Who is the Metaverse generation?

By Miyoshi Tamashiro, Digital Marketing Executive Calendar Icon 15 August 2022

When you search for “metaverse generation” most articles will talk about Generation Z, some might even mention Generation Alpha. But is this true? Are Gen-Zs the ones that this new landscape is getting built for?

As the Metaverse continues to gain interest, more and more brands look to activate campaigns in this space. But if this space is part of the next generation of the internet is it really just for one demographic?

We did some digging and tried to answer who the real metaverse generation is.

Are gamers the ones?

Nowadays, when you ask someone to describe what the metaverse is, the most popular answers are “Oh, it is a virtual space like Roblox or Minecraft” which makes us associate the metaverse with gamers.

As it stands today, the general idea of what the metaverse wants to achieve is to create a space with an active economy that combines the digital and physical world.

The gaming industry is at the forefront of the metaverse, games like Animal Crossing or The Sims are already economies in virtual spaces. So it is no wonder that metaverse users today are seen as gamers. However, both industries – i.e. Metaverse and gaming – have different goals and purposes. So it would be wrong to categorize gamers as metaverse users.

The non-gaming metaverse is under development at the moment, with users and companies interested in adding immersive shopping, booking, learning, travelling, and/or socializing to the metaverse experience. So as more investment and interest in this space grows, the more we will start to see the differences between gaming and the metaverse.

A brilliant example of how the metaverse is moving away from its precedent, i.e. gaming, is Disney. Disney has been approved for a “virtual-world simulator in a real-world venue” patent allowing it to enter the metaverse world and make interactive, personalized attractions for theme park visitors.

The purpose is to offer headset-free augmented reality (AR) attractions in its theme parks, by tracking visitors on their mobile phones and generating and projecting personalized 3D effects on various objects in the park. For example, while one family may see Mickey Mouse greeting them by a hot-dog stand, another group could interact with Princess Belle and Cinderella.

Source: https://mickeyblog.com/2021/11/29/what-is-the-disney-metaverse/

Are Gen-Zs really the only audience for the Metaverse?

Currently, Generation Z (those born between the years 1997 and 2012) make up approximately 60% of users in the metaverse. This generation spends approximately eight or more hours a day online and is more immersed in digital culture than any other generation.

Generation Z is enthusiastic about the metaverse. As an example, two-thirds of Roblox’s 50 million daily users are under the age of 16. Luxury and mainstream brands like Gucci and Vans are ramping up their metaverse strategy with a focus on attracting younger consumers. It’s importante to remember that these gaming platforms are the beginning of the metaverse. Therefore, brands are currently experimenting on multiple platforms to determine where and how to recruit lifetime customers.

However, research from McKinsey & Co shows that Gen Z is not the only generation that wants to take advantage of the metaverse. Their research shows broad awareness and interest in the metaverse across a wide age range. In fact, millennials showed the greatest awareness of the metaverse, with two-thirds saying they had previously heard of it and half expressing excitement about it. Gen Z and Gen X trail closely behind, and surprisingly, nearly half of baby boomers are aware of the metaverse.
In terms of Web 3.0 actions, aside from metaverse awareness, millennials are the ones that are interacting with these technologies the most. A great example is DeFi, with Millennials buying more crypto or NFTs than GenZ (28% and 13% respectively)

A key aspect about this new wave of the internet is data privacy. These new technologies want users to own their information and remove cookies from our web. Gen Z users are more open to companies making use of their data; which makes them a group that is not particularly bothered about one of the main aspects of this new era. In a recent study, 63% of them said they are concerned about data privacy when gaming, slightly less than Millennials (66%) and Generation X (70%).

So… who is the metaverse for?

The reality is that Web 3.0 technologies (e.g. metaverse, NFTs, crypto) are a natural evolution of our current digital space – Web 2.0. And just like the internet nowadays is used by most people, the natural course is that the metaverse will do so as well.

The metaverse may become universal someday, but for now it is the province of Gen Z and, behind it, Gen Alpha (born 2012 or later). For older generations, it is controversial. This can all be explained with the Adoption Curve.

Source: https://mdevelopers.com/blog/technology-adoption-curve-everything-that-you-need-to-know

As the metaverse is still in its infancy, only a handful of people are happy to experiment in this scenario. But as the technology keeps developing and becoming more user friendly, more and more people will follow. It is just a matter of trial and error while we create the best next stage of the internet. Until then, there will be no clean ‘Before Metaverse’ and ‘After Metaverse,’ it will slowly emerge over time as different products, services and capabilities integrate and meld together.

However, so far in 2022 we have seen that the metaverse is the new target for big brands, which seek to connect with the younger generations. Some brands see it as a space for innovation and experimentation. McLaren Racing, Alo Yoga, The Brit Awards, Vans, Gucci, are part of the long list of brands that have already made their debut in the metaverse. At the end of the day, the more brands decide to innovate in this space, the more users will follow.

Want to be the next brand to create the most innovative metaverse activation? Let’s chat!

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