In collaboration with Decentraland, Degree Deodorant hosted “Metathon,” the first-ever marathon in the Metaverse. The event promotes diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the Metaverse.
Degree Deodorant is the latest brand to jump the Metaverse bandwagon, capping off this foray with “Metathon,” the first-ever marathon on Metaverse. The company partnered with Decentraland to bring the event to fruition last April 26.
Degree, a subsidiary of Unilever, announced that Metathon is a small part of a broader initiative to make the Metaverse a more inclusive space, especially for those with disabilities. The company hopes to accomplish something the Metaverse endeavors to do but has been unable to—make the Metaverse an environment “free of physical limitations and stereotypes” where anyone can enjoy.
Ample Help from Decentraland
Because jumping ship from making tangible goods to organizing a 26.2-mile virtual run on the Metaverse is no easy feat, Degree received much help from Decentraland. Decentraland, a company that allows people to create virtual communities, is the best partner in Degree’s efforts to help shape an environment of inclusivity and representation in the virtual world.
As part of the inclusivity aspect of the event, the “running” environment featured structures like ramps and views depicting the Vegas City Sports Quarter, one of Decentraland’s largest districts. What is worth noting are the new inclusive avatar wearables that Degree developed with the help of Decentraland, featuring running blades, a wheelchair, and prostheses.
According to Degree, those wearables “offer greater representation for people with disabilities and enable participants to create avatars representative of their unique identities.”
Idea Behind Metathon
Aligning itself as a brand dedicated to working toward “a more inclusive world where everyone has the confidence to move more,” Degree started a poll targeting Decentraland’s virtual landowners. The brand discovered that 98% of the poll participants “support making movement in Decentraland more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities.”
Degree worked with “disability experts,” Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper and recording artist Fat Joe, to develop a virtual race to welcome people of all levels of physical ability. Fat Joe has a child with autism and is widely known for his “advocacy for representation.” The two also hosted the event.
“As a person with disabilities and a professional runner, I am so excited to take part in the Degree Metatho,” said Leeper. “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.”
On the other hand, Fat Joe said that as the Metaverse is ever-evolving, “it’s important that the virtual world mirrors the representation in our everyday communities. From different body shapes to cultures to physical abilities, inclusion is key to making people feel welcome.”
The First of Many
The brand says Metathon is just the first of many initiatives to promote a more diverse and inclusive Metaverse. Degree will continue working with experts on disability, race, and gender inclusion in its efforts to enact changes and develop actionable solutions. Part of these solutions is adding audio descriptions for the visually impaired and offering a non-binary avatar-creation experience that considers all shapes and sizes.
Kathryn Swallow, Degree’s global brand vice president, said, “Over the last several years, Degree has made great strides in progressing our mission of championing everyone to have the confidence to move more, and now we’re taking that same mission into the virtual world.”
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