A Safer Virtual Reality

Our lives might look different from the outside, but, at their core, they are all about navigating through various situations. You see, whether it is navigating through your college exams or through your job, we are always spending our energy and resources on finding the best way forward. Now, even though such a dynamic is naturally more apparent on an individual level, it does make a mark on a rather societal scale as well. To observe the said mark, you only have to look at every avenue we have created to guide ourselves. In case you don’t want to go through each and every avenue, you can also just look at a certain milestone creation called technology. Technology enjoys being such a big reference point in our history due to many reasons, and yet we won’t be committing any mistake, if we credit its entire success to the unprecedented dynamic it brought. This dynamic is what has enabled us big time in terms of pursuing goals that were once well beyond our reach. A particular goal we achieved on the back of technology was creating virtual reality. Even after technology had started firing on all cylinders, something like a virtual reality was never quite considered as possible. However, by consistently nurturing the creation’s skill-set, we have ushered ourselves into an era, where this concept is now steadily becoming the ultimate centerpiece, except before that happens, we’ll need to answer some huge questions. Microsoft tried to address one of them during a recent announcement.

Microsoft is officially introducing a few notable tweaks within its virtual reality app, AltspaceVR. The tweaks include a complete removal of social hubs like Campfire, News and Entertainment Commons social spaces, as the company delivers a firm response to complaints revolving around harassment. Apart from eliminating social hubs, Microsoft is also turning on the AltSpaceVR’s Safety Bubble feature for every user, therefore automatically keeping other participants from entering your avatar’s personal space. To sustain these changes over the long-term, the company has further offered reassurances regarding a sizeable increase in moderation and better event content ratings. The announcement comes while other VR platforms like Horizon Worlds are dealing with similar issues, so whatever happens here can very well define the future of VR.

“As platforms like AltspaceVR evolve, it is important that we look at existing experiences and evaluate whether they’re adequately serving the needs of customers today and in the future,” said Alex Kipman, the head of Microsoft’s mixed reality division. “This includes helping people better connect with those who have shared common interests while also ensuring the spaces they access are safe from inappropriate behavior and harassment.”

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