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Tencent focuses on metaverse development with new extended reality unit

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Chinese tech giant Tencent has launched a dedicated ‘extended reality’ unit, as the company looks to heavily invest in the metaverse.

The company announced the unit’s creation to staff earlier this week (via Reuters), with it charged with building Tencent’s extended reality business across software and hardware. The unit will be led by Tencent Games Global’s CTO Li Shen, and will fall under Tencent’s Interactive Entertainment business group.

The report claims that the unit was formed earlier this year, but that it had been largely kept under wraps by Tencent. 

Now that it is in the open, the unit will eventually have more than 300 staff, but Tencent will adjust this number based on its performance and the ongoing state of the metaverse industry. 

Tencent is the latest tech giant to invest heavily into the concept of the metaverse. Meta, which was rebranded from Facebook in late 2021, is an early leader in the space, but the likes of Microsoft, Disney, Apple and TikTok are all involved in metaverse.

The news comes in the same week that the Khronos Group-hosted Metaverse Standards Forum was founded. The Forum looks to create standards for the industry, and has founding members including Meta, Microsoft, Epic Games, Adobe, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Huawei and others.





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Metaverse News: Metaverse crimes challenging, say legal experts

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As a small but growing number of Indian users of the Metaverse– a virtual three-dimensional world that is termed as the next frontier of the internet–report cases of assault and sexual violation of their digital avatars, it is stoking consternation amongst legal experts confronted by new-age crimes that are not covered under existing laws.

Earlier this year, a young woman based in one of the country’s top metros sought legal recourse for what she termed as “violation” of her avatar on the virtual reality platform. But criminal and judicial systems in India, and even world over, are still not ready to handle the challenges thrown up by the Metaverse, according to lawyers being approached to handle such issues.

Avatars represent the virtual identity of individuals while on the Metaverse with all actions conducted through these digital representations.

“There is a need for a new legal framework,” said cyberlaw expert Pavan Duggal, who is a part of the Metaverse Law , a global body working towards bringing in common guidelines on how to manage such virtual conflicts.

Pointing out that “the current law doesn’t recognise (digital) avatars,” Duggal said the problem is exacerbated by the Metaverse being a “global ecosystem, which makes it hard to litigate.”

“Attribution of identity and jurisdiction are some of the challenges at present,” he added.

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While still at a nascent stage, there is rising interest in the virtual 3D platform that combines social interaction with virtual and augmented reality, allowing users to live different experiences virtually.

Gartner reports that 25% of people will spend an hour per day in the Metaverse by 2026 for work, shopping, education, and entertainment, while 30% of organisations will have products and services ready for metaverse. Late last year, Facebook renamed itself Meta Platforms and said that it would invest $10 billion in the business, given the huge potential it sees in the space. Several brands and individuals have started investing in buying land virtually and building their virtual worlds.

Goldman Sachs predicts the Metaverse market size will be worth $1-12 trillion, while not specifying a time period for the same.

This influx of activity is drawing brands and consumers to the virtual world and is also leading to instances of cyber bullying and harassment, as well as financial crime, point out industry experts.

Mukul Shrivastava, Partner, Forensics and Integrity Services, EY said “this is a very fragmented space with no centralised set up. Several of the platforms are not based in India so that makes it harder when trying to litigate.” he said.

The inability to apply the same regulations applicable to such crimes in the real world is a major challenge, as well. “In the case of non-economic crimes, you have to prove that you are connected to the avatar that was harmed in the virtual world,” said Abhishek Malhotra, founding partner of TMT Law Practice. And when it comes to financial or economic crimes, it is still a grey area since the foundation is cryptocurrency, which is still not legal in India.

Tech-based remedies

Noting that prevailing laws cannot be invoked to deal with virtual crimes of assault and molestation, Supreme Court advocate NS Nappinai said one must “look for remedies based on the mode and manner of commission of crimes.”

“ For instance, in a case of rape of an avatar on Metaverse, or even in an online game, whilst Section 376 IPC will not be applicable, other offences such as hacking and tampering with source codes and even publishing and transmission of obscene or sexually explicit content punishable under IT Act can be invoked,” she said.

