An online rave in the metaverse set up by the European Union has been dubbed “a dud”, after reportedly just six people turned up to the event.
The project cost the European Commission’s foreign aid department €387,000 to develop and promote the online space, which aimed to educate people about their Global Gateway investment plan, according to Devex reporting.
A promotional video from EU International Partnerships in October launched the campaign, which described its metaverse, saying: “Our shared digital space is the perfect place to get to know and reflect on global issues to make a difference for our shared future.”
Inside the metaverse, users logged in and entered as a digital avatar, where they could find a beach party playing four-to-the-floor house music.
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Vince Chadwick, the Devex reporter who attended the event, posted online: “I’m here at the ‘gala’ concert in the EU foreign aid dept’s €387k metaverse.
“After initial bemused chats with the roughly five other humans who showed up, I am alone,” he continued.
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. https://t.co/ChIHeXasQP pic.twitter.com/kZWIVlKmhL
— Vince Chadwick (@vchadw) November 29, 2022
He also reported that staff within the Commission were not too happy themselves, with one person branding the metaverse “digital garbage”, with another calling the project “depressing and embarrassing”.
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“This campaign fulfils that duty and, through innovative communication means such as the metaverse, aims to reach an audience that does not access the EU’s traditional sources of information,” they continued.
The Global Gateway scheme, which the Commission had hoped to promote through its metaverse party, is its flagship strategy for foreign aid. It claims that €300 billion will be invested in infrastructure across the globe in order to “connect Europe to the world”.
Isaac Muk is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins