Young people (yet) don’t see much interest in metaverses

Only 9% of American teens are considering buying a virtual reality headset.

The metaverse is still in its infancy, even if large groups already consider it a new playground for new generations. But are they ready to migrate to these virtual universes? Nothing is less certain, according to a new US study.

Not a day goes by without a company announcing its entry into the metaverse, an immersive universe that promises, to its proponents, to be the next generation of the internet. Many see it as an opportunity to expand their income while getting closer to the Zs, their preferred target. Investment bank Piper Sandler questioned 7,100 American teenagers, with an average age of 16, about their relationship to this emerging sector.

It clearly does not interest them. Half of those surveyed said they were not sure, or currently have no intention, of purchasing a device to access these parallel universes. Only 9% plan to acquire a virtual reality headset in the coming months. But all hope is not lost: a quarter of respondents (26%) have equipment in their possession that allows them to go to the metaverse zone. A third of these teens use it occasionally to explore this virtual world, where you can buy a replica of Paris Hilton’s hip martini, for example.

Entering the metaverse through video games

These numbers cast a shadow over the plans of Meta (Facebook) and other companies that have made it their mission to contribute to the rise of metaverses. Mark Zuckerberg’s group recently announced its intention to offer content creators the ability to sell virtual objects to users of Horizon Worlds, its main augmented reality platform.

Although young Americans do not yet show much interest in this technology, they may be interested in it from a video game perspective. 68% of teens surveyed by Piper Sandler describe themselves as Game enthusiastsThis makes it the ideal target for companies looking to invest in the metaverse. If this digital space of the future is still in its infancy, video game players have already given it a certain depth. Proof with Fortnite. The game has been hosting virtual parties for international stars such as Travis Scott, Zara Larsson and Ariana Grande for the past two years. Massive events were followed, each time, by tens of millions of players.

Cryptocurrencies and NFTs, two other innovations related to blockchain, they can also be portals to the metaverse. But not for American teens. Only 11% and 8% of young people surveyed by Piper Sandler have purchased non-fungible virtual coins or tokens, respectively. However, many of them are familiar with these new technologies… and therefore they are likely to take the lead.

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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