The shape that the metaverse will take is still unknown, but South Korea is betting on the fledgling industry as the next big thing.
As part of its Digital New Deal, a program for investing in new technologies in the country’s economy, the Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technologies plans to kickstart the metaverse industry in South Korea by supporting companies and creating jobs.
Minister of Science and ICT Lim Hyesook called the metaverse “an uncharted digital continent with indefinite potential,” with the government earmarking 223.7 billion won ($177.1 million) for the endeavor.
On the city level, Seoul’s metropolitan government is building a 3.9 billion-won metaverse platform to allow citizens to access public services virtually.
The metaverse, which has drawn hype in the last year, refers to technologies like virtual reality and the idea that people may be playing and living in virtual worlds. It has been touted as the next frontier in technology services, especially since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta and committed to developing a metaverse-focused future.