Only 16 per cent of Americans could accurately describe Ipsos Mori‘s definition of the metaverse as ‘a virtual, computer-generated world where people can socialise, work and play’ in a survey at the start of the year. A higher 42 per cent were familiar with the general concept. By contrast, 69 per cent said they were familiar with the term virtual reality, and 56 per cent with the term cryptocurrency.
A further study into data on metaverse interest and attitudes found that only 16 per cent of people did not think they would ever work within the metaverse, from a survey of more than 31,000 workers.
A modest 28 per cent of Baby Boomers believed the metaverse would be part of their work in the near future – rising to 37 per cent in Generation X, 48 per cent of Millennials and 51 per cent of Generation Z.
What is ‘metawork’?
Jobs the surrounding metaverse will comprise two broad areas.
- Firstly, there will be the jobs created for the design, building and maintaining of metaverse infrastructure; which is probably why searches for ‘metaverse jobs’ spiked when Microsoft announced its acquisition of interactive games and entertainment firm Activation Blizzard.
- Then there will be the existing jobs – from marketers to lawyers, customer service agents to retailers – who begin to incorporate the metaverse into their working lives. That could mean meetings, conferences and work trips conducted through avatars; metaverse-enabled shopping experiences in virtual storerooms; team socialising; and much more.
Hugo FeilerCEO and co-founder at blockchain network Minimadefines the metaverse as a platform that combines technologies like virtual reality, alternative reality, virtual worlds, digital, and new business models within a decentralised system.
“We are already seeing an entire industry develop around the idea of the metaverse, with everyone from big brands to indie gaming studios trying to secure their spot in the metaverse or building their own. We will see the creation of new jobs we haven’t even envisioned yet.
“I also believe that the metaverse can span the digital and real-world in beneficial ways, such as using AR/VR to train employees, or in more mundane ways such as helping people decide which fashion suits them best.”
While there is a long way to go until people fully understand even what it is, Feiler is bullish on its overall possibilities.
“The metaverse has the potential to empower individuals to curate their own experiences, a lot more than we can in digital worlds today,” he added.