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Metaverse puts human social skills at risk

Metaverse puts human social skills at risk

The metaverse poses a threat to human social skills, the producer of the ABBA Voyage show has warned.

Svana Gisla told MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, that the technology "scares" her and does not represent an obvious improvement on digital experiences.

ABBA Voyage is a physical concert that features four 3D digital versions of the band's younger selves performing the hits but Gisla claims that the concert was purposely designed to be a large group experience rather than a fully virtual event on mobile devices or headsets.

She argued that humans "are pack animals" and its only due to the rise of technology "that we've been encouraged not to be".

Gisla said: "The metaverse scares me in that way because I feel like just because the technology is available doesn't mean we have to use it.

"It doesn't mean it's good for us, it doesn't mean it's improving anything, and I don't see any improvement in putting (in) more screens and getting our younger generations to dive deeper into the loneliness of being inside a screen all day. That's just my personal take on it."

The ABBA concerts were held at a purpose-built 3,000-seat arena in London and Gisla explained that show bosses wanted emotion to be at the centre of the experience.

She said: "We made the choice not to go digital with this show. We had lots and lots of people telling us we were mad to be spending all this money and creating the show for people to have to travel to a location 3,000 at a time to experience it.

"They didn't understand why we weren't showing millions of people around the world. But the answer to that, for us, was very simple - we wanted an emotional experience.

"We like human emotion and we worry and I worry that, with technology, it's made us very insular. It's a very lonely experience to live with technology. It's actually made to separate people and connect them one-to-one with a device."

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