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Virtual Babies: The Next Trend in The Metaverse?

Defining “virtual reality” is a complex task, especially given the rapidly evolving nature of today’s technology. However, examining the history of virtual reality reveals its emergence as a concept that signifies the fusion of computer technologies with real-life experiences in three dimensions, dating back to the 1970s.

The introduction of the “metaverse” concept has further propelled virtual reality into various domains, ranging from art and education to construction and marketing. Artificial intelligence expert Catriona Campbell envisions a future where, within the next 50 years, parents may have children through metaverse technology.

As reported by The Guardian, Campbell suggests that individuals existing within the virtual universe will possess distinct characteristics compared to those in the physical realm, and society will gradually embrace this transformation. Reflecting on the past, virtual dolls like “Tamagotchi,” which gained popularity in the late 1990s after originating in Japan, served as beloved toys.

Players could care for and nurture virtual babies or animals of their choosing, attending to their needs and even disciplining them for misbehavior. Campbell anticipates that children within the metaverse will differ slightly from their physical counterparts and traditional “Tamagotchi” experiences. In this envisioned metaverse, unlike the touch screen interactions of the toy, individuals can embrace and interact with a “metaverse virtual baby” within a simulated environment.

You will have a baby with the subscription system

surprised students with virtual reality headset in classroom

Furthermore, it is not just children who will be the audience for virtual dolls; according to Campbell, adults are expected to readily embrace these virtual companions. Drawing parallels with the global popularity of the Japanese toy, Campbell predicts that the new wave of virtual dolls will seamlessly integrate into society. These virtual babies, capable of growth and development within the metaverse, offer a unique experience. As these virtual infants mature, their personalities and emotions will evolve, allowing them to elicit simulated emotional responses.

In this emerging scenario, individuals can subscribe to virtual parenting, where they pay a monthly fee for their virtual children. If one becomes disinterested or bored with their virtual offspring, they can simply cancel their membership, effectively giving up their virtual child. This concept not only introduces a novel form of entertainment but also provides a simulated parenting experience for individuals who may have reservations about having children in the physical world.

It has advantages and disadvantages

According to the expert, there are both advantages and disadvantages to having a baby through this unconventional method. It’s an undeniable reality that ensuring a good life for a baby in the physical world comes with substantial costs, a financial burden that is absent when dealing with virtual babies. Additionally, one of the advantages lies in the potential to reduce the global population, thereby mitigating the environmental impact caused by human activities.

However, there are drawbacks, such as the potential sense of deprivation due to the absence of a physical, tangible baby experience, complete with the closeness and bodily aspects of traditional childbirth. Nevertheless, Campbell suggests that these disadvantages can also be overcome, highlighting the adaptability and potential solutions that may arise in the evolving landscape of virtual parenting.

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