Going Beyond: Women’s History Month • Rewriting Representation in the Metaverse
Scoring points for women in sports.
Fans from around the world hold their breath as the ball flies through the air and a slick alley-oop finally makes the virtual net of the Phoenix Suns swish. Professional basketball player Renee Montgomery high-fives our colleague Myla Unique Minor and does a little victory dance. She sees, she shoots and she scores.
If it wasn’t for the metaverse, this anecdote may not have actually happened. Partnering with the NBA and Meta, we hosted a first-of-its-kind virtual reality interview with a professional athlete on a cutting-edge stage similar to the NBA court in Meta Quest. In celebration of Women’s History Month, Myla Unique Minor, Assistant Director and Producer at Media.Monks, sat down with Renee Montgomery, two-time WNBA Champion and co-owner and VP of the Atlanta Dream. During halftime of the live VR broadcast of the game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns, the two women had a heartfelt conversation about female representation and how the rules around this can and should be rewritten.
My idea was so big that I knew I needed extremely creative people to pull it off. The Broadcast.Monks managed to merge their innovative VR workflow with my wild imagination, not only building a groundbreaking experience but also celebrating women’s achievements along the way.
The GOAT in creative craft.
When it comes to creating unparalleled digital experiences, every shot counts. So, we designed and developed a one-of-a-kind halftime show. We were tasked to build the virtual set, which was available exclusively to all viewers who were watching the game live in Horizon Venues using their Meta Quest headsets. This custom-made set for the event took place inside Meta’s Horizon Worlds platform, with avatars for both women crafted to capture their unique sense of self in the digital world, and was built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to deliver an engaging live experience. Traveling from the court to the stage, fans could tune into the halftime show to listen to Montgomery’s interview with Minor and see them shoot virtual hoops.
Equality on and off the court, that’s game.
While we are no stranger to streaming sports events in the metaverse, this segment has changed the game. Through our ongoing partnership with the NBA and Meta Quest, we support the live broadcasting of matchups in Horizon Venues, enabling fans to watch their favorite team play in virtual reality. However, this halftime show pushed the boundaries of what is possible, as the entire interview was filmed and captured in the metaverse, thereby merging the worlds of professional sports, entertainment and technology. On top of that, it welcomed the first-ever female commentator of the NBA in Meta Quest—making a slam dunk for women’s representation in sports and beyond.