The Seoul government has begun, The capital of South Korea, By developing a virtual government system with its own metaverse platform, It is the first local government in Korea to join this global trend. This high-performance platform offers a new form of government services in its various fields using technology. Over the course of 5 years, The city authorities will work to create a complete virtual system that overcomes many challenges and raises the level of services provided to citizens and visitors.
The international demand for the world of "metaverse" is increasing, Whether by the government or private sector, It is a concept created by integrating physical reality, Default and augmented, In order to create three-dimensional and shared virtual spaces, These spaces enable people to interact without being in one location in person. It is a growing trend associated with people's preference to accomplish their tasks and activities online. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, which imposed on the world a new lifestyle, Their effect is no longer limited to changing daily habits to contain infection.
This experience shed light on the many difficulties facing modern man, It has imposed on all Governments to change their thinking and concepts, and its approach to citizens' affairs, and develop new policies to manage their affairs in the post-pandemic period. These circumstances also underscored the importance of overcoming the constraints that people face on the ground. This is imposed by temporal and spatial circumstances along with the need to overcome language barriers.
In South Korea, The authorities launched the new digital plan, It is a national plan to promote the use of digital tools and artificial intelligence in the recovery process from the effects of the pandemic. As a result of these efforts, Seoul's metropolitan government has announced the general directions of its five-year comprehensive plan, which will make it the first local government in Korea to join the metaverse world by creating its own platform as part of a $3.3 million investment.
The platform, which will be launched in 3 phases starting next year, is a communication channel adopted after the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic to serve as a new concept for government services using technological platforms to manage the affairs of citizens and visitors to the city.
This master plan includes 20 promotional missions spread across 7 areas, They are the economy, education, culture, tourism, communications, urban development, management and infrastructure. The platform is a high-performance project that represents a parallel system to the city of Seoul, However, it is entirely based on virtual reality, It includes the municipal administration of the city with its seven areas defined by the Government. The Seoul City Metaverse project will include avatar images of government employees. who will provide consultations, complete transactions and finalize civil procedures, These services are usually available only through the Civil Service Centre located in the central building of the Seoul Government. To increase the efficiency of staff, The local government shall extend the application of the Basic Law to all areas of municipal administration.
At the end of this year, the metaverse project will be launched by performing a cultural ceremony in Seoul, which is to sound the historic "Bussingak" bell to announce the beginning of the new year. The ceremony will take place via virtual reality. The Seoul government will follow this experience with a series of services in various facilities, Including virtual platforms for the mayor's office, business, fintech incubator, government investment organization and others. Work will continue until a virtual government service centre opens in 2023. With the opening of this center, The virtual version of famous Seoul festivals such as the Seoul Lantern Festival will be ready for launch, To be accessible to everyone, anywhere in the world. Besides, Major landmarks and attractions such as squares, palaces and markets in Seoul will be included in the metaverse. Under the name "Virtual Tourist Area". The project also seeks to recreate lost historical sites and monuments such as the Donoymon Gate.
During the early planning stages, Questions have been raised about the accessibility and availability of these services to all segments of society, therefore, The Seoul Government is working to develop special services aimed at all segments of society, It includes providing content that achieves safety, reliability and comfort standards for people of determination and people with special needs within this virtual reality.
But the most important challenge is that entering any of these virtual worlds requires special equipment that is not accessible to everyone. The devices are sold for a price ranging from $300 to $600, for example. They are also not as widespread and available as smartphones and computers.
The Seoul government is the first Korean government to launch a medium-to-long-term plan to join the metaverse virtual worlds as part of its Vision 2030 strategies. Which aims to improve the services provided to citizens and raise the global competitiveness of the city.