The European Union spent 387,000 euros to create a metaverse, and threw a big virtual party to celebrate its launch. The problem? Only 6 people logged in to the event. Story of a fiasco.
For many months, the metaverse is making headlines and attracts the attention of businesses and public authorities. Industrial giants are investing millions of euros, marketing agencies use the term all over the placeand even politicians mention it in their election campaigns.
Nevertheless, the general public does not seem to get carried away for the moment for this new technology. For most people, the very concept of the metaverse still seems fuzzy. as the CEO of Apple points out. This paradox has just been confirmed by the complete fiasco of a digital gala organized by the European Union…
Launched mid-October 2022 by the EU, the Global Gateway metaverse is designed to become a ” shared digital space in which European citizens will be able to meet and reflect on global issues to make a difference in our shared future according to the EU’s Twitter account, International Partnerships.
A project disconnected from reality
In total, the European Commission’s international aid department spent 387,000 euros to develop this virtual world. This is revealed by journalist Vincent Chadwick in his published report on the Devex website.
As often when it comes to the metaverse, the words used are strong and grandiloquent. However, logging on to the big EU party to celebrate the launch of the platform left Chadwick almost alone. alone 6 people participated in the event…
I’m here at the “gala” concert in the EU foreign aid dept’s €387k metaverse (designed to attract non politically engaged 18-35 year olds — see story below). After initial bemused chats with the roughly five other humans who showed up, I am alone. pic.twitter.com/kZWIVlKmhL
— Vince Chadwick (@vchadw) November 29, 2022
In reality, this whimsical idea also caused some internal cringe. On condition of anonymity, an employee of the international aid department told Chadwick that he finds this project ” depressing and embarrassing ». Another one just has it referred to as “digital waste”.
On social networks either, this initiative is not unanimous. In response to the official EU tweet, a researcher in sustainable agriculture deplores this choice of massive investment at a time when drought is bruising East Africa and where the United Nations does not have enough food for the refugee camps.
Seriously? There is a massive drought in East Africa, UNHCR doesn’t have enough funds for food for refugees in camps, etc etc and THIS is what you choose to spend money on?
— Birgit Habermann (@BirgitHabermann) October 26, 2022
When metaverse rhymes with dust
Asked by Devex, an EU spokesperson explains that the target audience for this Global Gateway metaverse project includes people aged 18 to 35 using TikTok and Instagram and ” identifying as neutral about the EU and not particularly committed to political issues “.
The aim is to attract these young people through social networks and of ” encourage them to get involved » and ” increase their awareness of what the EU is doing on the world stage “.
Unfortunately, if the original idea is laudable, this metaverse is mediocre if only technically. Camera controls are heavy, avatars are ugly, controls don’t work, and even the music sucks. Once again this “metaverse” project seems totally archaic and disconnected from the target audience…
In wanting to attract young people with a “metaverse”, the EU breaks its teeth by spending millions of euros in a virtual environment worthy of early 2000s MMORPGs.
This confirms a vast discrepancy between the media’s treatment of the metaverse and the interest shown in it by the general public, in the same way as Meta’s Horizon Worlds app and Mark Zuckerberg ridiculed by netizens…
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The EU puts 400K € for a gala in the metaverse: it’s a disaster – LeBigData.fr
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