Think you know Gen Z?… Ok boomer…
Part 1: Getting their head in the game.
So, we liked to think that we knew a bit about Gen Z. You know, the group born between 1997 and 2015. The children of Gen X who have been raised as independent, free thinkers with the necessary gumption to figure things out for themselves. But did we really know them?… does anyone really know them?
Recently BCM held Open Minds. Our first knowledge sharing event since the pandemic hit. The topic for the occasion was all things Gen Z. We took the time to get under the skin of this misunderstood generation to get a better grasp on what it is that shapes the world they live in.
The following blog series on Gen Z will explore in greater detail the themes we uncovered on the day. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting our spin on it. To kick it all off let’s take a look at the ways in which Gen Z are leading the charge when it comes to gaming.
The children of the original gamers
It might not surprise you to know that Gen Z are the most active gaming generation in history. It seems natural when you consider that they’re the product of their parents, many of whom were bought up on Atari’s, Nintendo’s, Donkey Kong (monkeys aren’t donkeys! Quit messing with my head!?) and Alex the Kidd. Gen Z have all the ingredients sitting in their DNA to be the biggest, best, and most accomplished gamers the world has ever seen. And they are. But why?
Innovation through gaming
The big difference between gamers then and gamers now is that gaming is no longer about the gameplay. Gaming is predicted to be the next dominant tech innovation. Just as mobile phones, search engines, and social networks were defining innovations for previous generations. Gaming is it for Gen Z. Don’t believe me? Well Netflix CEO Reed Hastings actually sees Fortnite as the company’s biggest rival, not Amazon, not Disney+. So much so, just last month in May of 2021 Netflix are on the hunt for an Executive Head of Gaming.
So what is fuelling this revolution?
Well as with the previously mentioned technological advancements, gaming taps into the basic human need for connection. Search engines connected people to information. Mobile phones connected people to people, then as they advanced connected people to information anywhere, anytime. Social media connected communities all over the world. Gaming at its core is social and it connects people.
Increasingly games are becoming cultural centres where people virtually cater for community. With gaming there is community connection happening on the other side of the screen which has only been heightened throughout COVID. So with the social connectedness of gaming being driven by Gen Z, and with more and more people turning their backs on social networking platforms due to mistrust it begs the question… is gaming the new social frontier?