Mission Statement: to assess whether the existing legal framework provides adequate protection to all citizens as well as legal certainty to entrepreneurs in the Metaverse so as to allow optimum use of the potential offered by this new virtual environment.
The Chair for the Responsible Development of the Metaverse (MetaverseUA Chair) was created by the University of Alicante (Spain) and financed by Meta Platforms under its XR Program and Research Funds.
According to the definition shared by the European Parliament and the Council, “the metaverse can be described as an immersive and constant virtual 3D world where people interact by means of an avatar to carry out a wide range of activities”. It is characterized by the following elements: persistence, immersiveness, synchronicity and interoperability. Certainly, we are not experiencing the metaverse this paragraph defines yet, but we can already visit virtual worlds in platforms such as Roblox, Decentraland or Horizon Worlds where individuals are creating and exchanging content, and companies start to promote and even commercialize their digital products.
However, for the metaverse to develop its full potential many things are needed. These include technological developments (XR and haptic devices to provide more immersive experiences; technologies to reduce latency and increase bandwidth such as 6G networks; or blockchain to promote decentralization and interoperability), social acceptance (people of different age, race, geographical provenance and sexual orientation need to feel attracted and confident in the immersive experiences provided by virtual worlds), and the adaptation of the legal framework.
Our purpose is to promote independent research on the legal and ethical aspects of the development of the metaverse. In particular, our research activities aim to assess:
The MetaverseUA Chair is part of the European Metaverse Research Network that includes all European institutions chosen within the framework of Meta’s XR Program and Research Funds to carry out independent research in different but complementary fields.