VICE Media and Razorfish recently surveyed Gen Z gamers and learned that they spend twice as much time hanging out with friends in the metaverse than they do in real life. Survey respondents spend 12.2 hours per week playing video games versus 6.6 hours hanging out with friends in person.
These gamers don’t only view their time in the metaverse as pure escapism, but also as an extension of real life. Notably, 57% of Gen Z gamers feel they’re able to self-express more openly to others in a game than they do in real life.
As marketers (and teachers, parents, employers, et al) come to grips with understanding this new environment, Gen Z is already growing up with it; it isn’t foreign or futuristic to them – it is their reality, especially for gamers.
Key findings of the Razorfish study revealed that:
- The metaverse gives gamers space to explore their identity.
- 45% of Gen Z gamers say, “I feel like my identity in a game is a truer expression of who I am.” Forty percent say it gives them self-confidence.
- Stress relief is a major driver.
- 77% of Gen Z gamers say their biggest motive for gaming is to relieve stress and anxiety.
- Gen Z is approaching the metaverse with practicality.
- 47% would like to use it to meet new people and 33% would like to use it to build a career.
- Data privacy is a concern for Gen Z gamers, but less than for older generations.
- 63% of Gen Z are concerned about data privacy in video games and the metaverse (vs. 66% Millennials and 70% Gen X).
“Our study shows that Gen Z is using the metaverse to cultivate connections and explore who they really are,” said Julie Arbit, Global SVP, Insights at VICE Media Group. “It allows them to dream and co-create a more idealized version of the world.”