South Korea Launches Virtual Replica of its Capital in the Metaverse
The Seoul government has launched "Metaverse Seoul," a virtual environment designed to boost tourism and allow the city's citizens to participate in various activities, including interacting with several services.
The South Korean megacity officially became the first city to launch its metaverse platform as part of its five-year roadmap, which includes leveraging the metaverse’s qualities to boost tourism and deploy blockchain technology.
On the platform, known as Metaverse Seoul, users can play games, chat, hold meetings, get tips on starting a business and take virtual tours of famous sites in the city such as Blue House, N Seoul Tower, Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul Forest, Han River and more.
Interestingly, Seoul residents can file public documents such as tax returns and other documents in the metaverse.
“Seoul’s metaverse will be an important communication tool for citizens in [the new time]… It’s a comprehensive administrative service that everyone can take advantage of without any time and space barriers” – Oh Se-hoon, Mayor of Seoul.
According to reports, the first phase of the project includes the creation of a platform in the metaverse where residents can file official civil complaints and documents, including tax returns. Companies can also consult with customers at virtual business centers in the metaverse.
In addition, users can play games in the Seoul Square metaverse and embark on tours of City Hall.
The metaverse also has a virtual counseling center called Metaforest where students can get guidance and advice for their academic challenges anonymously.
The city of Seoul has reportedly spent about $1.6 million on the first phase and will invest another $2.26 million in the second phase, which is scheduled to begin later this year. The final phase will begin in 2026.
The South Korean city has been actively involved in the metaverse for some time. The city officially launched its five-year vision for the metaverse in September 2021 and has been making strides to make Seoul a metaverse haven.
In November 2022, Seoul government officials announced the launch of the “Ethical Principles of the Metaverse” a set of guidelines to ensure that users can reflect their true selves in a secure virtual environment created with a sustainable system that is inclusive of all members.
Late last year, representatives of South Korea’s People Power Party (PPP) announced that they were working to create a “Metaverse Industry Promotion Law” to spur adoption of Web3 and the metaverse.