As a champion of innovation, how can France benefit from the rise of the metaverse?
Crédits photos : Pixabay
In a previous article, we tried to define the Metaverse. The French report called “Exploratory mission of the metaverse development” helped us list common characteristics and make a typology. We must now study the second part of the rapport: issues and challenges of the Metaverse and the development perspectives in France.
The importance of culture and security in the Metaverse
Promoting French innovation through Metaverse
The Metaverse may not be born with Facebook, it did become popular thanks to the US Big-Tech player. Most super advanced technologies are associated with the USA, which creates a monopoly of innovation. Yet, France doesn’t want to be left out. According to the authors of the report, there is a “French leadership in the field of immersive technologies”. They quote famous names as Ubisoft and Dassault Systemes, and those of world-known French creative studios (BlackLight, Emissive). The Metaverse defends above all a cultural issue: asserting France’s strong position in the creation and innovation field.
The authors allocate a large part of the report on the importance of the creative industry in the development of the Metaverse strategy in France. According to them, artists and creators are the key to a massive exploitation of the metaverse. We all witnessed the proliferation of virtual museums and exhibitions in the past two years. Next step is to bond the creative industry with France’s biggest innovation players in order to break the American exclusivity. The Metaverse could be the “leverage to promote the development of sovereign [understand: French, ed.] technology solutions”.
The Metaverse must be a safe and sustainable place for all
Safety is one of the most important issues in the Metaverse development strategy. As we live in an inclusive world, we must care about the safety of internet users. It’s about controlling the metaverse better and avoiding what happened with social media: “harassment, misinformation, radicalisation”. One of the risks of the metaverse is social isolation and confused perception between the real and the virtual world.
Many regulations must be thought of: regarding the security for starters, also for property protection and tax collection. These two last elements are linked to the use of cryptocurrencies for transactions in the metaverse.
Climate emergency is also brought up in the report. How can we be sure the meraverses are a sustainable place? As the authors say: “Technologies associated with the Metaverse are blamed for their energy-consuming nature”. It is certain that we can reduce the carbon footprint of a new technology solution like the Metaverse.
10 perspectives to develop the Metaverse in France
In their report, the attorney Adrien Basdevant and the researchers Camille François and Rémi Ronfard, listed 10 proposals to make the French Metaverse development strategy a success.
Establish a common and legal environment for metaverses
So France can seize the opportunity of the Metaverse, it is necessary to structure it according to the authors. First, it’s about “technical standards”. It is necessary to bring interoperability into the immersive technologies, to create a “free, open and safe internet, common to all humanity”. This objective comes with the desire to use the metaverse to provide free and open data that can help the development of innovation in France.
Apart from its structure, it seems important to think about the regulation of the metaverse. The authors’ advice is to apply to the metaverse “the many regulation settings that already exist for the digital and the social media in particular”. One of the main points is the protection of the users data, with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Another idea is the “detection of violations” in the metaverse.
Managing the French immersive technology market
In order to make the French Metaverse development strategy a success, the authors think that it is essential to use the national resources available. As we explained it above, France is one of the leading countries in innovation. For this strategy, we have to protect and promote the players and the technologies that already exist. We need to “strengthen and protect the virtual reality industry” which already provides cutting-edge tools.
In addition, let’s take advantage of the cultural and event richness of France to highlight the numerous immersive players. First, the authors suggest using the next 2024 Olympic Games to show immersive experiences to the general public. The goal is to gather the French immersive players around “concrete projects” and show their savoir-faire. Along the same lines, it appears interesting to rely on the great cultural institutions of the country to create large-scale immersive projects.
Invest in research and education on Metavers
Even if France is in the first position in terms of technological skills and innovation, the Metaverse remains a new concept. In connection with social risks, questions of data protection and environmental impact of the Metaverse, it seems important to invest “in interdisciplinary research initiatives” and to create an institute that could be a “research laboratory in digital dedicated to immersive arts”.
Moreover, to better know the Metaverse and to encourage technological development, attention must be given to the quality of training in France. We need to strengthen and complete the current offer “that allows to create quality content” for future immersive experiences, and therefore train those who will create the metaverses of tomorrow.
In the end, the Metaverse is an opportunity for France to be at the top of worldwide innovation. To get there, it must face important challenges including regulation of the Metaverse. For this, it can count on the strong national skills of its experts. Even so this exploratory report reveals many comprehension points on the Metaverse, there is the most important and complex part: its mass adoption.