The City of Seoul believes the metaverse can be harnessed for public good. Its Metaverse Seoul, the first platform of its kind developed by a city, launched this year in beta to more than 3,000 residents who can use avatars to explore a virtual Seoul City Hall and play games in Seoul Plaza. Younger visitors can use the platform for career counseling and mentoring. The city government’s five-year vision is to build out a full-service virtual world—in which people can do things like obtain licenses and lodge service complaints—that lowers barriers to communication with residents and visitors. As a high-tech city, “we [want] to pre-emptively use this untapped space,” says Metaverse Seoul’s Hosun Chae. The platform is slated to open to all residents by the end of the year.
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