Lights and shadows of the metaverse

04th of May 2022

We are facing an exciting future, although not without significant challenges, on which to build a multidimensional interactive environment with great transformative potential. The concept of the metaverse is not developed as a videogame of great dimensions, rather it is founded on the base of virtual socialization: the objective is to interact with other people (avatars) through public spaces, cinemas, offices, leisure spaces, etc. Therefore, the opportunities are virtually limitless, as many as the ones the physical world presents us with, among which are working, collecting a salary, going to concerts, visiting museums to studying a degree. However, advances in the development of the metaverse also imply the appearance of new risks and challenges, since they generate new spaces for violent social behavior, new economical space for crime, perverse gamification and even a true criminal e-learning for the exchange of criminal knowledge.

The pandemic is expected to provoke at least two serious impacts on national and international security. On the one hand, a surge in social disorder derived from the existing extreme polarization arising from a substantial lack of trust in institutions boosted by the management of the pandemic and from frustration derived from economic, health and social related grievances. On the other hand, organized crime and criminal governance are expected to increase given their high adaptive ability, enormous resources, and the greater social control of criminal organizations hold in certain territories taking advantage of the health crisis. These forecasts are the result of our studies regarding the future of security drawn up from the seven keys identified as strategic and disclosed herein.

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