Experts expect we'll be more at home in the metaverse than the real world
People will be spending more time in the virtual world of the metaverse than the real world in the future, where they will be able to enjoy not only entertainment, but all essential activities in life such as education, finance and art creation, experts said during the “2021 Contents Industry Forum.”
The Korea Creative Content Agency (Kocca) kicked off the forum online on Tuesday, which will run until Thursday and again next week from Tuesday to Thursday. Each day, experts from different fields of content will get together to discuss the present and future of the industry.
Lee Yang-hwan, the general manager of the policy division at Kocca opened up the event, joined by: Professor of industrial engineering at Kangwon National University Kim Sang-kyun; Park Chan-jae, chief producer at Aimers Entertainment; Professor Son Seung-woo of Chung-Ang University who specializes in industrial security law policy; Professor Lee Jung-yeop at the Department of Korean Culture and Contents at Soon Chun Hyang University; Jeon Jae-woong, CEO of Anipen; Choi Seung-hyun, general manager of Didim Communication; and Choi Jae-won, Vice President of SAMG Entertainment.
Day one started with policies regarding the cultural industry, specifically on the ongoing digital transformation that has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the imminent advent of a new society that will form on the metaverse.
Metaverse is a compound of the prefix "meta" and universe, and it describes a space where avatars will allow users to act out social, economic and cultural actions.
“The definition of the space where our lives take place is changing,” said Lee Yang-hwan during his opening speech. “Metaverse is a new space for entertainment, work, education and business. People can make money in the metaverse space and exchange that money for money in the offline world. Teenagers in the U.S. are already spending more time in a virtual world built by Roblox than on YouTube.”
Metaverse may sound like a far cry from reality, but in the digital world, the transition is already underway. On a futuristic real estate investment game called Earth2, the 5,060 square meters (54,465 square feet) of Korea’s Blue House is priced at $16,866. The game money can be bought with real cash and the profit made from the game can be deposited into a player’s Paypal account. U.S. rapper Travis Scott earned $20 million by performing virtually on game Fortnite.
“The digital transformation has been accelerated in the last couple of years, but the industrial market has been preparing for it since 10 years ago,” said Lee. “The transformation is changing not only customer experience, but people’s lifestyles. People used to own individual works such as films or music, but a subscription system such as Netflix means that they don’t have to own anything to enjoy it. Since those services are global, the behavior data of the consumers mean one large map can be made that includes everyone around the world.”
Used in conjunction with other cutting-edge technology such as cloud memory, blockchain, NFT (non-fungible token) or artificial intelligence (AI), the way that the metaverse workplace and marketplace will function will be completely different from how it functions in the real world. For instance, AI could produce a product and sell it directly to an avatar of a user, all in the metaverse.
“Basically, the metaverse will allow our digital way of life to take place,” said Jeon. “The older generation is used to the analog way of life, but not the millennial generation, Generation Z or Generation Alpha. They are already taking classes online and most of the input from the world is digital. Companies endeavor to better that digital experience and eventually, it will mean that people will get to express themselves freely in the digital world without the physical limitations of real life.”
The forum will continue on the game industry on Wednesday, followed by the music industry on Thursday. Next week, the event on Tuesday will open with stories, spanning across a wide range of intellectual properties that exist in the content industry, followed by television and broadcasting on Wednesday. The final day will focus on finance. The forum can be streamed live for free on YouTube, on Kocca’s official channel. Viewers can submit questions online, which the panel will answer.
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]