LG Chem's virtual marine forest garners explosive popularity on metaverse platform Zepeto

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : July 7, 2023, 15:44 Updated : May 14, 2024, 09:14
Courtesy of LG Chem
[Courtesy of LG Chem]
SEOUL -- A virtual marine forest platform where users can grow seagrasses and clean up ocean waste has gained more than one million users on Zepeto, a metaverse platform created by South Korea's largest portal site Naver. The virtual marine forest platform, made by the chemical unit of South Korea's LG Group, is designed to raise awareness about blue carbon, an essential part of ocean ecosystems.
Blue carbon is organic carbon captured and deposited by organisms such as seagrasses, algae, macroalgae, and mangroves in coastal ecosystems. Water plants can collect carbons in riverbeds and muddy layers in the sea up to 50 times faster than land organisms such as trees and plants. LG Chem unveiled its plan to build a habitat for seagrasses in Yeosu, some 320 kilometers (198 miles) south of Seoul, starting in the second half of 2023. By 2026, the company aims to expand the habitat to 100,000 square meters, which is about the size of 14 soccer fields.
LG Chem said in a statement on July 6 that the company's virtual marine forest platform called "Blue Forest" garnered more than one million users less than a month after its launch. Users can create their own 3D avatars using face recognition on Zepeto and carry out various missions in the sea. Those with larger seagrass habitats will be allowed to interact with more sea creatures in the virtual space. 
"Among some one million users, Indonesians accounted for the largest portion, followed by Thai, Japanese, Chinese, and South Koreans," LG Chem's communications manager Go Chang-seok told Aju Korea Daily on July 7. Without disclosing the exact number of users from each country, the spokesperson said Blue Forest is visited by many foreigners. Zepeto had more than 20 million monthly active users as of August 2022.
Metaverse platforms that can be accessed using avatars are mainly based on super-fast 5G networks and optical internet cable networks. According to global market research firm Emergen Research, the global metaverse market will grow from $47.7 billion in 2020 to $828.95 billion in 2028. 
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