersive and interactive features could potentially exacerbate media addiction. The designed recommender systems, while aiding personalization and user engagement, might contribute to social polarization and affect the diversity of creative output. However, our conclusions are based primarily on theoretical propositions from studies conducted on existing media platforms and lack empirical support specific to the metaverse. Therefore, this paper identifies a critical gap requiring further research, through empirical studies focused on metaverse use and addiction and exploration of privacy, security, and ethical implications associated with this burgeoning digital universe. As the development of the metaverse accelerates, it is incumbent on scholars, technologists, and policymakers to navigate its multilayered impacts thoughtfully to balance innovation with societal well-being.