Friday, May 27, 2022

Lego and Epic Games build a metaverse for kids

Lego and Epic Games: Fortnite developer and Lego partner to develop a digital space for kids to play in the metaverse

Epic Games, the Fortnite developer, has just announced that it’s partnering with Lego to build a metaverse aimed at kids.

The two companies said that they are entering long-term cooperation to shape the future of the metaverse to make it safe and fun for children and families. As they announced, they will team up to build an immersive, creatively inspiring, and engaging digital experience for kids of all ages to enjoy together. Recently, Niantic, the Pokémon Go creators, has also presented its plans to build what it calls the ‘real-world metaverse’, which will focus on kids as well.

Concerns on safety

The idea of the metaverse has already provoked great concerns on whether it could be safe for kids. Recent studies indicate that some apps in the virtual reality metaverse might be extremely dangerous by design, such as virtual strip clubs where kids are allowed to enter. Therefore, Lego and Epic Games need to create extensive safeguards to ensure their planned virtual world is suitable for children.

The companies claimed that they are about to follow three main principles, which will ensure that the digital space they are about to develop will remain safe for kids. As they said, they will protect children’s right to play by making safety and wellbeing a priority. They will safeguard children’s privacy by putting their best interests first. Also, they will empower children and adults with tools that give them control over their digital experience.

Once Mark Zuckerberg announced, last October, Facebook’s plans to rebrand into Meta and presented his vision of the metaverse, many famous firms have started working on similar projects to be ready for the brand new metaverse world. Among others, Nike, Coca-Cola, and Addidas have already entered the metaverse as well, by presenting digital versions of their products. Many users have also started investing in metaverse by purchasing art crafts and properties.

Lego and Epic Games

Now, Lego and Epic are ready to take the next step into the metaverse by making a focus on kids. As they said, the digital experience, which they are about to build, will be family-friendly and empower children to become confident creators. The companies plan to combine their experience to ensure that this next iteration of the internet is designed with the well-being of kids in mind.

Lego and Epic games

So far, they haven’t revealed any more specific details about what exactly their virtual world would look like, nor their plans on whether the digital space will be launched.

Kids will have their metaverse

“Kids enjoy playing in digital and physical worlds and move seamlessly between the two. We believe there is huge potential for them to develop life-long skills such as creativity, collaboration, and communication through digital experiences,” said Niels B Christiansen, CEO of The LEGO Group.

“But we have a responsibility to make them safe, inspiring, and beneficial for all. Just as we’ve protected children’s rights to safe physical play for generations, we are committed to doing the same for digital play. We look forward to working with Epic Games to shape this exciting and playful future.”

As Tim Sweeney, CEO & Founder, of Epic Games explained, “the LEGO Group has captivated the imagination of children and adults through creative play for nearly a century, and we are excited to come together to build a space in the metaverse that’s fun, entertaining, and made for kids and families”.

George Mavridis
George Mavridis
George Mavridis is a freelance journalist and writer based in Greece. He graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication. Also, he holds an MA in Media and Communication Studies from the Malmö University of Sweden and an MA in Digital Humanities from the Linnaeus University of Sweden. His work primarily covers tech, innovation, social media, digital communication, and politics.

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