How can we ensure a balance of power between humans and XR service providers

In the talk with Emmie Hine, the topic arose that some acts become unacceptable when the power distribution between entities becomes unacceptably unbalanced. In digital experiences, often the power balance between users and platforms seem fundamentally unbalanced but may be balanced by users’ abilities to choose to leave the platform for another.

But, digital tools, platforms, and services are becoming ever more integral to our lives. Leaving a platform doesn’t help much If the digital tools, platforms, and services are themselves essential, leaving one platform for another may not be enough to ensure a balance of power between users and providers.

What are things we can do to ensure a more equitable power balance?

One solution is to challenge the notion of a platform–explore decentralized, community-owned, and publicly operated alternatives. I’d recommend Internet for the People by Ben Tarnoff for a great explanation of the original sin of Internet privatization and ideas for how we can fix it.

The restriction of creators within predefined asset libraries by XR service providers presents a lamentable constraint on digital creativity. While purportedly streamlining content creation, this practice stifles innovation and limits the diversity of virtual experiences. It highlights broader concerns about corporate control over digital ecosystems and the commodification of creativity. To foster a truly vibrant creative landscape, XR service providers and stakeholders must advocate for open standards and collaborative frameworks that empower creators to push the boundaries of possibility and shape immersive worlds reflective of diverse perspectives and narratives.