EC splashes out EUR 387,000 for metaverse event with five showing up

Only around five people showed up for the EC's event. Photo: Twitter/@vchadw

The European Commission’s foreign aid department splashed out EUR 387,000 to throw a party in the metaverse on Tuesday evening in a bid to get young people excited about the EU but only five showed up, Politico reported.

“I’m here at the “gala” concert in the EU foreign aid department’s EUR 387k metaverse (designed to attract non politically engaged 18-35 year olds),” Devex correspondent Vince Chadwick tweeted. “After initial bemused chats with the roughly five other humans who showed up, I am alone.”

It seems house music blaring on the virtual tropical island – a site generated for the party – with avatars bouncing to the tune was not enough to attract the young, “non-politically engaged”, albeit bold things. No gatecrashers but the turnout was poor with only a handful showing up out of the 44 people who liked the official trailer.

The platform was created with the view of promoting the European Commission’s activities as part of the Global Gateway initiative. The Commission intends to channel EUR 300 billion via this initiative to infrastructural investments in developing countries.

The purpose of the undertaking, which fizzled out, was, according to a spokesperson for the Commission, to “increase awareness of what the EU does on the world stage” among 18-to-35-year-olds found “primarily on TikTok and Instagram” who are “neutral about the EU” and “not typically exposed to such information.”

Metaverse is a product of the Meta company best known for social media platforms and communicators such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Its end goal is to incorporate the features of all these platforms and expand them by adding more in order to create a wholly immersive experience, a parallel virtual reality where business is done, politicians meet, artists present their work and the masses enjoy free time via a myriad of entertainment facilities.

While the Metaverse may have its proponents, it had also become a target of harsh scepticism mixed with criticism.

The idea of an alternate reality is not Meta’s original thought. Platforms similar to Metaverse, such as Second Life, Roblox and to some extent Minecraft also offer virtual worlds where users can come together to advance their interests.