soulIn a large studio on the outskirts of Seoul, technicians huddled in front of monitors, watching cartoonish K-pop singers, at least one of whom had a tail, dance in front of a psychedelic backdrop. , A woman with angel wings fluttered.
Everyone on the screen was real, more or less. The singers had human counterparts in the studio, isolated in cubicles, with headphones on their faces and joysticks in both hands. Immersed in a virtual world, they were competing to become (hopefully) the next big Korean girl band.
The stakes were high. Some of his competitors, after failing to make the cut, were thrown into the bubbling lava.
Some say, this is the future of entertainment in the Metaverse, brought to you by South Korea, the world’s testing ground for all things tech.
“There are a lot of people who want to enter the metaverse, but it hasn’t reached a critical mass yet, according to users,” said Jung Eun-hyuk, an associate professor at Korea University’s School of Media and Communication. “Other places want to venture into the metaverse, but you have to have good content to be successful. In Korea, that content is K-pop.
In the Metaverse, whatever it is, the normal rules don’t apply. And the Korean entertainment industry is delving into the possibilities, confident that fans will happily follow suit.
K-pop groups have had virtual counterparts for years. Karina, a real-life member of the Espa gang, can be seen on YouTube interacting with her digital self, “Ai-Karina,” who is as fluid as late-night television.
Korean company Kakao Entertainment wants to go further. He’s working with Netmarble, a mobile game company, to develop a K-pop band called Mave that exists only in cyberspace, where its four artificial members will interact with real-life fans from around the world. .
Compared to their Korean counterparts, media companies in the United States have so far only “lightly experimented” with the metaverse, said Andrew Wallenstein, president and chief media analyst at Variety Intelligence Platforms.
“Countries like South Korea are often seen as a test bed for the future,” Wallenstein said. “If any trend is going to transfer from abroad to the United States, it will put South Korea at the front of the line as the one most likely to be the springboard.”