France’s metaverse consultation seeks input on alternative to tech ‘giants’

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The French government is seeking public comment on the metaverse, or what it’s calling the “virtual immersive universe,” to shape “a French strategy” for the up-and-coming sector and offer an alternative to the “international giants.”

On April 11, France’s Directorate General for Enterprise issued a consultation calling upon companies, associations, citizens and researchers to answer a series of questions regarding “virtual spaces.”

It noted the purpose of the consultation is to allow the public to express their expectations on how to anticipate metaverse technology and to “offer an alternative to the virtual immersive universes currently offered by the international giants.”

It highlighted the rapid development of virtual and augmented reality tech, stating it has become an “essential part of the economic debate,” with many companies positioning themselves as solution providers or as users.

The consultation shies away from directly using the term “metaverse,” saying it’s still “subject to discussion in the public debate,” and thathe consultation provides an opportunity “to question its relevance.”

 An extract of the questionnaire for citizens, translated from French. Source: Ministry of Economics

The consultation provides different questionnaires for citizens, businesses, associations and researchers, but all are mainly centered around the level of knowledge surrounding virtual spaces, the extent of the demand for such spaces and any potential challenges involved.

While some questions are being asked across the stakeholders there are some key differences.

Citizens are being questioned on their experience with technologies such as mixed reality, blockchain and 3D creation software, as well as their primary concerns and intentions to engage in virtual immersive activities in the future.

Meanwhile, businesses are asked about the obstacles that could impede the progress of French companies in building metaverses and questioned about their expectations for demand from professionals and the general public, along with what they think the immersive worlds of tomorrow “will be based on.”

Related: An overview of the metaverse in 2022

Both businesses and researchers are being asked about areas that should be prioritized for funding; however, researchers, in addition to the multiple-choice questions, are asked to describe their vision of virtual immersive experiences.

This comes after a group of industry professionals took to the stage at Paris Blockchain Week on March 22 in a panel to discuss how regulators might interpret what goes on in the metaverse and how businesses can enter the metaverse.

Lawyer Julie Jacob, the founder of the law firm Jacob Avocats, stated in the panel that “there is no standard,” adding that it’s a “really fantastic opportunity” to create a set of rules and ethical standards.

Magazine: How to resurrect the ‘Metaverse dream’ in 2023

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