[DAO:2455627] E-SPORTS Injuries in the Web 3.0 Environment: physical and ethical concerns

by 0x0a05a8a135e3d1f035819dadb4484f74b104a346 (Crusty)

Should the following Tier 4: up to $60,000 USD, 6 months vesting (1 month cliff) grant in the Gaming category be approved?

Abstract

NPACT (npact-village.com) focuses on community growth, research, and adaptation of Decentraland as our mission. With metaverses and gaming experiences evolving towards full Virtual Reality (VR) we investigate potential effects of this transition. Virtual reality and sports will continue to grow recreationally, professionally, and medically, however biomedical research has yet to evaluate the impact of this new VR technology, as ethical and health concerns arise. This grant provides a scientific investigation of potential dangers and benefits of VR integration into the metaverse. Our expert teams of Medical Practitioners, Researchers and Decentraland community members seek to answer these questions.

Grant size

60,000 USD

Beneficiary address

0x0A05A8A135E3D1F035819daDb4484f74b104A346

Email address

info@npact-village.com

Description

We spend an increasing amount of our daily life in the digital environment. This is not a new thing, but the ability to meet social, work, educational, cultural, and even IRL maintenance without ever leaving your computer exploded in post-covid. With this explosion of work from home coupled with tradition gym closures and technologically leverage products like Peloton reaching mass adoption, the future partnership of exercise and the metaverse finally moved beyond its perpetually nascent phase.

To say it has reached full adoption, or is technically proficient as desired, would be taking great liberty with the truth. However, while the technology is lagging, the social structure of sports, includes its competitive nature, are taking subtle but significant steps. Beyond a traditional leader board displaying a name and temporary high score, individualized avatar athletes provide recognition, branding, and the under pinning of the tribal mentality associated with sports rivalries.

Digital uniforms and team names and identities which under tradition are regionally formed, with specialized equipment and sponsorship following, has been turned on its head. In contrast, factors including time zones, preferred equipment, technological compatibility and political affiliations are component parts of the whole. While not the focus of this project, these factors must be considered during any ethical design review process. As these factors could lead to over exertion and injury in any environment, we will endeavor to identify and isolate their direct impact on the metaverse based virtual gaming environment.

As discussed above, home exercise has moved leaps and bounds from aerobic types of yesteryear. Now, instead of being led by the recording, we are now recording the leader. However, that leader is not always human and classes give way for competition on a more regular basis. Without the unpredictability of inclement weather, cost of ravel, ongoing communication, and generally large time commitment associated with organized sporting events, more frequent and bespoke functions are possible.

Ranging from a group of friends virtually cycling together to an esports arena teaming with thousands, virtual reality and sports will continue to grow recreationally, professionally, and medically. Biomedical research and implementation while quite conspicuous with the Invictus games, the impact of tech many not be as obvious in character design and movement. For example, at one of the most simple designs, an underwater adventure game, while perfectly safe for the human behind the goggles, would spell destruction if replicated in the real world. While seemingly far-fetched and low-hanging fruit as an example, it speaks to a potentially increasing problem, realism in avatar function and design. Even the greatest suspension of reality would have difficulty reasonably finding a gamer trying to fly off a building as a dragon. But could the same be said for a human gamer trying to imitate a Tetris style climbing game in the real world if digitally designed? In light of the multiple injuries suffered each year in pursuit of social media challenges like the mild crate climb, these risks become increasingly foreseeable. Simply put, as the likeness to human increases in avatar, does the risk of injury though imitation on competition simply increase?

Specification

Research question

To what degree, if any, does an omnidirectional sporting device and combination with virtual reality increase the risk of injury to the participant?

Sub Questions

  1. To what degree, if any, does the underlying physical condition of a participant contribute to risk?
  2. To what degree if any are risks associated with physical condition mitigated or warned against by manufactures?
  3. To what degree of commonality, if any, will new omnidirectional related injuries occur?
    What are the most likely injuries?
  4. To what degree, if any, does the environmental design of the game enhance risk of injury?
  5. To what degree, if any, does the design and functionality of the avatar enhance risk of injury?

Hypothesis

It is our belief that game designers did not properly anticipate the incongruity of digital physical capabilities in design, resulting in participants mimicking unnatural actions or the avatar or game requirements resulting in new sports injuries patterns or occurrences.

Design

Utilizing the Kat VR Omnidirectional system in conjunction with the Oculus Rift, our participants will engage in gaming and digital sports, captured on video. Following 10 sessions to allow familiarity and ease, our lead physician researcher will review the kinetics, identify the greatest points for risk of injury. This will be correlated with the gaming interaction for design review. Following processing and correlation of all data, the highest and most common risks will be identified for further study and to offer precautions to the community at large.

