Degree has a purpose-driven element: to make the metaverse a more inclusive space for disabled people. Roughly 60% of digital consumers are concerned about discrimination against disabled people within virtual worlds, according to a report cited by Degree. The brand also conducted its own survey of the Decentraland community and found that 98% of landowners support efforts that would make the platform more accessible to disabled users.
Discrimination against disabled communities is another reason brands need to properly understand virtual spaces before they enter them. From accusations of deceptive marketing tactics to hidden sexual content, the metaverse remains prone to similar issues that marketers have had to figure out on Web2 platforms.
Degree will aim to improve inclusivity for disabled users by providing relevant wearables, such as prostheses, running blades and wheelchairs, to be used in the race. The deodorant brand, which partnered with Decentraland on the activation, will also incorporate accessible architecture, like ramps, throughout the course.
Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper and hip-hop artist Fat Joe will participate in the race and provide it with a bit of star power. Leeper uses prostheses in real-world competitions, while Fat Joe has a history of advocating for fair representation.
After the “Metathon,” Degree will advocate for more enduring solutions covering a variety of still-needed additions to metaverse platforms, such as audio description for users with visual impairments, non-binary options when creating avatars and diversifying the types of bodies and shapes from which users can build their avatars.