How professional gamers and gaming influencers live their mixed reality lives today offer a peek into how we’ll live and work in the metaverse

The metaverse will soon be upon us all. Many today must be wondering what working, doing business and simply living in the metaverse would be like.

I’ve often suggested in various discussions that, to have some insights into what our mixed reality future would be like, we can take a look at how professional gamers work, play, transact and live their lives today for some clues.

Another group of people living that mixed reality life today are online influencers.

What’ I’m talking about are those folks who work in a virtual world, but with real-world partners, competitors or customers. And they also have to deal with real-world basics such as paying bills, purchasing daily necessities, communicating and collaborating.

But, first, a look at the gaming industry…

According to Fortune Business Insights research, the global gaming hardware market is estimated to be US$3.46 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach US$5.23 billion by 2027. Allied Market Research estimates the global gaming accessories market was valued at US$6.1 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach US$14.4 billion by 2030.

Kaspersky’s recent research confirms that top gaming influencers see performance as the key to winning, with 53% agreeing it’s worth investing in equipment that helps them succeed.

Ready to spend to boost performance

The survey shows top gaming influencers feel ready to spend the most on performance optimization, with 41% investing ‘a very high amount’ to pursue this. Top opinion leaders are the most performance driven, with more than half (53%) agreeing their results in games are dependent on it, and most frequently invest in computer components (76%) or accessories such as a mouse or keyboard (61%).

The research confirms that top influencers see performance as the key to winning, with 53% agreeing it’s worth investing in equipment that helps them succeed. The numbers are slightly different for all gamers, with professional gaming influencers representing the apex of the pyramid.

Within the report, Kaspersky defined the following gamers’ categories:

    • eSports Pros: See gaming performance as extremely or very important; have taken part in tournaments at least once in the last two years; are either building an income from gaming, or value making some money from it
    • eSports Amateurs: Have taken part in tournaments at least once in the last two years and like taking part in tournaments and competitions; do NOT look for money making opportunities from their gaming
    • Hardcore Gamers: Play at least 20 hours per week
    • Gadget Gamers: Invest a high or very high sum of money to improve their gaming performance (hardware/training/nutrition, etc.)
    • Gaming Influencers: Stream at least once a month; have a minimum of 1,000 followers
    • Top Gaming Influencers: Stream at least once a week and have at least 10,000 followers

For improved performance, influencers are most likely to invest in greater PC power (47%), a headset with a microphone (44%), or a keyboard (44%).

This differs from general gaming community data, where the most important ways of improving performance are PC power (49%), practicing (41%) and bandwidth, plus down and upload speeds or ping (40%).

Based on the survey data, 91% of all gamers agreed performance is a significant factor for them, reflecting that the final result in games is dependent on multiple factors, besides computer processing power.

Professional gamers will use every chance and opportunity to be the best in what they do. I believe that too is true for our workplace today, and in the future.

Gearing up for the metaverse

So what does it take for us to be effective in work and life in the metaverse – in terms of performance, productivity, security and employee experience?

Besides gearing up with the abovementioned technology tools and strategies, Kaspersky shared some recommendations on how gamers can continue to maintain high levels of performance and security of the system, which we can apply for ourselves in the mixed reality workplace of the future:

    1. It’s safer to purchase (software and games and anything else) only from official sites and wait for the sales as they regularly take place, so you won’t be sitting on your hands for long.
    2. Try to avoid buying the first thing that pops up. Even during Steam’s summer sale, before buying less well-known titles, read the reviews. If something sounds like an unbelievable offer, it probably is, and people will figure it out.
    3. Beware of phishing campaigns and unfamiliar gamers. It’s a good option to double-check the website you are redirected to via the link in the received email and the extension of a file you are going to open.
    4. Reliable security solutions can support specific modes, created for gamers. For instance, “Gaming” and “Do not Disturb” modes in new Kaspersky solutions automatically turn on while users are gaming, watching movies, or making video calls, then turn off when they are finished. When apps intended for work, study or play are used, the relevant mode activates itself, hiding tasks and notifications. Users only receive critical security alerts when their attention is required.

The idea is to – like professional gamers and gaming influencers of today – gear up with the right knowledge and tools you deem necessary for the ride you intend to take in uncharted metaverse terrain.

Work smart, play safe, and set your sights ahead!