However, the first step, is to take it up with the platform itself according to Nappinai who also runs the CyberSaathi Foundation,

Platforms strengthen screening

Rajat Ojha, Founder & CEO, Gamitronics, which runs the PartyNite metaverse platform said that they have set up predefined emotes and movements to ensure that the system is protected for any ‘physical or sexual’ gestures.

At a recent public event, PartyNite mandated users to undergo a KYC to go to a bar area, as it helps to associate digital identities with real world identities. “That gave us enough insights and adoption metrics and we are currently working on our learnings from that,” said Ojha.

Some Metaverse platforms offer built-in safety features like safe zones, or methods to not allow strangers within a certain radius of your avatar.

“At this moment, every public event has our policing, and we warn the person if an issue is raised. We have features to kick the offender out, but we know it’s not sufficient, so we focus a lot on letting our attendees know how to reach out to us and we then go case by case basis,” Gamitronic’s Ojha said.



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Metaverse at Cannes—marketers show off virtual worlds on the Croisette

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The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity may be in person this year for the first time since 2019, but that hasn’t stopped brands and agencies from thinking virtual. Not only are some marketers making Cannes sessions available in virtual real estate platforms, but parties and activities outside of the normal programming are also being offered in the metaverse. 

A common theme running through many of these activations is democratizing what has hitherto been an inaccessible event for many in the industry. The ticket price for Cannes is steep, not to mention fees for transportation and a hotel. But through virtual experiences, which can be accessed from anywhere using only a desktop or sometimes a mobile phone, more of adland can celebrate creativity in the industry.

Of course, not all the metaverse activations at Cannes are designed specifically with this goal in mind, yet the democratizing effect is still there. Marketers may be realizing that the virtual tools they use to reach consumers can also help them reach each other.

Here are some of the ways that marketers are activating in the metaverse during Cannes.



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Cap Off Pride Month with the Metaverse Pride Parade and Drag Queen Bingo | News

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Certified LGBT Owned Business, Fun Team Events, Co-hosts one of the first Metaverse Pride Parades and Drag Queen Bingo Events on Thursday, June 30th, 2022 in Virbela’s New Metaverse Campus

ATLANTA, June 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Fun Team Events is set to co-host one of the first metaverse Pride Parades and Drag Queen Bingo Events in Virbela’s new open campus on Thursday, June 30th, 2022 at 2PM ET. This event is open to all and gives individuals the opportunity to celebrate Pride Month and check out the metaverse space. Participants can also learn about notable stories and resources related to LGBTQ+ experiences through Virbela’s Pride Month exhibit.

“Virbela builds engaging experiences to inspire our community and drive education around important topics,” said Sarah Segrest, VP of Community at Virbela. “Our Pride Month exhibit highlights the positive and celebrates success, while acknowledging the difficulties of past and present. We’re excited to partner with Fun Team Events to bring this Pride Parade to life in the metaverse.”

“As a certified LGBT-owned business, Pride Month is such a special time for us. We’re thrilled to partner with Virbela on this Pride Month celebration. Our team loves hosting events in the metaverse and we can’t wait to share this fun experience with others in the community,” said AJ Seliga, CEO, Fun Team Events.

Everyone is welcome and newcomers can enter the metaverse earlier to get acclimated to the space and dress up their avatar ahead of the Virbela Pride Parade. There will be prizes for the “Most Fun and Fabulous” avatar and bingo game winners. San Francisco-based Drag Queen, Pollo Del Mar, will be the Grand Marshall for the Parade and will emcee the Pride Bingo Event on the Virbela beach after the parade.

Sign up and get more information about the event here: https://future.virbela.com/metaverse-pride-parade

About Fun Team Events: Fun Team Events (https://www.funteamevents.com/) hosts custom virtual and metaverse events for corporate clients and non-profit organizations. These events include Team Trivia, Drag Queen Bingo, Office Olympics, and much more. Fun Team Events’ U.S. clients are Amazon, Google, EY, Home Depot, Anthem, Johnson & Johnson and many more including many up-and-coming tech startups. Fun Team Events is a certified LGBT-owned business with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and a proud member of the OUT Georgia Business Alliance.

Fun Team Events Media Contact:

AJ Seliga, CEO | 339424@email4pr.com  | 415-519-5222

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cap-off-pride-month-with-the-metaverse-pride-parade-and-drag-queen-bingo-301573647.html

SOURCE Fun Team Events





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