Monday, November 05, 2007

These metaverses are not an age related thing

A trend that Roo and I have noticed in conversations about all things virtual world/metaverse and Web 2.0 is someone will try and compartmentalize into age ranges. Metaverses are only for the kids who are used to video games. We also had the recent discussions on blogging and age. Kids blog older people dont/wont/cant.

I think now we have hit the conceptual age, rather than the information age, it is no longer anything to do with an individuals phycial years on the planet.

In metaverses we see older people saying "this is what the internet was supposed to be". We see people who have never played a game entering into a 3d environment and moving around. Initially not as quickly as a PS3/Xbox player, but they get it quite quickly.

Age is not the issue, it really is state of mind. You want to share things, share them, blogging is not technically hard, facebook does not need an instruction manual. Flickr needs you to operate a camera, not worry about a computer.

All these things free people to be creative and concetrate on the content. It is true that the older you get the more stuck in your ways you may get, but equally it is when you are after more quality in your life, when you are younger you just will try anything, maybe not stick with it for life, but learn patterns that can be applied anywhere.

So the technology is not an age barrier thing, its a mental state of mind and attitude to things that people often will retreat into the stereotypes of comfort.

Just a thought, but one backed up with a lot of anecodotal evidence, people who Do Web 2 tend to have the same sort of mindset and willingess to share. Some may be sharing wisdom, others ego. Either way its not a young thing/old thing/male thing/female thing etc..... Its different types of people respond to different things.


Anonymous said...

I think age is a factor, albeit related to the culture & attitudes people have experienced as part of their upbringing, rather than being due to simply physical years on the planet.

Age will always play a significant role in the adoption of new skills, technologies, and practices.

Each new generation develops a culture of its own, distinct from that of their parents. Growing up with technology that you take for granted, yet didn't exist when your parents were children naturally gives you a very different perspective on it - typically you would expect to be more comfortable around it.

For example, people in their mid 20s to early 30s grew up with video games around them, and thus have an easier time accepting them now they are older.

However, this same generation hasn't adopted a more recent technology like Text Messaging with anything like the same degree of enthusiasm amongst teenagers today, who could show up a seasoned Blackberry user without breaking a sweat.

As you say, none of this actually precludes older generations from adopting new tech, and plenty do, but in general the odds are increasingly stacked against you the older you get.

epredator said...

Age is a factor, but not an excuse :-)
Clearly generationally we are raising kids used to change. The rate of change means they have to learn to adapt.
Massive shifts used to take several generations to sink in, now they can happen in decades.
Take the web, now lots of people of all ages use it and the older generations are tending to gain benefit more with teh rise of the silver surfer.
The generation excuse is often used because people are scared or threatened. I do like to help those people, but sometimes it works to just challenge the generation assumption. :-)