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Will the metaverse improve access to the creative industry?

The metaverse offers exciting possibilities for education, including the potential for more diverse access to the creative industries. But only if it’s built with inclusivity at its heart, writes Ally Owen, founder of Brixton Finishing School

The creative industry loves a buzzword. From ‘disruption’ to ‘diversity’, there always seems to be a phrase of the moment that finds itself in every creative brief, conversation and town-hall. Today, that word is ‘metaverse’: a vision of a connected virtual world, free of creative restrictions, it is certainly an enchanting thought.

But before we start ditching our current world for a virtual one, let’s have a proper think about how we can best plan for harmony, equity of access and equality in this boxfresh digital space. We need to, because if this is as groundbreaking as claimed, we all need to be part of it.

To borrow from Public Enemy’s lexicon – don’t believe the hype. This isn’t going to be virtual educational nirvana unless those pouring billions into this space have done a bit of inclusive due diligence and are up for work involved. And believe me, there will be work to do.

The metaverse is created by humans in real life and will be just as wonky thinking as they are. Real life biases, stereotypes and assumptions will travel from planet earth to the digital realm (again).