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    Facebook Launches Metaverse Academies Across France

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    Meta is partnering with the France-based company Simplon to train an estimated one hundred French students on how to navigate and build careers in the virtual world of the Metaverse. The classes will be held in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, and Nice, and will be tuition-free for all accepted into the program.

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    This investment represents one of the first steps Meta is taking to uphold its pledge of creating 10,000 jobs across Europe by 2026. Currently, the Metaverse Academy program is planned to run for five years and will accept twenty students each year. Meta’s goal for the program is tied to the prediction that job skills required by future employers will be tightly associated with the virtual sphere they are developing.

    The training for the program will be in-person but will focus on the 3D worlds and universes of the Metaverse, and the interactions that can take place within it, said Frederic Bardeua, co-founder and director of Simplon. There is a long history of online spaces being studied in this manner, from the CDC’s review of the ‘Corrupted Blood’ incident in World of Warcraft to real-world economists’ examination of the complex virtual economies of EVE Online

    Like Second Life, a popular online social roleplaying/multimedia game, Meta wants to create a virtual space where people can safely meet, interact, shop, and play together. In existing online games and multimedia environments, players buy and exchange goods with in-game currency, like gold or credits; in the Metaverse, they would exchange real-world currency for both physical and virtual items created by brands like IKEA and Calvin Klein.

    Meta is partnering with the France-based company Simplon to train an estimated one hundred French students.

    The demand for safe and accessible virtual spaces has only increased during the global Coronavirus crisis, and companies worldwide have responded by investing in metaverse applications and programs. 

    The space is new but rapidly growing, with potential applications ranging from commercial to recreational. Users could ‘try on’ clothes on an avatar molded after their body in a digital storefront, enter a virtual furniture showroom, or walk along a beach with friends.

    There are also potential educational applications; traditional remote learning models that rely on a screen lecture format can be unappealing and unapproachable. Meeting in the Metaverse offers exciting opportunities to not just raise engagement among participants but increase the quality of the educational experience through virtual reality displays. 

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      Are These Virtual Spaces Safe for Women?

      New virtual spaces bring with them preexisting challenges, like harassment and abuse. Sixty-one percent of women believe that online harassment is a major problem, and all-male coding and developmental teams can be blind to those concerns. 

      The Metaverse Academy program will emphasize diversity when selecting from its applicant pool. Mr. Bardeua also stated that ‘positive discrimination would be used to hire the most qualified candidates, and that thirty of the programs one hundred slots will be reserved for women.

      Source: rfi

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