Methods

  1. Headset (Oculus Rift) and VR platform/Treadmill
    • Research all variations in platforms/treadmill to accurately simulate all potential human movements/interactions
      • Considerations
      • Size
      • Cost
      • Game variability
      • Compatibility to Oculus Rift headset
      • Allows all directions and speeds of movement
      • Purchase said headset/VR platform after selection
      • Platform set up and lead investigator familiarization with headset/VR platform
  2. Initial protocol for participation to be determined by lead investigator
    • Game selection
      • First person interactive shooting/military style game incorporating the widest variety of human movements
      • Game style should permit both movement initiation and reactionary movements
      • Game style/play should permit both standard kinetic movement and higher speed movements, include multi-direction and rotational motions
    • Movement tracking
      • Select video equipment parameters
      • Purchase video equipment for multi-modal and multi-angle monitoring of intra-game actions/movements
      • Record actions/movements for later playback and analysis
  3. Post-game play analysis
    • Pitfalls/potential for injury
      • Headset
      • VR platform
      • Game type/style
    • Movement analysis
      • Kinetic stress points
      • Anatomic/Joint loads/stress points
        • Neck
        • Shoulder
        • Low back
        • Hips
        • Knees
        • Ankles/feet
    • Overall analysis/Summation
  4. Future considerations and Call for action/follow-up research
  5. Publish Scientific study

Personnel

Dr Anand Panchal, DO

  • Qualifications: AOBOS Board Certified, Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Surgery of the Upper Extremity
  • Affiliation: Center for Bone & Joint Surgery of the Palm Beaches
  • Dr Panchal’s experience and ability to identify potential injuries in the VR gaming environment directly benefits the health of Decentraland users and the DCL platform as an impactful benefit to the gaming community and beyond

Dr Luca Arnaboldi, PhD

  • Qualifications: PhD, BSc, Computer Science
  • Affiliation: NPACT, Metaverse Research and Development Director (MRD2)
  • Dr Arnaboldi’s experience in computer science research and technical expertise in both programming and research methods will aid Dr Panchal’s investigation into the VR gaming environment

Ronald J Bogani, Esq

  • Qualifications: JD, LLM Human Rights, MRes Artificial Intelligence
  • Affiliation: NPACT, Director
  • Mr Bogani, is the director of NPACT an active organization within Decentraland aiming to host events, start projects, and work toward mainstream appeal for the future of the platform. His role will be towards community integration

Roadmap and milestones

All information about this grant will be available to track on our website (npact-village.com) we will establish channels of communication to the community via Discord, and through information available on our Decentraland estate (36, 96).

Timeline:

  • Month 1-2 - Acquire and familiarize with VR Equipment
  • Month 2-4 - Run Experiment as per described in experiment methodology
  • Month 4 -6 - fine tune and publish results of investigation
  • Month 6 - exhibit full research results on Nakatomi Plaza estate as community event

Vote on this proposal on the Decentraland DAO

View this proposal on Snapshot

there is already multiple tests on this and information out there. Heres one example The effects of target location on musculoskeletal load, task performance, and subjective discomfort during virtual reality interactions - ScienceDirect why should the dao fund this just cause you want to correlate it to dcl.

1 Like

I’m not seeing how this relates to the advancement of Decentraland specifically. This seems like something that can get a grant from a more traditional medical source rather than the DAO.

2 Likes

diving down these from the national institute of health is insane An 8-Week Self-Administered At-Home Behavioral Skills-Based Virtual Reality Program for Chronic Low Back Pain: Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial Conducted During COVID-19 - PMC the one test i read literally deep dived how much electric stimuli needed to work muscles and how it could effect rehabilitation. Its eye opening to see all the different studies on the table. Home - PMC - NCBI <— literally type in vr headset or vr or anything.

I dunno mean them wondering the health impacts and it being a future cause and effect on users of dcl I can understand. Im just thrown off why this wouldnt be done by the Mayo Clinic or some other entity or if it has been.

Hey, absolutely, there is a lot of research already in VR technologies. However, each game, virtual environment and experience is different and likely to impact the body in different ways. As VR is part of the Decentraland expected future expansion, doing proper thorough research in the specific aspects of movement that are relevant to this, will not only guide decision-making for development but also make every member have a safer and more enjoyable experience!

Also, from Dr. Anand who is the resident expert in E-Sport injuries:

"I would also add that the specific biomechanics of human movement in relation to the virtual reality platform have not, to my knowledge, been studied. Our goal is to study how the technology affects biomechanics of human movement and how it pertains to mechanisms of injury as opposed to a specific movement of specific games.

Lack of proprioception, Lack of ability to judge depth in both horizontal and vertical planes are important to study in terms of how they interact with various extremity movements in the VR platform"

Hopefully this clarifies!

Great question! VR is on the official list of future potential developments for the Decentraland platform. Through this study, we wish to ensure that the development is done in an informed and safe manner for every user!

To answer, why us? Unfortunately, a large hospital system wouldn’t do this kind of research unless they directly partnered with the company that makes the platform and unless it had some financial benefit for said institution/hospital system. We as members of the community simply wish to ensure the safe future expansion of the platform we love and enjoy using!

1 Like

I got nothing against the research and im sure would be beneficial. Health is wealth. Im just not sure if were at that point here. Also why this needs to be done here and not on a larger implication and larger scale. When there are multiple grants still developing and updating uis. With those updates alone and not considering vr or haptic suit upgrades your tests would leave you with prior research to i guess base of as prior points on.

