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Saudi Ministry of Culture Unveils Cultural Metaverse Initiative on Nation’s Founding Day

The Ministry of Culture in Saudi Arabia has inaugurated a metaverse dedicated to exhibiting and safeguarding the cultural heritage of the nation, marking its founding day.

The Saudi government’s Cultural Universe metaverse initiative, which traces the extensive history of Saudi Arabia back to 1727, was launched on February 22.

Utilising Oracle’s Hyperledger Fabric 2.5 blockchain technology, the metaverse was crafted by droppGroup’s Generative Media Intelligence artificial intelligence (AI) system, known as droppPhygital.

The virtual realm adopts a first-person shooter approach to aid users in navigating the metaverse.

Users can freely traverse a shared path alongside others, exploring information displayed on either side of the route.

Proximity to virtual depictions of historical events triggers voice audio that elaborates on the event in depth.

However, this audio feature is currently limited to Arabic and does not offer English translations.

The Cultural Universe encompasses various sectors dedicated to music, art, history, cuisine, crafts, and other facets of Saudi heritage, along with mini video games.

This service is freely accessible via websites, mobile devices, virtual reality headsets, and other compatible digital platforms. The official announcement from the Saudi government stated:

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“This cross-platform compatibility embodies the Ministry of Culture’s commitment to inclusivity, enabling a diverse global audience to explore and engage with the rich history of Saudi culture.”

The Saudi Ministry of Culture, entrusted with conserving and promoting the nation’s cultural legacy while fostering contemporary artistic expression, perceives the metaverse as a “transformative moment” and regards the initiative as a cultural revolution.

According to Samuel Huber, CEO of LandVault, a metaverse company collaborating with various government entities in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, alongside other Middle Eastern nations, has transcended the metaverse’s “era of hype” and is progressing towards leveraging the technology to bolster their economies.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Huber elucidated that the metaverse entails constructing 3D experiences embedded within websites. He remarked:

“What we found is the biggest segment are the governments in the Middle East, especially the UAE [United Arab Emirates], Saudi and Qatar, which are trying to digitalise their infrastructure and create really interesting economies for their citizens.”

He further stated that, akin to blockchain and AI, the metaverse stands as “one of those pillars” that the Middle East is eyeing for economic advancement.

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