The United Nations inspires metaverse conversations with ActNow VR
Come for the eye candy, stay for the conversation. That’s one way of looking at the metaverse experience created for the United Nations #ActNow campaign for individual action on climate change and sustainability.
The eye candy in question is a recreation of the iconic Al Wasl Dome at the Dubai World Expo. Highlighting the World Expo’s theme of “connecting minds, creating the future,” the dome is the kind of architectural marvel one associates with modern day Dubai, operating as a vast 273,188 square-foot projection screen.
Meanwhile, design inspiration for environmental alcoves found in the metaverse version comes from arabic ‘majlis,’ described by ActNow VR as “a #cultural and #social space where meaningful conversations happen.”
With the current generation of virtual spaces, the metaverse is often only as interesting as the people populating it. But context counts too, and from an educational perspective creating spaces designed to inspire awe may make more sense than simply building digital classrooms and lecture theaters.
Likewise, building spaces purposefully designed for community and conversation starts to dimensionalize the metaverse education experience in ways that Zoom meetings can’t compete with. As long as you can fill them with interesting people, of course.
We can think of the metaverse as an evolving ecosystem of mostly-persistent spaces. But there is a role to be played by “must see” moments of impermanence. The virtual Al Wasi Dome is only accessible for a day, mirroring the compressed window of time that makes a conference feel a little more eventful or the temporary immersion of a training intensive or corporate retreat.
Inspiration may also come from the fiery impermanence of Burning Man, an iconically temporary destination that has found its own metaverse home via AltSpace. There, a digital Burning Man blends physical recreations with physics-defying fantasy to create a playground for creative conversation. Notably, VR experience designers Cause and Christi have a hand in building many of VR Burning Man’s most memorable spaces and ActNow VR’s global destinations.
Celeste Lear, Executive Producer & Project Founder notes, “Our production team at DreamlandXR are truly honored to be working with the United Nations to help further activate the #ACTNOW campaign by creating stimulating, revolutionary, unifying metaverse spaces for public education, healing, fun, expression & community building.”
Over 2022, ActNow VR will move on to temporary simulations of other global destinations, featuring “digital twins” of architectural marvels like the Taj Mahal and Sydney Opera House as backdrops for virtual events around UN initiatives. You can see the upcoming ActNow schedule here and download the AltSpace desktop client here.