You state subjects “will engage in gaming and digital sports” is this correlated to DCL parkour and walking and interactions or to full on joint rotations and muscle use via a medical i guess index… What Decentraland VR interface do you plan to use? Does decentraland even have the capabilities of walking on a kat vr type system to get a correlated test.

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Dr Panchal argues that it is a priority as there is potential for a significant injury, possible lawsuits against VR based compaines, with resultlant negative publicity that will harm future growth of metaverse and its inherent and intrinsic symbiotic relationship with VR platforms and companies. You can’t really expect mass adoption of new tech and a new way of interacting in a virtual world until you prove that the entire process is safe and feasible to navigate. DCL does not yet have the capabilities of full VR, but these are coming soon, and decisions will need to be made regarding what these capabilities will be. With such a study we can inform decision-making to ensure the safest possible metaverse vr experience

1 Like

@Tudamoon hear your opinions on this one big guy. Im curious your take.

Interesting! Something worth looking into, love how they bringing research into this. wealth is health.

This is a great thing that they are doing. Definitely going to change the world.

Except there’s really not much to look at here. They mention Decentraland users, but it is not specific to Decentraland users. They talk more about VR and we don’t even have that feature yet. So I am curious if they even use Decentraland that often. I understand they have land, but it seems like they lack familiarity of Decentraland. I am sure it’s not intentional as the team is 2 Doctors and an Attorney. I am sure they are busy.

I voted no, because I am not sure how it relates to Decentraland.

1 Like

Hey Tudamoon. Thanks for the response. I am an attorney but decentraland is my focus. I run NPACT or Nakatomi Plaza. We are very involved in decentraland and dedicated to bringing an institutional and research angle beyond our events. We just put on the MasterCard Sonic fest and we also do an annual NYE party to raise funds for the Turing trust. Through the DCL community we have delivered over 2k computers and dcl gets the credit. We also are creating content in addition to the other intiatives. I am busy yes, but our focus is on dcl. Thus far self funded. The project is obviously bare bones on cost with our group interested in the future of dcl. Perhaps it was the wrong proposal but we greatly appreciate the civilized discourse. But it is important you know NPACT is Nakatomi Plaza. Thank you for the feedback.

The study as to decentraland is both for credibility through academic publications and bringing more interest for this type of research and we are attempting to focus on dcl type movement. Again, thank you for the thoughtful and civilized response.

Thanks. This part of the NPACT mission is not as well known. The more conspicuous type of work we do are the concerts or other events like the recent MC Sonic Latin America Concert. We have other research initiatives focusing on the users in dcl. It seems this one will not pass and we will try to find outside funding but a dcl specific study for movement and basic steps a user can take to mitigate these risks os not of great interest to centralized parties. Also, the team we put together is obviously not charging their standard rates and are intersted in the future of dcl. This was on a shoe string budget and wopuld result in ,ultiople publications in academic journals or possibly workshops, thereby garnering more attention and credibiolity for the community as a whole. Thank you for taking the time to comment. This process is absolutley fantastic for feedback and the community is bringing up valid concerns. Please let me know if I can clarify anymore

@Tudamoon Respectfully, NPACT has been active and organizing events in Decentraland for almost 2 years now (these: https://npact-village.com/ ) plus the recent Mastercard SONIC music fest a few weeks ago. @TheCryptoTengu @mattimus I just want to be sure everyone understands the greater picture and how this research will directly benefit Decentraland. From this research there will be articles written in major publications contributing the success and findings directly to DCL. This will be a huge credibility jump for the community. Showcasing that DCL is not just gambling and gaming. It is a strong addition to the world and worthwhile. I would invite all of you who voted ‘no’ to really think about the positive impact this research will have for DCL and consider giving it a chance by voting YES.

2 Likes

I get that but i dont think our vr client is far enough or ui established enough for them to come in and say they want to do a research on it yet. Literally if the focus is to be DCL and VR there should be a base layer. Id look forward to seeing this done at a later point. Just my opinion im not against this being done i just find now premature.

I would just like to remind people that NPACT has had a very active role and familiarity with Decentraland. From @SinfulMeatStick first event mew bubble launch and a playground to begin learning how to stream, to @DOCTORdripp kite day February 2021, @GucciToe first show and so many more.

NPACT In past utilized their 39 parcel estate to provide a free space for a lot of people to get started and learn. The amount of research and innovation that has been going on over the last couple years has been impressive.

People forget that last New Years a 13 hour charity concert took place with a huge collaboration of decentraland community members to raise 1000 mana for the TuringTrust Foundation to get 2128 laptops to children.

And the recent Mastercard 4 day concert .

The research is already being done on what the metaverse can do and they are way ahead on this than most. I don’t think they would apply for this grant if there was no benefit to the community or Decentraland In some way.

I took a break from everything in the space back in the summer , and have no direct involvement at the moment with NPACT but I just Wana bring to light that these “busy people” have also been busy in Decentraland.

I’m not saying this is why you should vote yes, but just a reminder they have been around the block here and always willing to help the community.

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i’m voting no simply cause i don’t think it makes sense to fund this at this point.

Sean’s VR proposal was just rejected, until that is fully available and running, I’m not sure this makes sense.

1 Like