We Ask Gen Zs About The Metaverse: Not Everyone Thinks It’s The Next Big Thing
- May 4, 2022
- 8 min read
If you’ve been wanting to start investing in the Metaverse or digital real estate, I’d pay attention to what the Gen Zs are doing.
Many people like to dismiss the younger generations, but you’d be foolish to discount the first generation that’s born in the digital era.
Because if you didn’t already know, Generation Z is now the largest generation ever.
There are nearly 2 billion of them, which makes up more than a third of the world’s global population (as if we need another reason why TikTok is so popular today).
Plus, recent new research conducted by Vice Media Group and Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish agency revealed some really interesting stats.
Here are the two standouts for me:
- Gen Z consumers spend twice as much time socially interacting in the metaverse than in real life (57%).
- 47% of respondents would like to use it to meet new people and 33% would like to use it to build a career.
Hence, I thought it would be a good idea to find out what the thoughts of Singaporean Gen Zs are about the metaverse.
I collected 2 responses from digital natives aged 20 to get their opinions on the space – Cliff is more doubtful about it whereas Reuben is more pro-meta.
Note that there are no right or wrong responses, this is just their opinions.
(I’d like to give a quick shoutout to Cliff and Reuben – thank you for being so generous with your time and thoughts!)
Anyhow, here’s the general profile of these two friends:
Invests in Crypto from time to time
Invests in Crypto frequently
Q1. In your own words, how would you explain the metaverse?
From what I know, it’s like a game that exists between the digital realm and reality, and it mainly uses VR tech that is not realistic (for now).
To me, it’s a virtual exploration of a digital dimension where we can represent ourselves. With Meta creating more accessible tech (like the glasses) to support this new wave, it could be nearer than expected.
Q2. From your POV, what would you say is the value of the Metaverse?
Sooner or later, it will be really impactful for the entertainment industry. Celebrities like Justin Bieber are already planning their virtual concert on the metaverse, along with many plans for the gaming industry. However, to make it really impactful, it should not look pixelated and unrealistic, so it really boils down to the tech available to support it.
I think mainly it would evolve the way people use it for work and social interactions. I love WFH, so this could be good incorporation to make WFH permanent a reality.
We can also use it for educational purposes with more detailed and interactive materials that students can learn more engagingly. It’s just tech evolving like it always has. I’m still sceptical though, cause I’m not sure what to expect exactly.
Q3. Do you think the metaverse train is just hype? Or do you think it would dominate the tech space?
It’s a 50-50. There are a lot of influencers pushing it, so there will definitely be a hype train. But whether the metaverse will ever go beyond that depends on the technological breakthrough. It’s far from that now though.
If it’s just a game, then there is no point because traditional 2D gaming is just as fun. Unless it provides a really seamless, highly intuitive game that makes me feel like I’m the character, I don’t see its point.
It’s hype now, but I do feel like it might have its own value.
It blurs the void between reality and what is not, which could be what the next generation of children need. They are already so accustomed to tech, so it might be their “thing” of the future. People need to evolve, so it’s important to stay updated.
Q4. Have you ever tried VR/AR gaming? What’s the experience like compared to 2D gaming?
Kind of, I tried a zombie and shooting game. It was a team player setting and I played with my friends. It is a pretty nice experience to know a new way of gaming.
However, I don’t think that it is very pleasing in terms of visuals or the flow since the tech is not up to par with 2D yet. Unless I purchase additional merch like a treadmill or bodysuit for the game that can make me sense the game’s vibration, I’d most probably choose to play my PS4 than the VR games.
Yep, I played it before. I still prefer playing my computer or console games as compared to VR. Probably because I already wear glasses and wearing the headset gave me a really bad headache and it felt so uncomfortable.
If a time comes when the VR games are so advanced that it feels comfortable and immersive to play, then probably I’d prefer playing that to the PS4. I can imagine it’s more fun playing a 1st person POV game compared to a 3rd person POV.
Q5. What is your opinion on NFTs?
