The block system is useful for people you're unlikely to see again -- such as harassers in public worlds, however, it's current implementation is awful for community spaces, and often leads to additional trauma/re-traumatization.
The truth often is that it's safer for you to keep the people that have harmed you unblocked, otherwise you might end up clipping inside them and then surprising each-other when the group points out the problem. This leads to situations where every opening in a chat circle has inherent unsafety. When you block an abuser you risk diffusing their existence into a ever present threat in all your shared spaces.
Suggested solutions:
  • Leverage the current "hidden avatar" prisms to represent blocked/blocked by users (Red colored). No nameplate. Allow additional data (username) upon target.
  • allow for blocked avatars to be toggled entirely hidden (clientside)
Additionally, with less priority:
  • Have a UI element that shows users when there is a blocked user in their instance (especially an instance they're about to join).
Thank you -- I've seen it play out in others and i've experienced it myself. This platform has a moral obligation to do a better job at protecting it's community from the fractures that the current block system exacerbates by forcing an accidental spotlight on interpersonal trauma.
Response to expected criticism:
I can imagine it scary to allow blocked users to know where you are -- you could imagine that they could use that information to disrupt your experience. I think this is solved with a clear stance in the community guidelines that circumventing a block to grief or disrupt a player is an unacceptable, bannable offense. It is a clear crossing of a known boundary.
Also since this is an only an issue with players established within communities, perhaps trust rank could change how a blocked user is handled (prism vs totally gone).