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Why did the EU Host a $400,000 Metaverse Party, and why did it fail?

The department spent €387,000 (about $400,000), yet only six people showed up to the metaverse party, making the event embarrassing.

Photo by Jasmin Sessler / Unsplash

The European Union undoubtedly learned the essential lesson the hard way when a party it hosted that cost more than an arm and a leg turned out to be a massive snoozefest: the Metaverse is not yet for everyone.

The event

The event was designed to be "fun with music" and pique young people's interest in augmented and digital reality. The foreign assistance department held its "virtual party" on Tuesday (1) to encourage young people to investigate the allegedly boundless possibilities of the Metaverse. The department spent €387,000 (about $400,000), yet only six people showed up to the metaverse party (2), making the event embarrassing.

One of them was Vince Chadwick, a Devex journalist who called the event an "instant failure" without holding back. In his account of the event, Chadwick mentioned that he interacted with five other attendees in perplexed (more like Duh?) interactions. The reporter also tweeted a video of several strangely shaped avatars dancing on a stage near an exotic beach. One of the messages on the screen said, "The concert is simply the same DJ spinning the same music," while another asked whether " anybody " was there.

A Reversal For An Extensive EU Metaverse Plan

The lifeless virtual Gala that used the Metaverse's capabilities was a crucial part of the European Commission's Global Gateway Initiative (3), which aims to provide up to €300 billion to construct different infrastructures in underdeveloped nations by the year 2027. The event was meant to be a fun and unique way for the kids to learn about the effort, with an official trailer being released on social media as early as mid-October.

The committee stated that they hoped that an open book art project on a wall, drones carrying the phrases "education" and "public health," and a series of hero stories in a virtual world would all be implemented. Participants being able to walk on water and a liquid floor would be beneficial to their cause. According to a project representative, the initiative is aimed at young people who spend a lot of time on other social media sites like Instagram and TikTok because they want to learn more about what the EU does in the international arena.

Why the Gala was already doomed before it even began.

It turns out that several department employees did not believe the metaverse bash would be a great success despite the considerable sums of money paid to make it happen. Insiders even went so far as to call the metaverse party "digital rubbish" and "depressing and shameful" as a result.

Moreover, after the publication of its trailer, While there is a severe drought in East Africa and the UNHCR is facing financing issues for camp refugee food, among many other issues, several Twitter users criticized the concept and questioned the EU's decision of where to spend its money.