On August 28, 2023, a unique collaboration between VTuber and author “Virtual Cute Girl Nem” and cultural studies scholar Ludmila (Mila) Bredikina from the University of Malta launched the “Social VR Census 2023.” This large-scale survey aims to delve into the lifestyles of residents in the Metaverse, focusing on themes such as “Population Growth,” “Community,” and “Economy.” With a deadline set for September 16, 2023, the organizers are inviting Social VR users worldwide to participate.
What is Social VR?
Social Virtual Reality (VR) refers to platforms that allow people to interact in a shared three-dimensional virtual space using VR technology. Popular platforms include VRChat, Rec Room, Neos VR, cluster, VirtualCast, and others. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing affordability of VR equipment, the number of Social VR users has surged, making the Metaverse a new frontier for human interaction.
The Survey: A Closer Look
The survey is publicly available in both Japanese and English and is conducted using Google Forms. It is estimated to take between 5 to 8 minutes to complete.
To be eligible for the survey, participants must have used a VR head-mounted display to access Social VR platforms at least five times in the past year. Those who access Social VR solely via desktop or mobile are requested not to participate.
The primary goal is to examine the lifestyles of Social VR users. The survey results will be made publicly available for free, and participants’ anonymity is guaranteed.
Themes and Focus Areas
The second edition of the Social VR Lifestyle Survey aims to explore:
- Population Growth: How has the user base expanded?
- Community: What kinds of communities are forming within the Metaverse?
- Economy: How are virtual economies developing?
Collaborators and Supporters
The survey is backed by various VR-related organizations, including:
- HIKKY: Known for operating “Virtual Market (Vket),” the world’s largest VR event in the Metaverse.
- PANORA: Japan’s first specialized VR news media outlet.
- Meta-cul Frontier: A media outlet focusing on the current state and possibilities of the social Metaverse.
- VR Ajito: A VR user community by MyDearest Inc.
- AXON PARK: A virtual campus for digital learning.
- VNOS Corporation: An organization aiming for a future where ‘V’ individuals can participate in society.
- University of Malta: Provided advisory and collaborative support.
The Organizers: Nem x Mila
The “Social VR Census 2023” is the fourth large-scale research project by the research unit “Nem x Mila.” Their previous works have investigated the impact of VTubers and the Metaverse on humanity, including studies on harassment in the Metaverse and how COVID-19 has accelerated virtual communication.
As the Metaverse continues to grow, understanding its impact on society becomes increasingly important. The “Social VR Census 2023” aims to provide valuable insights into this rapidly evolving virtual world. With a wide range of collaborators and a focus on critical themes, the survey promises to be a significant contribution to our understanding of life in the Metaverse.
For those interested in participating, the survey form is available here.