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Big Attraction On A Small Scale: Mini Macau Recreates Destination City In The Metaverse

If you can’t get to the Las Vegas of Asia, take a virtual trip.

Unable to travel to the Far East? Go virtually.

Mini Macau, a new initiative built on The Sandbox Game platform, targets digital tourists unable to visit major resort areas, given COVID restrictions.

Mini Macau’s virtual terrain includes many well-known tourist landmarks in the autonomous region in southern China, including the Macau Tower, The Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul’s and the Ah Ma Temple, dating back to 1488.

Macau, one of the earliest European colonies in Asia, is a small narrow peninsula that projects from the mainland coastal province of Guangdong. Chinese and Portuguese are spoken; the official language of the country of nearly 700,000 is Macao. Gambling is a mainstay there and though smaller, Macau’s haul is much larger than Las Vegas. The gaming revenue of Macau and Vegas in 2020 was $7.57 billion and $3.61 billion, respectively, according to Luxury Lifestyle magazine.

Many well-known tourist landmarks and notable ruins are in Mini Macau. (Asia Pioneer Entertainment Holdings Ltd.)

Initially released on The Sandbox’s Game Maker gallery, Mini Macau is Asia Pioneer Entertainment Holdings Ltd.’s newest metaverse experience.

Not familiar with the metaverse? Here’s a handy definition from Investopia: It’s a “digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually. Augmented reality overlays visual elements, sound, and other sensory input onto real-world settings to enhance the user experience. In contrast, virtual reality is entirely virtual and enhances fictional realities.

“As the metaverse grows, it will create online spaces where user interactions are more multidimensional than current technology supports. Instead of just viewing digital content, users in the metaverse will be able to immerse themselves in a space where the digital and physical worlds converge.”

“The introduction of Mini Macau marks APE’s maiden venture into the metaverse via Sandbox,” said Tony Chan Chi Lun, CFO-executive director of APE Holdings. “We are thrilled to welcome Choi Heong Yuen Bakery, Seng Fung Jewelry and O Junco de 9 Jades restaurant as part of our Mini Macau.

Shopping districts in Mini Macau demonstrate a partnership with actual retail brands. (Asia Pioneer Entertainment Holdings Limited)

Virtual mini-stores have been constructed to demonstrate our partnership with actual Macau retail brands. To engage players/digital tourists, APE created two skill-based games: the Fortune Cookie treasure hunt and Avoid the Tourist activities, said Lun.

“Players who complete these challenges are eligible for Macau-redeemable rewards. We intend to increase Mini Macau’s advertising and online-to-offline booking/commerce options to other Macanese brands,” he said.

Mini Macau also serves as a template for the future development of Resortverse, APE’s own metaverse travel and hospitality platform.

APE Holdings intends to incorporate actual resorts and tourism spots into its Resortverse and give a platform with gamification and prizes. (There are 49 casinos and 75 hotels in Macau.) Its travel and hospitality metaverse platform will “enable resorts and retailers to interact with digital travelers through online gamification and to offer offline rewards and coupons that will benefit their companies,” Lin said.

A rise in virtual travel through an immersive metaverse would increase foot traffic to actual resorts and tourist locations. Lin anticipates launching the Resortverse travel and hospitality platform before the end of this year.

Produced in association with MetaNews.

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