As virtual worlds become more prevalent and popular, it’s clear that certain cultural institutions will be a necessary addition. One such institution is the Irish pub, which has become a beloved gathering place in the physical world. Now, thanks to The Sandbox, an immersive virtual world, we can all get a taste of Ireland at The Irish Shebeen, the first Irish pub in the metaverse. The experience lasts for twelve days and offers quests, the opportunity to mint NFTs, view local artists, and immerse yourself in Irish culture.
Created by co-founders Jillian Godsil and Lisa Gibbons, The Irish Shebeen was designed to be a welcoming haven for all in the virtual world. The pub features all the warmth and charm of an Irish watering hole, complete with Irish music, decorations, and of course, drinks. In creating this unique addition to the virtual world, the founders wanted to provide a familiar entry point to the metaverse, which can often be overwhelming to newcomers.
The Sandbox recognized the universal appeal of Irish pubs and has selected The Irish Shebeen as one of its featured experiences for March. Visitors to the pub can participate in quests to earn $SAND tokens, adding an even more immersive and rewarding layer to the experience.
To bring The Irish Shebeen to life, The Sandbox partnered with Hermit Crab Game Studio, a Brazilian gaming company known for its metaverse gaming experiences. The company has worked with several high-profile brands, including Warner Music Group, The Walking Dead, and Jamiroquai. The studio has even developed mobile games for elite football clubs like Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, and Manchester City.
To celebrate the launch, The Irish Shebeen has partnered with Kinahan Whiskey to offer an exclusive Irish tipple to commemorate the event. This collaboration further elevates the virtual pub experience, providing visitors with a unique memento of their time in the metaverse.
The founders of The Irish Shebeen were motivated to create a virtual sanctuary for users to connect and revel in Irish hospitality. Lisa Gibbons, a forager and Web3 journalist, was inspired to establish the Irish Shebeen after discussing the feeling of being “homeless” in the metaverse. She envisioned the virtual pub as a gateway to Irish culture and a platform for diverse creative talent, potentially expanding into other virtual environments.
The Irish Shebeen was designed for interaction and engagement, blending gamification with a platform to showcase Irish artists, musicians, poets, dancers, and storytellers. As Jillian Godsil explains, “As a homelessness activist here in Ireland—and a woman whose home was repossessed by the banks—the idea of being homeless on the internet was a shocking one. We can’t give everyone a home, but we can give them a place to go and feel welcome and at home.”
If you’re curious to experience The Irish Shebeen for yourself, it’s waiting for you in The Sandbox. Join in the fun and explore all the charm and warmth of this beloved Irish gathering place. And, if you need help getting started, The Sandbox has plenty of resources available to guide you.
In conclusion, by adding a virtual Irish pub to its metaverse, The Sandbox has demonstrated the importance of cultural institutions in virtual worlds. The Irish Shebeen, in particular, speaks to the universal appeal of Irish pub culture and provides a welcoming entry point for those new to the metaverse. As virtual worlds continue to grow and evolve, it’s clear that more and more cultural touchstones will need to be included. We can’t wait to see what comes next.