The metaverse is quickly growing as a way for communities to connect with each other. The expansion of the metaverse is leading companies such as Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) and others to invest in the development of the virtual world.
The metaverse is now headed for cities and countries, with some already planting their flags in the virtual world.
Seoul: The capital city of South Korea, Seoul, is one of the latest cities to announce plans to establish a presence in the metaverse.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced plans to launch Metaverse Seoul and invest around $3.3 million into the project.
Metaverse Seoul will include a virtual city hall, tourism locations and social centers. The launch is the first time a major city government has invested heavily in the metaverse.
The launch of Metaverse Seoul is part of a plan called Seoul Vision 2030 from the city’s Mayor Oh Se-hoon to build Seoul as a leader in the future city market.
Citizens of the city will be able to use virtual reality headsets to meet in the metaverse with the avatars of city officials. Citizens will also be able to visit landmarks and attend events in the virtual world.
Seoul is launching a test version of the metaverse city at the end of the year. The city plans on offering more in the metaverse, such as its Seoul Lantern Festival, starting in 2023.
A five-year plan for Metaverse Seoul includes the “introduction” stage in 2022, “expansion” in 2023 and 2024 and “settlement” in 2025 and 2026.
Barbados: The Caribbean nation Barbados could become the first sovereign nation with an embassy in the metaverse, Coindesk reports.
Barbados is talking to several metaverse companies on establishing a “digital sovereign land.” Decentraland is named in the report as a partner with Barbados to create a virtual embassy.
“The idea is not to pick a winner — the metaverse is still very young and new, and we want to make sure what we build is transferrable across the metaworlds,” Barbado’s ambassador H.E. Gabriel Abed said.
Barbados will identify and purchase land, build virtual embassies and allow users to transport their avatars from one virtual world to another.
“This allows us to open the door, using technology diplomacy, which then extends to cultural diplomacy — the trade of art, music and culture.”
A virtual embassy from Barbados is scheduled to launch in January in what could be a huge first for the metaverse.
Barbados considers itself one of the friendliest cryptocurrency countries in the world.
Santa Monica: In the U.S., one California city is betting on the growth of the metaverse with a new initiative.
The Downtown Santa Monica District said it’s the first major city in the U.S. to adopt the metaverse. The city partnered with FlickPlay, a play-to-earn metaverse social app that uses gamification and social aspects to bring locations to life.
Using augmented reality and virtual reality, users of the app will be able to unlock collectibles and rewards to redeem for physical items at retail locations in the city.
The initial launch will begin with 15 digital collectibles and plans to launch a new collectible every week.
“I have no doubt that Santa Monica Metaverse will become a unique case study of disruption and innovation in the years to come,” FlickPlay founder and CEO Pierina Merino said.
Photo: Ciaran O’Brien on Unsplash