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Exploring perceptions of the metaverse and digital environments: our study with younger users

Our recent research paper presented at the International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, which explored the perceptions of younger users (generations Y and Z) regarding digital, virtual environments, and the metaverse has just been published with great success.

The study aimed to uncover the participants' knowledge and self-perception in relation to these emerging technologies.

Digital environments have the potential to transform various aspects of life, including entertainment, work, and social interactions. However, ethical considerations, accessibility, and inclusivity need to be addressed to ensure the positive impact of these technologies.

With this study, we collected data through an online survey completed by 101 participants from generations Y and Z. The survey covered demographic information, knowledge and awareness of the metaverse, and participants' perceptions and potential roles within these digital environments. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics to identify trends and patterns.

We found that both generations Y and Z had a relatively low level of knowledge about virtual worlds and the metaverse. The mean rating for knowledge was similar for both generations, indicating a lack of understanding about these technologies.

Male participants rated their knowledge significantly higher than females in both generations.

When asked to define the metaverse, the majority (40%) agreed with a definition that described it as a "universal and immersive virtual world accessible through virtual and augmented reality technologies."

Regarding their self-perception and role in digital environments, many participants (almost 40%) identified themselves as skeptics or "just" users.

Generation Y participants were more likely to see themselves as early adopters or innovators compared to generGenerationation Z participants. This discrepancy suggests that further research is needed to explore the perception and potential adoption of the metaverse among younger users.

The study highlighted the mixed feelings and low knowledge levels regarding the metaverse and digital environments among younger generations.

The findings emphasize the need for in-depth studies to improve knowledge and understanding of these technologies.

Additionally, the study identified the importance of designing inclusive, accessible, and safe digital environments to ensure positive user experiences.

The findings emphasize the need for increased awareness and understanding, as well as the importance of inclusive design principles in shaping the future of digital, virtual spaces.

At the Metavethics Institute, we are eager to partner with organizations to run research programs to develop better awareness and understanding of the importance of inclusive design principles in shaping the future of digital, virtual spaces.

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