How the Eastern Hemisphere is Setting the Scene for the Metaverse

Just a few weeks ago, residents of the capital city of South Korea gained some impressive bragging rights about their city. The Seoul Metropolitan Government officially launched the Metaverse Seoul project, which grants access to city services in a virtual setting. Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon announced on January 16 that the first phase of Metaverse Seoul was open to the public, and that the second phase (which involves making Metaverse Seoul more accessible to the country’s growing senior citizen population) would be soon to follow. The project seeks to help the business sector and even provide routes for virtual tourism for both Koreans and foreigners, in addition to creating virtual, digital, and immersive ways for citizens to interact with city authorities. During his announcement, the mayor defined the project as a virtual space that would serve as a “place of communication for citizens” of the nation’s capital, enabling them to virtually visit many of Seoul’s attractions, view official papers, lodge specific concerns, and get assistance with filing municipal taxes. 

Now, when the term “metaverse” pops into your head, it’s not likely that your next thought has anything to do with filing official paperwork for the local government. You’re likely thinking of cryptocurrency, blockchain, AR technology, or, since you’re reading this here, the wildly speculative world of metaverse real estate. Between the layers of tech marketing hype, the metaverse is often framed as an exciting alternative digital reality, not necessarily an avenue to complete mundane errands for your real-world self.

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