Parents in the metaverse: The internet has already revolutionised the world of work, games, and social interactions. But Web3, the next iteration, will soon offer a much more immersive way to meet, play and earn a living.
Today’s games, along with the NFTs and avatars your kids have been talking about, are a gateway to the future metaverse and coming meta-economy. According to a 2021 Statista report, 22.7% of video game users in the United States were between 18 and 24 years old.
Another survey by Bain & Company revealed that gamers between 13 and 17 years of age spent 12.5 hours gaming in a week. They’re also more likely to spend more money on video gaming (US$42 a month) than older peers (18 and 24 years old spent US$28, while 25 and 34 years old gamers spent Us$35).
While various data points show that more young people are venturing into the metaverse through gaming, there’s a growing concern among parents about the exposure of their kids to cyberbullying, explicit content, illegal activities, online predators and more. However, as with any technology, it’s been argued that balance is key and perhaps more so, parents should educate themselves, as well as monitor and regulate their kids’ usage and online interactions.
These are the sorts of problems that entrepreneurs such as Zach Hirsch think about. As cofounder of Mozverse, he even encourages parents to join their kids when they are spending hours immersed in Fortnite or seemingly in another world with their Oculus Quest virtual virtual reality glasses on, playing Beat Saber. Danny Mozlin (CEO) and Hirsch (CMO) co-founded the Miami-based company in 2020 to help companies establish a presence on Web3.
While the metaverse development isn’t complete yet, many Gen-Zers are already interacting with elements of the metaverse. Some early use cases include virtual education and online entertainment – anything from online gaming and social networking platforms to sporting events, concerts, and television shows. There’s also tourism with the help of VR headsets, virtual reality tours, and 360-degree movies.
Hirsch told The Chainsaw that immersive entertainment offers “endless new experiences, free from real-world constraints of distance, physical hazards, and even gravity”. Adding further, he described how immersive experiences were created by “combining AR, VR, and hyper-fidelity audio”.
“Believe it or not, your kids may have already built their first virtual world in a place like Minecraft or Roblox. Immersive entertainment also provides us with places to meet and share experiences, such as the Travis Scott virtual concert with 27 million Fortnite players in attendance, at a scale that was previously technically and financially impossible.”
Fortnite, Roblox et al
These days kids play Fortnite, Roblox, and Pokemon games where they create their own avatars and interact with friends in real-time. In a sense, they have access to a shared digital environment, that in some cases includes an in-game currency.
According to Hirsch, combining the hyper-creative and social dimensions of immersive entertainment with digital currency and digital property produces the building blocks of a new reality that is not constrained by capital and physics. Young entrepreneurs can earn enough money to support themselves and others, he said.
The Web3 influencer also said in this physical world, games are far more than simply entertainment, but rather educational tools that will become invaluable as more of the world’s economy increases its reliance on blockchain technology, Web3, and the metaverse. “We can use them for education — and they can also educate on how to operate in a new economy that will become increasingly important, and I think eventually dominant,” noted Hirsch.
Parents in the metaverse: Opportunities for the next generation
“As digital natives, my generation is perfectly positioned to take full advantage of this new reality. If anyone is going to use this technology to remake the future, it will empower us and our younger siblings in Generation Alpha,” Hirsch, who is a Gen-Z himself, said.
The metaverse offers users the opportunity to experience immersive borderless connectivity using virtual reality. One of the most significant benefits of the metaverse is that it offers various options for individuals, including kids, to make money. The calculus of the meta-economy is fundamentally different. NFTs make it possible to redistribute revenues so that anyone can get paid directly for the value they create – whether this is digital clothing, music, art, or real estate.
“As an influencer with a large following, I get paid to express my opinions in the current creator economy. Unfortunately, if you don’t have over a million verified followers on a social media platform or a hit podcast, opportunities to really earn are somewhat limited today,” Hirsch stated.
Giving an example, Hirsch noted that digital fashion pioneer Samuel Jordan started out on Roblox’s online gaming platform as a teen and 10 years later, he’s running a successful fashion design business that sells only NFT-based goods like virtual earrings and jackets.
“There is a reason that Web3 is the perfect environment for young entrepreneurs. In web3, digital money and digital property make it possible to connect and exchange value directly with those who value your work. Just like in a regular business, you don’t need to become the biggest; you just need to be the best at what you do to succeed in your target market.”Zach Hirsch, co-founder of Mozverse
The vital role of parents in Web3 and the metaverse
Unlike some trends that come and go, Web3 and the metaverse are here to stay, eventually impacting everything we do in the future. With that in mind, Hirsch implored parents to support their kids’ immersive activities by getting involved and helping them participate in this new tech revolution, adding; “while your kids might think it’s cringe when you try to decode their lingo, it’s important to understand the language of Web3.”
“Most articles about kids and the metaverse focus on near-term things like the potential for VR in education, or tips on how to stay safe online, Hirsch argued. He added that he was currently working on an immersive learning environment for the high school he attended with a focus on ‘learn and earn’ incentives and anti-bullying.
“This year in the same school they are now working on what students would do in the metaverse as a part of the curriculum. These are all super important things, particularly safety. Being a good parent will always mean keeping your kids from being exposed to bad people that unfortunately can inhabit every realm, virtual or physical”.Zach Hirsch, co-founder of Mozverse
However, he maintained that kids’ early participation can yield long-term results such as children becoming entrepreneurs, engineers, and influencers who could lead the world into the future. So join your kids, grab a VR headset, and see what the future looks like.