June 29, 2022

South Korea’s capital city Seoul under the city government hosted a metaverse festival of the year-end bell-ringing festival. Over 16,000 people joined the digital event from the comfort of their homes.

The organizer hosting the event, Seoul Digital Foundation commented that around 16,067 people joined the metaverse festival during its eight-day run from Dec. 25 marking the new year. The event also included the attendance of some 3,000 people connected simultaneously for a midnight bell-ringing ceremony on New Year’s Eve.

According to reports, the popular year-end bell-ringing celebration due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic was canceled last year and switched to the metaverse. The event pre-pandemic used to be held at Bosingak Pavilion in central Seoul.

The event was held via the metaverse platform ifland, operated by the country’s mobile carrier SKT. The Seoul Plaza was featured as the background of the platform and a video clip showing a bell-striking ceremony at Bosingak was also included.

The government earlier on Nov. 30 amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic had also opened a metaverse-based online exhibition hall to help overseas “hallyu” fans learn more about South Korea and its culture.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) mentioned that “Korea World” will offer various articles and videos about Korean culture that are created mostly by foreigners from around the world who are interested in the culture.

According to officials, in the virtual world visitors can take pictures and chat with other visitors using their avatars. Further, there will also be special events in which they can try on traditional Korean attire.

The director of the KOCIS, Park Jung-youl commented that they expect various hallyu-related content created from a foreign perspective to be re-proliferated. And in order to meet fresh demands, they also hope to continue to make efforts to diversify the content.