Wednesday 3 August 2022 12:30 PM Meet the digital popstar with millions of teen followers on the Avakin Life ... trends now

Wednesday 3 August 2022 12:30 PM Meet the digital popstar with millions of teen followers on the Avakin Life ... trends now
Wednesday 3 August 2022 12:30 PM Meet the digital popstar with millions of teen followers on the Avakin Life ... trends now

Wednesday 3 August 2022 12:30 PM Meet the digital popstar with millions of teen followers on the Avakin Life ... trends now

Since the rebranding of Facebook to Meta in October 2021, 'metaverse' has become one of the key buzzwords in the tech world. 

Metaverses are virtual worlds focused on social connection, where people can explore via digital avatars. 

As with the growth of more traditional social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, the metaverse has opened the door to a new profession - virtual influencers.  

In order to gain an insight into this world, MailOnline spoke to Polar, a virtual popstar with over two million followers, who regularly performs to crowds of teens in the Avakin Life metaverse.

Polar says she sees the metaverse as an opportunity to meet with her fans 'on the same side of the screen'.

However, many parents have expressed concerns about the safety of their children in the metaverse, with one calling Avakin Life 'hypersexualised and cringey.'

MailOnline spoke to Polar, a digital popstar with over two million of followers, who regularly performs to crowds of teens in the Avakin Life metaverse

MailOnline spoke to Polar, a digital popstar with over two million of followers, who regularly performs to crowds of teens in the Avakin Life metaverse

Polar says she sees the metaverse as an opportunity to meet with her fans 'on the same side of the screen'

Polar says she sees the metaverse as an opportunity to meet with her fans 'on the same side of the screen'

What is Avakin Life? 

Avakin Life is a metaverse game that describes itself as 'life, but better,' and now has over six million people playing every month.

The game lets players create a virtual avatar (an 'Avakin'), style it in fashionable outfits, buy and decorate properties, and interact with others in communal spaces.

Avakin Life is listed as 12+ on the iOS store and asks for a player's age when they first join. 

However, the game never asks players to verify their age, which has raised concerns about its safety for young players. 

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Avakin Life is a metaverse game that describes itself as 'life, but better,' and now has over six million people playing every month.

The game lets players create a virtual avatar (an 'Avakin'), style it in fashionable outfits, buy and decorate properties, and interact with others in communal spaces.

Polar is a digital popstar on Avakin Life, and boasts over 587,000 subscribers on YouTube, 1.6 million followers on TikTok, and 21,500 followers on Instagram.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Polar said: 'I was born in the Metaverse and so it really is part of my reality but when you look at the outside world, it's super clear to see that what we have now is really just a tiny look at what the future holds.

'The Metaverse is going to play a massive part in expanding everyone's perspective on the world which goes beyond entertainment like music and gaming.

'So many of my fans already have extended social lives in the Metaverse in places like Avakin Life where they can meet and hang out with new friends from all over the world.

'This is also a great opportunity for me to meet with them too "on the same side of the screen" just as we have done at the Avakin Life Solar Sounds Festival this week.'

Polar believes that the metaverse will improve social connections, and open the door for new shared experiences.

'Just imagine if you could go to a concert with friends that live thousands of miles away in the real world but are standing right there next to you in the virtual world,' she explained.

'And after the concert, you can all continue to hang out and see the latest movie in a virtual theatre or play multiplayer games in a virtual arcade.

'The social and entertainment opportunities are endless - and this is so super exciting for me.

Polar believes that the metaverse will improve social connections, and open the door for new shared experiences

Polar believes that the metaverse will improve social connections, and open the door for new shared experiences

Avakin Life is a metaverse game that describes itself as 'life, but better,' and now has over six million people playing every month

Avakin Life is a metaverse game that describes itself as 'life, but better,' and now has over six million people playing every month

Almost two-thirds of parents don't understand the metaverse

A survey carried out by the Institution of Engineering and Technology in April found that almost two thirds (62 per cent) of parents of children aged 5-10 currently don't understand the metaverse. 

Despite this lack of understanding, of those parents whose children already interact with VR, over a quarter (26 per cent) admitted they did not know what their child was accessing in this new virtual world. 

Catherine Allen, co-author of the IET's report, said: 'Through our research we estimate that the next generation will spend around ten years of their lives in VR. This figure alone illustrates the impact that this technology will have on the lives of today's children.

'Immersive technologies have limitless potential and endless opportunities but with this also come risks and threats. It's integral that the safety, privacy, and rights of end users are protected.'

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'I believe the metaverse is here so people can be together wherever they are and have more ways to communicate and interact with virtual personalities and artists just like me and the many others out there right now.'

However, while Polar sees this social aspect as a positive for the metaverse, it's raised safety concerns among many parents.

Avakin Life is listed as 12+ on the iOS store and asks for a player's age when they first join. 

However, the game never asks players to verify their age.

'The game states that players found to be a different age to the one entered will be banned, but all that's needed to create an account is an email address, which anyone can set up,' National Online Safety explains in its guide to the game.

'This has led to cases of adults entering the game under a false identity to groom children.'

The game is also full of suggestive and adult themes, according to National Online Safety.

'While the game itself leans into ideas of gambling (users are encouraged to spin a prize wheel for free coins each day) and customising avatars with revealing outfits and seductive dance moves, the primary risks stem from other users,' it explained.

'The in-game chat can often move onto sexual topics, while

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