Metaverse skeptic?

Here's why gen alpha (kids <10) will be the first Metaverse Natives and bring it to life:

- XR hardware adoption will hit critical mass
- Digital identity is taking over IRL identity
- Gen alpha will be the most comfortable yet with digital immersion👇

First, some table setting. If you think “metaverse” means living in VR, you’re wrong.

The metaverse exists when people associate with their digital selves as much or more than their IRL selves

Why do I care and why do I have an opinion?

I've spent my career making large-scale social games, where digital identities/communities/friendships were the primary drivers of engagement

I also just spent the last 1.5 years at @meta leading the @horizonworlds team

Generation alpha, or generation metaverse - is anyone born after ~2012. The first alpha teens will be minted around 2025

They will be the first gen w/mass access to VR and immersive digital experiences (Roblox, Fortnite)

By the time the first alpha turns 13 in 2026, more than 80M cumulative VR headsets will have been sold (for context, the XBox 360 sold 84M lifetime units)

This follows an existing trend:

Unlike millenials that grew up in a static internet, gen Z's digital experience was increasingly immersive in the form of video, video games, and streaming

For instance, 48% of gen z has tried VR, 26% own a device, and 5% use it daily

If you believe like I do that the metaverse will be UGC/built by everyone and not a tops-down experience, gen alpha will also be the first generation to grow up inside the creator economy

The metaverse will enable true self-identity - authenticity will come from limitless avatar customizations as well as the digital environments that you own/hang out in

In web2 terms, your avatar will be your profile picture and your metaversal home will be your profile

To solidify this trend towards immersive digital identity, look no further than the rise in VTubing which kickstarted with KizunaAI in 2016 and now has VTubers with millions of followers

In a report from Twitch last month, VTubing viewership grew almost 500% YoY

Some findings from my experience working in VR (not publicly shareable data):

Young teens are way more comfortable using VR for hours and are also more eager to make friends in fully digital spaces

Don't believe me? Head into any VR social app and find out for yourself

Additionally, kids are less likely to get motion sick in 3D environments - especially VR

Since their brains are still developing, they're able to adjust to the different 3D reconstruction in front of their eyes

Adults have to learn/adjust to VR. Kids can handle it innately

In short, gen alpha will grow up at the intersection of these key metaversal ingredients:

* Large-scale XR adoption (esp VR)
* Shifts towards immersive digital identity/social
* Digital ownership and immersive commerce
* Continued growth of immersive/games interactivity

As an investor, I'm excited about the budding emergence of what could be next-gen social networks disguised as games:

Gorilla Tag --> 3D @FortniteGame
@VRChat / @recroom --> 3D Omegle

If you're working on the next immersive game+hangout experience, give us a shout!

tl;dr It's easy to be a metaverse skeptic right now because we boomers are not the target audience

If/when the "metaverse" happens it will be because of generation alpha, and they'll help build it and define what it means

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