Florida A&M University (FAMU) has marked a significant milestone by becoming the first historically black college and university (HBCU) to venture into the metaverse.
The experience, dubbed “Rattlerverse,” created by metaverse builders Jeremy Duncan and Shika Duncan of Onyx Leaf Media, offers a futuristic virtual campus where users can explore FAMU’s culture, current events, and campus layout.
Within Rattlerverse, users can also engage in various activities, such as playing football on the Rattlerverse field and experiencing the role of a FAMU Marching “100” Band Drum Major.
Accessible through Meta Horizon Worlds, users can access the metaverse experience using Meta Quest 2, Quest 3, and Quest Pro headsets.
While FAMU’s entry into the metaverse is a pioneering move for HBCUs, it follows a broader trend in the education sector. Other universities have previously entered the virtual realm to allow prospective students to explore campuses, offer alternative class attendance options, and facilitate global participation in events.
For instance, in November 2023, Coventry University took its Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) Institute to the metaverse to enhance worldwide engagement and digital interactions. Similarly, in October 2023, the University of Salford introduced a virtual MediaCity campus in the metaverse, providing students and faculty with interactive spaces for education and creativity.
The education sector has recognized the metaverse’s potential, offering solutions to overcome real-world constraints and fostering more realistic collaboration and participation compared to traditional remote learning.
This growing interest is reflected in the numbers, with the global metaverse in the education market reaching $5.6 billion in 2023, projected to surge to approximately $143.87 billion by 2033, according to Precedence Research.