Metaverse a tool for gender inclusivity

Metaverse a tool for gender inclusivity

Virtual society opens new economic doors

Participants take part in a press conference on metaverse development organised by Borderless Health Care Group. 
Participants take part in a press conference on metaverse development organised by Borderless Health Care Group. 

Speakers and attendees preparing for the forthcoming metaverse and related technologies event in Phuket are hopeful they can shine a light on the path to a more gender inclusive society.

The Borderless Health Care Group on Monday hosted a press conference called "Phuket Goes Borderless in Health, Wellness and Hospitality to Prepare for Metaverse City Development", to talk about how players from the real estate, hospitality, fitness, nutrition, pharmaceutical and health care industries in Phuket had partnered with them to roll out unprecedented immersive technologies in accordance with the new ambition of the Tourism and Sport Ministry and Digital Economy and Society Ministry in Metaverse City development.

One particular point made by those at the presser was how metaverse cities were likely to benefit marginalised groups as much as wider society, and especially LGBT groups.

The metaverse is a social network of 3D virtual worlds. It can be defined as a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for people interaction.

Wayne Ho, HIV and LGBT Medicine Specialist for the Aids Project LA Health and Wellness and University of California Internal Medicine Specialist, said that the global LGBT population has four hundred million people with 4.2 million in Thailand, 75 million in China and over 70 million in India.

"Together, this group had annual spending power of US$3.9 trillion [about 130 trillion baht] and $23 trillion in global household wealth. Despite the population size and economic significance, LGBT healthcare remained inadequate," he said.

As more than 50% of the community had experienced some degree of discrimination in the healthcare setting, he said that many of them let their sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, left untreated or even worse spread to others.

Furthermore, he suggested that a metaverse in Thailand could open new opportunities, especially among LGBT communities.

According to the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, those who identified as LGBT travelled more frequently and spent more. In 2018, LGBT tourists spent more than $218 billion, mainly from the US, Brazil, Japan, the UK and Germany.

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