Seoul launches virtual pet service via Metaverse world

(Courtesy of the City of Seoul)

SEOUL – Seoul has created a metaverse world where users can adopt pets and raise them in virtual space. Using an avatar, everyone can choose an animal from ten different animal species, including a dog, a cat, a rabbit and a lizard. Users can earn points and purchase various items such as headbands and shoes after completing training missions.

Metaverse enables people to participate in various social, cultural and economic activities in simulated virtual spaces. The virtual world utilizing Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) is preferred by many young people who like to express their unique identity through personalized characters. In January 2023, the capital released “Metaverse Seoul,” a virtual world where Avatar staff handle citizen complaints and provide virtual tourism experiences.

The capital-run Seoul Digital Foundation (SDF) said in a statement that a pet service called “Meta Seoul Pet” has been launched on Metaverse Seoul. Only one animal can be adopted per account and pet owners are not allowed to abandon their animals. Prior to adoption, users must submit an application for virtual reality adoption. The platform features missions like training a pet to jump over an obstacle.

“Please hold the line. We will present various content and events to offer Metaverse Seoul, where Seoulians can create and enjoy together with the city,” said Kang Yo-sik, president of the Digital Foundation, in a May 2 statement. The foundation said coupons will be given out to select users who upload their virtual pets on social media by June 2.

Data released by South Korea’s Ministry of Rural Affairs showed that about one in four South Koreans will raise a pet by 2022. Many single households working from home spent more time at home with their pets when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit us The pet industry, which was worth 1.9 trillion won in 2015 (1, US$4 billion) is expected to reach 6 trillion won by 2027.

Various pet companies have opened a one-stop pet grooming store where pet owners can enjoy various facilities with their pets, including a pet beauty salon, a pet academy, and a pet hotel. Thanks to the growing number of pet owners, the domestic pet veterinary market is also gaining momentum. The veterinary drug market reached 1.3 trillion won in 2021, up 10 percent year-on-year.

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