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South Korea injects $186 million into a national metaverse project

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  • The government wants to boost the growth of its metaverse ecosystem, with ambitions that it could host businesses in the future
  • Last month, South Korea launched a five-year strategic plan to become the global metaverse leader

The government of South Korea is taking significant strides towards evolving into a metaverse future. Yesterday, the nation’s Ministry of ICT, Science, and Future Planning guaranteed a KRW 223.7 billion ($186 million) investment into advancing the country’s metaverse ecosystem.

According to an official statement sent out by the ministry, the endgame for this investment is to achieve an all-inclusive metaverse ecosystem, dubbed the ‘Expanded Virtual World.’ It would enable the virtual expansion of cities, education initiatives, and the media. The ministry will channel the funds into enhancing digital content and stimulating corporate growth.

The government is fully backing the metaverse project

Further, the government plans to cultivate talent, boost the decentralised economy, and facilitate companies that manufacture virtual reality/ augmented reality devices. Creatives will also be among the beneficiary of this setup, as they will gain from initiatives to hunt for talent to grow the virtual world via hackathons and developer contests.

Head of Communication and Policy Department at the Ministry Park Yungyu explained that the announcement is part of South Korea’s Digital New Deal – a series of national policies aimed at strengthening the digital economy via several efforts, among them financial support and regulatory enhancement.

“It is important to create a world-class Metaverse ecosystem as the starting point to intensively foster a new hyper-connected industry,” Park said in an announcement.

This latest massive financial investment by South Korea falls in line with information that came out earlier this year. Last month, the ministry revealed a five-year strategic plan to become a leader in the new metaverse dispensation.

The country said it aimed to produce 40,000 metaverse professionals, adding that a single metaverse project could potentially generate 1.5 million jobs tied to the virtual world.

The issue of sexual harassment

Even as the South Korean government leads a surge into a metaverse future, one issue it will need to take a particular focus on is sexual harassment. There have been occurrences of coercion leading to sexual abuse in the metaverse.

In April last year, a minor was enticed into exchanging nude images for in-game items in one virtual reality world. More recently, as per the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, a 14-year-old was strong-armed to strip their metaverse clothes and asked to perform sexual acts (the avatar).



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