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Queen’s launches report about future of the Metaverse

A new report into the future of the Metaverse in the UK has been launched by Queen’s.

The Metaverse refers to a future evolution of the internet where our physical and cyber world converge, immersing users in realistic or imagined 3D virtual worlds that are dynamically rendered in real-time. The Queen’s ‘Shaping the Metaverse’ report maps out how this Metaverse world will emerge over the next decade through a set of developing networking and computing technologies.

The research was carried out by an interdisciplinary team from Queen’s drawn from the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), MediaLab from the School of Arts, English and Languages and Queen's Business School and was launched today (Wednesday 22 November) as part of the ‘Beyond’ conference in London.

The research report was supported via UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) by the R&D Science and Analysis Programme at the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). It was developed in response to UKRI’s initial funding call details, hypotheses, and output requests. The research, subsequent findings and recommendations do not represent Government views or policy and are produced according to research ethics, quality assurance, and academic independence.

The report details how technologies are likely to develop and their likelihood to converge together into a Metaverse environment. It also lays out benefits and challenges related to the Metaverse and identifies areas for action or further study. Some of the top actions that emerged from the report were:

  • Regulate for the study and mitigation of online harms
    Give researchers access to the data held in large online platforms and facilitate them to conduct in-depth, multidisciplinary studies into the harms caused by social media networks.
  • Promote portability and interoperability in the Metaverse
    Support UK technologists to participate in Metaverse standardisation activities in a co-ordinated and strategic manner.
  • Support the Builder Economy
    Support creatives to design and build Metaverse content. Develop tools to register, trace and protect their creative outputs.
  • Application Demonstrators
    Showcase the wealth of UK creative talent by developing high-quality immersive experiences highlighting our cultural heritage, tourism attractions and the fashion and design sector.

Dr Jesus Martinez del Rincon, Research Director of Security Intelligence at CSIT was the project lead. He said:

“Technology will continue to have a profound impact on our lives and the next generation of internet technologies will be highly immersive, compelling, and largely driven by AI. This will make it very difficult for us to discern between what is real and what is imaginary within these virtual worlds.

“Our report highlights the challenges that we will see in the UK as the Metaverse matures over the next decade. Privacy, data collection, especially of personal data and biometric data, and the harm online platforms can cause, are all issues of concern to the public.”

Professor Michael Alcorn, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Strategic Projects at Queen’s was one of the leads on the report. He said:

“The Metaverse is also viewed as a massively creative space that facilitates experimentation and the development of ideas in the digital domain that can then transcend into the physical domain. Music, performance, fashion and design are all in play.

“Our report presents a catalogue of opportunities related to the Metaverse and identifies areas for further action or investigation. We hope that the report will be used as a trusted information source for government policy teams and will influence policy decisions going forward.”

A second phase project has been initiated by the DCMS and the interdisciplinary Queen’s team will continue their work through 2024 by investigating areas including standardisation and interoperability in the Metaverse; privacy and security in the Metaverse including the regulatory landscape; and distributed ledger technology.


Media inquiries to Jemma Coulter at Queen's Communications Office –