A Metaverse future is looking to be an inevitable one. As every major tech company from Facebook to NVidia attempts to realise the dystopian concept, it’s up to the public to decide whether it’ll become mainstream. However, for citizens in Seoul, Korea, that future has been decided by government.
As the technical buzzword becomes a part of mainstream lexicon, the Seoul Metropolitan Government revealed plans to build “Metaverse Seoul”. The government is the first ― and, currently, only ― to go all in on a Metaverse future.
What is Metaverse Seoul?
The SMG is investing ₩3.9 billion KRW in bringing the sci-fi concept to life. Designed to be finished by 2030, the virtual platform will replicate a virtual city hall, social services, tourist hot spots and more.
Instead of going outside to do things, Seoul citizens will be able to attend important meetings in virtual reality. For example, government meetings can be held in VR space, allowing to meet with digital avatars for consultations.
The city’s Metaverse project is launching in a rollout form at the end of this year. A Virtual Mayor’s Office, Seoul FinTech Lab, Invest Seoul, and Seoul Campus Town replication will be the first venues introduced. Afterwards, a Virtual Tourist Zone will arrive with iconic attractions such as Gwanghwamun Plaza, Deoksugung Palace and Namdaemun Market.
Additionally, the government will be using the platform to revive destroyed landmarks. For example, Donuimun Gate will be digitally recreated for citizens to explore. The landmark has been lost since Japan destroyed it.
The City of the Future
Seoul’s high-tech nature is not a secret. In its current form, the Korean capital is already one of the most technologically incorporated. Assistant robots patrol city centres to help tourists and screens populate every corner. It’s a city embroiled in, and reliant on, technology.
If any city was bound to hop on the Metaverse bandwagon, Seoul was always it. Mayor Oh Se-hoon claims this will cement the capital as a “future emotional city”. However, you could say that the metverse will have the opposite effect.