The Metaverse as a virtual space for brand profit has been largely abandoned by the public, but what about for history? Well, the South Pacific country of Tuvalu is aiming to use the technology to preserve its beautiful locale.
The idea of using virtual worlds to preserve historic places is not new to the Oceanic region. In fact, South Korea and more already revealed plans to create virtual museums of culturally important places and monuments.
However, Tuvalu’s plans come amid more crisis. As the world’s sea level rises, the gorgeous tropical location faces threats of being flooded, destroying its current state.
In response to the environmental threat, Tuvalu Minster for Justice, Communications and Social Affairs, Simon Kofe, revealed the country’s Metaverse plans. The minister explained that the virtual recreation is a plan for the country’s “worst case scenario” in the face of this crisis.
Speaking at COP27, the minister explained that the virtual world could help the country remain a sovereign state even as it’s destroyed. While its citizens would have to move in real life, they could be virtually tied to the region.
“The tragedy of this outcome cannot be overstated,” Kofe said in a video. “Tuvalu could be the first country in the world to exist solely in cyberspace – but if global warming continues unchecked, it won't be the last.”
Tuvalu aims to recreate the natural environment, culture and government of the country in a virtual world. Kofe proposes that the local government will be able to retain sovereignty via this virtual world if the worst comes to pass.
Of course, any virtual sovereignty will be purely so. It won’t be a replacement for the physical country, but those who belong to the region may be able to keep important passports, documents and the like tied to Tuvalu.
It’s confusing as to what the purpose of declaring sovereignty via a virtual world is. With no way to retain a local population, the metaverse will simply be another 3D virtual world, whether or not it replaces a sadly destroyed locale.