Seoul is taking a first-mover advantage with the launch of its
metaverse platform: a contactless communication channel for managing
events, connectivity and tourism.
Tentatively called "Metaverse Seoul", the ecosystem will cover all
areas of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) across economic,
cultural, tourism, educational and civic service.
People might even be able to attend mass events when this project
becomes a complete reality — all that's needed is a VR headset.
The first pilot slated was a Bosingak Belfry virtual bell ringing
event in December 2021, which saw various SMG business support
facilities and services, including the Virtual Mayor’s Office, Seoul
FinTech Lab, Invest Seoul and Seoul Campus Town, on the metaverse
Apart from placing major attractions such as Gwanghwamun Plaza,
Deoksugung Palace and Namdaemun Market within the platform's “Virtual
Tourist Zone", incentive groups can even access lost historical
resources, such as the Donuimun Gate, which existed in the Joseon-era.
From 2023, Seoul’s leading festivals, such as the Seoul Lantern
Festival, will be held in the metaverse, effectively enlarging its reach
to a global audience. The SMG will also develop services for the
socially vulnerable including safety and convenience content for people
with disabilities using extended reality.
Also in 2023, the plan is for government officials to provide
consultations and civil service duties on Metaverse Seoul, instead of
physically at the civil service center at Seoul City Hall.
The platform is expected to be ready by end 2022, but Metaverse Seoul will roll out across three stages in a five-year plan.