You might be wondering why your insurer’s giving you advice on the internet of the future – The Metaverse. 

Well, since the foundation of Allianz in 1890 we aim to prepare our customers in the best possible way for whatever life has to offer next. And whether you’re thinking about that next trip away, connecting with people from all over the world, seeing your favorite band or supporting your kids through some of their most exciting years, the Metaverse is likely to become part of you and your family’s experience.

To help you confidently and safely navigate the Metaverse, we’ve teamed up with Dr. Rachel Kowert to get some expert advice. Rachel is a psychologist and research director of Take This, a mental health advocacy organization with a focus on the game industry and community. You can find her advice in our Ready Guide below. So no more translation required while hearing about your kids’ or friends’ latest Metaverse adventures. 

Start with the short videos, then check out Rachel’s answers to some of the most pressing Metaverse questions. And if we haven’t answered your question yet, then simply get in touch.
Portrait of Dr. Rachel Kowert
Meet Dr. Rachel Kowert, research psychologist
Rachel is a world-renowned researcher on the uses and effects of digital games, including their impact on physical, social, and psychological wellbeing. An award-winning author, she has published a variety of books and scientific articles on the psychology of games and, more recently, the relationship between games and mental health.
Episode 1
Episode 1
Understanding the Metaverse 
Episode 2
Episode 2
Preparing your kids for the Metaverse
Episode 3
Episode 3
Exploring the benefits of the Metaverse
Episode 4
Episode 4
Overcoming challenges in the Metaverse
Rachel answers your Metaverse questions
What is the Metaverse? 
 
“The metaverse is a persistent digital world that continues to change and evolve even when we’re not in it. Within it, we can do all the things that we do in our offline lives.”
What do you do in the Metaverse?
“In the Metaverse, you can do almost anything. You can travel to faraway places. You can socialize with your friends. You can create and build worlds in digital gaming spaces. The possibilities are endless.”
Who is the Metaverse for?
“The Metaverse is for everyone. I know a lot of times, the Metaverse is associated with younger audiences or perhaps more playful experiences in digital games. It is a technology that should be used and can be used and will be used by everyone.”
“There are so many benefits to engaging in the Metaverse. There are mental health benefits, reduced loneliness from hanging out with your friends. There are the benefits of playing, stress relief, reduced anxiety, reduced depression. There are the benefits of learning and education. 

If you just think about what it's like to read about the ruins of an ancient city versus what the experience might be in that fully-3D, immersive experience walking through the ruins of an ancient city. I think there is incredible potential in education and learning, for the Metaverse.”
“Like any other parent, I have the same questions, concerns, and fears about my children engaging in these spaces. There's always going to be people seeking to commit fraud or seeking personal information to use in a malicious way. The Metaverse is going to be no different. The best way, again, to protect your children is to have these conversations with them about being a good digital citizen. Just like we talk to our children about, "Don't talk to strangers on the street," or "Don't share personal information," the same applies in digital spaces.”

“There's definitely a stereotype about the kind of person who would use the Metaverse, and that stereotype is just that: it's a stereotype. These spaces are full and diverse and have people of all ages, all genders, all countries, and continents. It is not made for just one specific kind of person. 

To protect your kids from cyberbullying, make sure you're keeping an open dialogue with them about what they are experiencing in these online spaces so they feel comfortable coming to you when something happens that makes them feel uncomfortable.”

“There are a variety of people that you can turn to for help. Whether it is the community manager of the space, whether it is the developer, or the publisher of the space, it's going to depend on what kind of disturbance you're experiencing and who's going to be the best point of call for action. There are several very good resources available online:

  • Common Sense Media – a non-profit organization providing information about digital tools, digital technology, and the Metaverse specifically.
  • takethis.org – resources around mental health and potential mental health risks and benefits of engaging in these spaces. 
  • Pegi.info (Europe) and esrb.org (North America) – information on gaming-specific content and safeguards parents can implement for their children”.

“Everybody wants a magic number about how much time should be spent in the Metaverse, and I hate to disappoint you that there is no magic number. It really depends on your child. 

The best way to have these conversations with your kids is to have it be a negotiation. Talk to them about, "This is what I think is an appropriate amount of time," and they can say, "This is what I think is an appropriate amount of time." Together you make a plan. If they have a sense of shared ownership of that plan, they are more likely to adhere to that plan.”

“Virtual reality is a fully immersive experience. It requires a special headset in order to engage within it. It has what we call high visual and behavioral fidelity, which means when you turn your head physically to the right, what you see in the digital space also turns to the right.“

“Allianz is doing a great job in helping prepare through education and signposting. These digital technologies already affect every aspect of our lives, and they will continue to evolve and impact more aspects of their lives if we can even imagine that kind of future. Signposting people to education and resources is really valuable so they can better prepare themselves and their families for any potential risks that lie ahead. 

Just like we insure our physical lives, I think in the future, we will start to see insurance for our digital lives. Our physical and our digital lives, they're intertwined. They're almost inseparable at this point. It seems like a natural progression that we would want to safeguard ourselves in these spaces as well.”

Any questions or additional support?