Decentraland, known for promoting diversity and inclusivity in the metaverse, is back with its Metaverse Pride 2023. Scheduled to run between June 27 and June 29, this three-day event seeks to celebrate the global LGBTQIA+ community, simultaneously marking the storied history of Pride month. The event, created alongside community studios Polygonal Mind and Vegas City, promises to be grander than ever, expanding over a larger virtual area. The iconic Burning Man festival, emphasizing community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance, serves as a significant inspiration for Metaverse Pride, according to Iara Dias, the event’s head.
The Pride 2023 virtual landscape appears as an oasis in the desert, transforming as more participants engage, symbolizing the value of supporting one another. Users will leave colorful footprints in Decentraland and experience a constantly changing environment. The Decentraland Foundation aims to prioritize musicians from the existing LGBTQ+ community, providing them a stage and financial assistance. Despite the possibility that some artists may not confirm their participation in time for Pride 2023, they will still be invited to perform throughout the year.
Decentraland will feature a virtual parade where users can join with their floats, and the Decentraland Foundation will organize a Metaverse Pride wearable design contest in the weeks leading up to the event. Working alongside the Ad Council’s “Love Has No Labels” campaign, Pride 2023 will offer educational gamified experiences, panel discussions, and Q&A sessions highlighting the history of LGBTQ+ communities, current affairs, and global issues. Safe spaces for users to connect will be integral to the event, with participants required to agree to a code of conduct to prevent any misbehavior.
Reflecting on the importance of digital experiences such as this, Dias shares, “Digital identity can empower you in real life as well.” Users can experiment with clothing and interactions in a judgment-free space. Kim Currier, the Decentraland Foundation’s marketing lead, adds that the anonymity the metaverse offers helps people express themselves fully without the assumptions and questions of the traditional world.
Collaboration lies at the heart of Decentraland’s 2023 Pride event, and the foundation is developing a playbook to educate users on hosting similar occasions. In sharing knowledge and empowering the Decentraland community, Dias quips that the dream is to make their own jobs redundant ultimately.