Meta is adding a new system called “Personal Boundary” to Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues, two of their virtual reality apps. It’s designed to curb creepy behaviour within the company’s much-hyped metaverse by preventing other player’s from invading your personal space.
“Personal Boundary prevents avatars from coming within a set distance of each other, creating more personal space for people and making it easier to avoid unwanted interactions,” the company, formerly called Facebook, wrote in a post introducing the feature.
Previously other players’ hands would disppear if they got too close to your avatar, but now their whole avatar will be unable to reach within 4-feet of you. The new feature is always-on by default, and Meta will “explore the possibility” of letting people customise its size in future.
“Note that because Personal Boundary is the default experience, you’ll need to extend your arms to be able to high-five or fist bump other people’s avatars in Horizon Worlds or in Horizon Venues,” notes the post.
Several users have reported experiencing uncomfortable situations in the Zuckerverse, whether via other users getting too close or saying abusive things. It is the internet, and it is inheriting the problems of the internet – only with fewer existing rules and more rudimentary moderation tools.
Horizon Worlds is a corporate-owned VR chat available for Oculus headsets, while Horizon Venues, also for Quest, is for watching live shows in VR. They’re both part of Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse, a vision that no one wants and which will not work.