Honey, I Brought the Kids Into Virtual Reality

When the real world’s a mess, the metaverse that Facebook (er, Meta) is might seem like a welcome refuge. Just strap on a headset and play some VR games in a sprawling digital realm. Fun for the whole family! At least, that’s what WIRED senior Associate editor Adrienne So has been turning to lately to keep her small kids occupied.

But it’s not all virtual puzzles and endless sunshine. Meta has a track record of privacy and ethical lapses in its business practices that may give people pause before they strap on a VR headset. And inevitably, this meta-space might be monetized through ads, the way the current internet is … though some technologists have better ideas than others around what that might look like, WIRED senior writer Gilad Edelman says.


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This week on Gadget Lab, Adrienne and Gilad join the podcast to talk about the weird ins and outs of bringing your family into the metaverse, and whether anyone will actually want to stay there.

Show Notes

Read Adrienne’s story about how her family is trapped in the metaverse. Read Gilad’s Q&A with the creator of Second Life. Cecilia’s story about how video games already do what the metaverse does. Listen to our episode where Gilad and Kate Knibbs talk about NFTs.


Adrienne recommends booking a tattoo appointment ASAP if you’re thinking of getting one, because lots of places are backed up right now. Gilad recommends mashed cauliflower. Lauren recommends the game Beat Saber.

Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Gilad Edelman is @Gilad Edelman. Lauren Goode is @Lauren Goode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth).Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

How to Listen

You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:

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