• 1 Children on Roblox hosted a server supporting Palestinians.
  • 2 Roblox is among the leading metaverse platforms today.

When kids failed to join the pro-Palestine protests, they created their own. Hundreds of children gathered on servers of a metaverse game, Roblox, holding Palestinian flags to stand against the war. Since the conflict began, several demonstrations have taken place in support of the West Asian state. According to the latest data, nearly 8,000 people have lost their lives in the Israel-Palestine war.

Protests Become Child’s Play in Virtual Worlds

American global online newspaper, TechCrunch reported around a hundred blocky avatars on the metaverse platform that marched together to show their support. Roblox is currently the biggest metaverse game with over 65 Million active users. A pseudonymous user from Algeria posted about her younger cousin joining the protest that went viral.

y’all my cousin is 15 and couldn’t join a protest so she just went to one on roblox bro i’m crying 😭😭😭😭😭

— salsabeel سلسبيل 🦊🇵🇸 (@funnecfox) October 23, 2023

Some counter-supporters later appeared in the server to support Israel according to TechCrunch. The antisemitic filter on Roblox prevented false words from being used by these protestors. The platform has banned a game that allowed users to portray and virtually kill each other as Russians and Ukrainians.

One of the platform’s spokespersons told TechCrunch, “While our Community Standards allow for expressions of solidarity, we do not allow for content that endorses or condones violence, promotes terrorism or hatred against individuals or groups, or calls for supporting a specific political party.”

Metaverse For A Cause

As virtual worlds are gaining traction globally, protestors are increasingly entering these spaces to raise their voice against causes they support. In August 2023, supporters of Australian editor and founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, gathered to appeal against his extradition to the United States.

Last year, people protested against capitalism and consumerism in another metaverse game namely Decentraland. The campaign organized by Superflus, a Netherland-based not-for-profit organization, supported the notion of a decentralized and free metaverse. Big tech entrants like Samsung are disrupting the decentralization according to Superflus co-founder Robbie Schweiger.

Tuvalu, an island nation succumbing to climate change, is seeking refuge in the metaverse. According to the British daily newspaper, The Guardian, the nation’s capital Funafuti may become entirely uninhabitable by the year 2100. Virtual worlds could help preserve their culture. Global warming may be the last straw before the water gulps whatever the land has remained there.

Metaverse could be a business opportunity to many but there is more than finance to that. One of the Big Four accounting organizations, Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG), forecasts that people could be spending more time in virtual worlds in contrast to the real world by 2030.

Data shows that 400 Million individuals are using the metaverse today. However, only a handful of them are using technologies including virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), extended reality (XR), and more designed specifically to access digital worlds.

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