The metaverse's paint is barely dry, yet the first brushstrokes of manipulation are already visible

Metaverse is like parallel universe, offering us the freedom to embody other forms of ourselves- the digital avatars. In metaverse, the possibilities are limitless. We can go anywhere, do anything, and indulge in whatever our heart desires. It is like teleporting inside our own thoughts and imagination.

To understand metaverse, imagine futuristic video game that you can step into, instead of just playing on a screen. That is metaverse! It's a whole new world built inside computers, where people can hang out, play games, work, and even go shopping, all together. a hypothetical future version of the internet that's more immersive and interactive than anything we've seen before.

It is a combination of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and social media, all rolled into one. You can use your avatar, a digital representation of yourself, to move around these virtual worlds, attend events, and even connect with your work colleagues.

Metaverse is a hot topic among futurists. It promises us of a virtual world where we forge new identities, defy physical limitations, and rewrite the rules of reality.

In the digital world where we could be anything, we chose to be lethal predators.

In a horrible incident, a minor teenager girl was gangraped in metaverse by three boys in UK. Although the girl did not suffer any physical injury, the psychological damage to the girl is beyond imagination- she witnessed it first hand- in front of her own eyes- her virtual body was being torn apart- vulture on by hungry eagles. The shameful act did not bring any physical pleasure to the assaulters as well- yet they thought it was worth the mental satisfaction.

The assaulters were ‘experimenting’ in the virtual world, pushing the boundaries of how far the thin line between the right and wrong can be stretched in the metaverse.

A case was filed against the assaulters, but the law has not quite caught up the pace of digital crimes. No action could be taken since the law doesn’t encounter sexual violence in the metaverse just yet.

After the news of the incident broke out, on one hand, critics debate on the possibility of psychological damage to the poor girl; on the other hand, she is left contemplating the damage the incident has caused her. We should not forget that the foundation of virtual reality is its closeness to reality. Virtual reality is designed to mimic the real-world experiences through sound, vibrations and animations. The more advanced the metaverse would become, the more real our experiences will be.

This is not the only case. A similar horrible incident was reported back in 2022, when a women stated that within a minute of her joining the metaverse, she was attacked by 34 virtual avatars of men, who raped her digital avatar, even clicking photos of the heinous crime.

All that could go south:

As the metaverse evolves to become an integral part of our reality, the looming future will present a stark contrast.

The metaverse could become the go-to way for us to connect with others. We might even start doing everything digitally - working, going for virtual walks, hanging out with friends, and basically living two lives at once - one in the real world and one in this digital wonderland.

It's a bit scary when you think about it. Even though the metaverse is a future thing, it seems like it's becoming real pretty soon. Our kids might end up living double lives, which could be kind of overwhelming for them.

While it will offer an imaginative escape for children—a realm where societal judgments based on physical appearances may cease to exist—it will simultaneously burden them with the challenge of navigating dual identities.

The metaverse will provide the power to be anything, yet the prospect of choosing to be a "beast" in this alternative universe will hint at the potential consequences of unchecked freedom. The decision will be gauged by the moral compass- which further stresses on the digital education. This digital frontier isn't all sunshine. Recent incidents, like the unfortunate virtual assault in the UK, show there's a darker side to the metaverse, which requires immediate attention of policy makers. In fact any new technology, before releasing to public domain, should come with its own rulebook, identifying all the things that can go south with the technology. This would act as a guidebook for policy formation and change makers.


Every new groundbreaking invention comes with its own drawbacks. Take the paradigm-shifting invention of social media; it brought once-unimaginable connectivity but also fueled issues like cyberbullying and information overload. Much like the great invention of mobile phones, which reduced our attention span to mere 5 seconds, every technological marvel carries a price. Now, as we stand on the brink of the metaverse era, we face potential challenges such as virtual addiction and the blurring of digital and real-world boundaries.

So, every great invention comes its own price tag, we leave you with a thought- Can we afford metaverse?

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