- South Korea is planning to make a major move in the metaverse with the investment and support of its government.
- The Ministry of Science and ICT will be a major player in aiding in the development of the country’s emerging industry.
- The new sector provides a great opportunity.
In early 2022, South Korean authorities expressed their desire to join the metaverse and in January announced an investment of 170 million dollars in virtual reality and related technologies.
Competing to Be Number One
Yoon Suk-yeol, president of South Korea, has stated that technology is a top priority for the nation. The goal of the government is to be among the top five nations in the metaverse by 2026. The Ministry of Science and ICT, in conjunction with the Information and Communications Commission, released a set of non-binding ethical guidelines for the metaverse on November 28, 2022.
As Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist, says: “The metaverse is an extensive online network and real-time 3D simulations that support the continuity of identity, objects, history, payments and rights, and can be experienced by an unlimited number of people with their own individual sense of presence.” According to The Verge.
The New York Times reports that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, changed the company’s name to Meta in October 2021 and declared that it was now a “metaverse company.” His vision is for billions of people to live in a virtual world, engaging in social activities, working, and even dating in virtual and augmented realms. The metaverse is becoming a reality.
South Korea has the 13th largest economy in the world by GDP and the fourth largest gaming market with $8.3 billion in revenue from 33 million gamers. Nathan Lenga, an analyst who has studied South Korea’s metaverse strategy, stated that “50% of the population is in Korea and they reported that gaming was their daily entertainment. It is deeply ingrained in their culture.”
CNBC reported that South Korea’s Science and ICT Minister Lim Hyesook sees the metaverse as an “unexplored digital continent with undefined potential.” The South Korean government was one of the first to invest in this sector, with plans to increase support for businesses and create more employment opportunities.
As reported by media outlets, South Korea’s “Digital New Deal” includes plans to create a platform for industry growth, invest billions, and create more than two million new jobs. Tech journalist Nina Xiang noted that “other Asian countries don’t have similar types of metaverse programs in scale and scope as the South Korean government’s.”