WORLD’S FIRST METAVERSE MARATHON AIMS TO IMPROVE VIRTUAL INCLUSIVITY
The metaverse has been positioned as the new virtual world free of physical limitations and societal stereotypes, yet 60% of people still feel that the virtual world lacks inclusivity. Degree Deodorant is hosting the world’s first marathon in the Metaverse, in an effort to help shape a more inclusive culture of movement in the new virtual world.
Degree Deodorant has partnered with Decentraland, to help improve its standard of inclusivity and representation in the virtual world. Grammy-nominated recording artist, Fat Joe and Paralympic athlete, Blake Leeper are collaborating to host the Degree Metathon, the world’s first marathon in the Metaverse.
The avatar library has been expanded to enable newly developed wearables, such as prostheses, running blades and a wheelchair. The Metathon will include 26.2miles of Decentraland’s most iconic scenes, with accessible architecture to reflect a more inclusive landscape.
“As a person with disabilities and a professional runner, I am so excited to take part in the Degree Metathon. Showing people in the virtual world who are running with blades and other prostheses is something that I think will inspire confidence in people with disabilities to get involved and feel welcome to join in on this experience, and will ultimately contribute to increased representation,” says, Blake Leeper, eight-time Paralympic medalist.
Degree has partnered with disability experts to better understand and identify the needs of underrepresented movers in the Metaverse. This included a poll of the Decentraland community, which revealed 98% of landowners support making the movement more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities.
Following the Metathon, the brand will expand on its work and continue to partner with experts on disability, race and gender inclusion. Degree Deodorants, part of Unilever, will advocate for solutions that allow everyone to see themselves represented as movers in the Metaverse. This includes adding audio descriptions, implementing a non-binary experience and constructing a variety of body shapes and sizes.
Kathryn Swallow, global brand vice president of Degree, says, “We hope the Degree Metathon will spark conversation on why representation matters—in both the Metaverse and the physical world—and its power in challenging societal norms. We’re excited about our partnership with Decentraland and about the potential to influence the virtual world as it’s being built and more widely adopted by consumers.”
The marathon will take place on 26 April 2022 and will continue the brand’s ongoing ambition to increase representation in movement.