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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Metaverse, Reality and Myth

We worked with the Metaverse in some of its earliest forms, like Second Life.  And integrated it with gaming systems.   Wrote about all that here.  

Probing reality and myth in the metaverse  June 13, 2022 | Article  in  McKinsey,  By Cara Aiello, Jiamei Bai, Jennifer Schmidt, and Yurii Vilchynskyi 

he metaverse—like many innovations—is shrouded in mysticism and skepticism. Proponents believe that the metaverse will be revolutionary and fully transform the way we work, shop, socialize, and play. Others are more skeptical and see a hype-fueled fad that appeals to gamers and celebrities.

We were curious to learn what typical American consumers think and how their views could shape how brands may venture into this new space. To find out, we queried over 1,000 consumers aged 13 to 70, as well as spoke directly to advocates and early adopters, to understand current sentiment about the metaverse.

What we found surprised us. A majority of consumers know and engage with some form of the metaverse, and many expect it to become a significant part of their lives. In fact, we debunked six myths about the metaverse and now see that consumers across age cohorts will shape its purpose and prosperity.

Myth #1: No one knows what the metaverse is

In recent months, it has become clear that there is no single definition of the metaverse. Well-known experts refer to it as “the internet of the future” or point to immersive devices to demonstrate various platforms and user experiences.

We wanted to see if the same held true for consumers. They were also unable to give a precise definition, but they were familiar enough with the metaverse to be able to describe it. When it came to awareness, 55 percent of our survey respondents said they had heard of at least one existing metaverse platform, such as Roblox, Fortnite, or Decentraland. Interestingly, nearly 30 percent said they had used or played at least one metaverse game.

To probe deeper, we spoke to early adopters who had recent experiences using one or more metaverse platforms. Three-quarters of this group could define the metaverse in fairly accurate terms (Exhibit 1):

Forty-seven percent described the metaverse with vibrant clarity, using terms such as “immersive,” “interactive,” or a “scaled network.” One of the most articulate descriptions came from a teenager who described the metaverse as “a scaled and interoperable network of real-time, 3-D virtual worlds.”

Nearly one-third of early adopters had a basic understanding of the metaverse as “a digital world beyond anything a person can imagine” but lacked a clear view of how it works.

The remaining early adopters of the metaverse couldn’t actually describe it clearly in their own words, despite being a user or player in one of the digital worlds. Four percent associated “metaverse” with the new name of Facebook’s parent company, Meta, while an additional 19 percent had simply no clear understanding. ..... ' 

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