To the metaverse and beyond

Brands that are confused about how to place themselves in the metaverse would be wise to look to Gens A and Z to show them the way

Reality as we know it is changing. We’re living in a time when you can experience zero gravity without jetting into space, own a virtual possession that costs more than its physical form, and teleport into the office while remaining at home. The virtual world is no longer a game – it is seeping into our everyday lives. And now the dawn of a new digital era is propelling the world into the metaverse. It may be a huge adjustment for many, and some may reject the notion, but for Gen Alpha and Gen Z, the metaverse is the future.

Hanging out with friends in Roblox, spending pocket money on new virtual outfits, and creating bespoke digital assets – welcome to Gen A and Gen Z’s current daily happenings. Eleven-year-old Colin from California racks up roughly 15 hours of gameplay a week, when he will “both message and talk to friends in games”. A few of the titles he spends time in include Minecraft, Fortnite and Forza.

In a November 2021 article published in the New York Times, eight-year-old Anton spoke fondly about the life he created in Roblox: “You make your own rules. You can ride motorcycles, own a house, throw a party. You can get a job as an ­eight-year-old.” My seven-year-old niece Evie says she loves the building aspect of Minecraft and that her “imagination can go wild” in what she creates. My 10-year-old niece Sophie echoes the personalised and creative sentiment of being able to build in gaming worlds, noting the freedom it offers her: “I get to do my own thing instead of someone ­telling me what to do.”

Graphic of Nikeland on Roblox
Top: Roblox Vans World. Image courtesy Vans; Above: Nikeland on Roblox. Image courtesy Nike

Microsoft’s recent plans to acquire games company Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion and Take-Two Interactive buying Zynga games for $12.7 billion show the market worth of gaming – as does the rapid growth in branded tie-ups in games.

SENIOR DESIGNER

MANCHESTER