Consider this: In The Climb, a popular virtual reality game, any user can virtually scale skyscrapers and majestic cliffs simply by turning their head and gripping a trigger—any user, that is, except one with a muscular, skeletal or neurological disorder that makes even those movements impossible.
Or consider this: In January 2020, MIT Media Lab researcher Arwa Michelle Mboya traveled to Kenya to research her thesis on VR adoption, bringing four Oculus Go headsets with her. Nearly half the times she tried to put one on a subject, however, the strap broke because “the texture, size and styling of Black hair was not suitable for the device, and the strap attachment piece kept pulling out at the joints from extensive stretching.”
Just last month, Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. of the Western District of New York held that the Americans With Disabilities Act should apply to digital spaces as well as physical ones—a step in the right direction, but one of many that will be necessary to create a thriving metaverse accessible to all. This is not just an inclusivity problem. It’s also a business problem—or rather, the two are one and the same.