The Seoul government announced the debut of its official metaverse platform, “Metaverse Seoul,” yesterday.
The virtual space is a digital recreation of Seoul, where visitors can engage in a range of activities — such as visiting museums, sunbathing in the pool, and playing mini-games.
However, the platform was designed for more than just entertainment; it also provides residents with access to administrative services in five areas — economy, education, tax, administration, and communication.
‘Tax Square,’ for example, offers tax-related assistance. Citizens can ask the tax chatbot IZY — connected to the Seoul Internet Tax Payment System (E-TAX) — about tax information and calculate the car tax, property tax, and acquisition tax to be paid in advance.
There is also the Metaverse Mayor’s Office, which is a digital replica of the actual space. There, everyone is welcome to exchange greetings with Mayor Oh Se-hoon, submit opinions on city administration through the Opinion Proposal, and receive answers.
The ‘Corporate Support Center’ allows companies to consult with experts in various fields — including start-ups, law, and HR. There are also functions for voice and videoconferencing, as well as data sharing.
The Seoul metaverse also features Seoul Plaza, where avatars can walk around the plaza, read e-books published by the city, and see promotional videos on the outer wall of the Seoul Library to learn more about Seoul’s policies.
In Seoul Plaza, visitors can also play games, such as spring-cherry blossom catching, summer pool ball, and fall dragonfly catching.
Citizens can also take part in creative contests in Seoul Metaverse, with their best creations displayed in the contest’s virtual space.
There are also ‘Seoul’s Top 10 Tourist Attractions’ selected through a survey of citizens’ preferences for tourist attractions. These include Blue House, Lotte Tower, N Tower, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village, Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), Seoul Forest, Han River, and Gwanghwamun Square.
The Metaverse Seoul app is available in the Google Play and Apple App Stores, as well as through the website.
Seoul’s metaverse platform is already hailed as “The best invention of 2022” by Time magazine, and it is expected to become a new standard for administrative services in the future.
With the 2nd phase of the Metaverse Seoul project, Seoul plans to expand municipal services by sector in 2023.