It is the new trend but I don’t think it’s a wise purchase. So many billionaires and influencers are either creating it or buying into it. I don’t see the value of buying the monkey art pieces (BYAC) or the dude who took his picture and sold it as an NFT.
Then again, it could also be the new generation’s way of defining art. Meme culture is art amongst us.
There could be a strong link between NFTs and the metaverse, but I’m wary of any bubbles forming, just because influencers and celebrities are promoting what they don’t even know, so it’s harder to see its value from all the noise.
What you have might actually be worthless and the media might be manipulating its value.
Take a look at the Simp Collection by Irene Zhao, she profited S$7M from just selling her pictures as NFTs. She became the “crypto queen” out of nowhere, so it’s hard to make sense of what is happening.
The majority of the people hopping onto this seem like they want to get rich quick and it sounds like a lucrative opportunity. No way to make sense of its value, unlike other investment opportunities like stocks or crypto coins which are much more stable.
Q6. If the metaverse ever becomes a key part of our lives, would you consider spending fiat money to upgrade your avatar? Why or why not?
If it’s the new norm, definitely I’ll be getting on the train. I mean, we have to follow the times, no? It’s harder to jump on the bandwagon if we miss its initial stages and I’m afraid of being left out. I care about how I look, so I probably would.
I’ve spent S$1,000 worth of inventory on Modern Warfare before – buying gun skins, weapons. I don’t mind spending money on things that other people don’t have, on things that are unique, on collectables.
If the digital world replicates our physical life, I will spend money there. Probably on clothes and change the way I originally look, and virtual pets like virtual dogs or collectable items like spaceships that will make my avatar look unique.
Q7. What are your thoughts on people spending thousands of dollars on something that is not pegged to reality?
I don’t think it’s that smart if you’re finding money to buy it. But if you can afford it, why not. But I’m concerned about opportunity costs, so I’d rather put my money in the stock market or crypto pool, instead of buying things that have no value other than inside the virtual world.
It’s too niche and too vague – I don’t feel too confident putting my money in there. The risk is too high and I would prefer to put my money in the stock market or crypto or physical land. Then again, them spending that much is their choice and I just hope they know what they’re doing.
Q8. What would the peak of the metaverse look like to you?
I think it might look like a VR game but on steroids. At the rate it is being advertised now, it could maybe become a common software.
I think it will feel like you are living in Roblox, where you can buy things, buy land, do things and meet friends. Though I think it will impact the gaming industry more than anything else. Since I can’t really use my other senses but hearing and seeing, it feels like another platform for entertainment to me.
I think it would look pretty cool actually. What I imagine is that people can wear spectacles or gloves that allow them to interact with the metaverse. Instead of using laptops, people can use these gloves to type in the air.
There might also be no need for computers anymore, which could be very useful in the future. I’m quite fond of the idea and feel pretty excited to see what it would look like in the future.
Q9. Do you think the metaverse (Web 3) will ever replace today’s internet (Web 2)? Why or why not?
There will definitely be an attempt to shift things over, but I don’t think it’ll completely take over Web 2. People are familiar with it and might be resistant to convert.
Nope, I don’t think it will ever replace. Rather, it will complement Web 2.
Q10. In your opinion, what value of the metaverse are naysayers not seeing?
I don’t really have anything to say because I myself am not very positive about it.
I don’t think I’m missing out on anything.
It could be a way to replace our current technology. So they could also be missing out on the new tech that is better for future life if they refuse to adapt. It could also help them in their work if mass adoption allows everyone to use it like how they use their phones.
So there you have it, some insight from the Gen Zs into their views on the metaverse.
While this obviously isn’t an all-encompassing view, it is nonetheless interesting to learn from other viewpoints – even if it isn’t always in line with your own.
I’d love to learn more from other Gen Zs in this space, do comment below or drop me an email at email@example.com!
Do share your 2 cents with me and (hope to) see y’all in the metaverse soon.
P/S: Look out for the next piece where we interview 3 millennials aged 26 & 27 on the metaverse!