For BrandsMarketing06.02.2023
Games and Loneliness. Is Gen Z the Lonely Generation?

Games and Loneliness. Is Gen Z the Lonely Generation?

Antonina Marć
Content ManagerAntonina Marć

Every generation has its characteristics, and we mostly hear about the bad ones. Boomers are well… boomers, Millennials never have any money, etc. What about Gen Z? Recently, media outlets worldwide started discussing the problem of loneliness among Gen Z. They even came up with the term “The Loneliest Generation”. Why are we talking about it, and how does it correspond with business and marketing? Let’s find out.

The Loneliest of Generations

After the Business Insider’s piece about why Gen Z is sometimes considered the loneliest generation, another popular magazine, Vice, unpacked what it termed the “loneliness epidemic” in young people. The main reason impacting loneliness among young people was, of course, the Internet. People love blaming the Internet for everything wrong with the world. However, is this all there is to it? Did our technological advancement make Gen Z socially defective? Let’s check a few facts.

Growing up in the ’10s

For Gen Z, there was a big loneliness spike between 2012 and 2018. There is a theory that 2012 was the first year when more than 50% of Americans had smartphone access, and the use of social media platforms reached critical mass. 

However, the oldest Gen Z were 15-21 years old at that time. And it’s also worth noting that it’s likely tied to changes in family structure over the past few decades. Compared to previous generations, Gen Zers are far more likely to have been raised in single-parent households, often without siblings.

According to American National Family Life Survey, children raised in single-parent homes are more likely to report feeling lonely growing up than those raised in two-parent households.

The Digital Age

While there is no denying that Gen Z spends far more time online than all previous generations, their approach and activities differ. They are using the online world to self-express and connect with others worldwide.

From The Metaverse: A View from the Inside study conducted by Razorfish and Vice Media Group, we can find that 65% of respondents believe online relationships are just as meaningful as offline ones. Furthermore, 57% claim they feel freer to express themselves online than they would in real life. 

We can observe a similar thing in gamers. Another study shows that 83% of teenagers play video games with others in person and 75% online. They play games with different types of people – friends they know in person (89%), friends they know only online (54%), and online play with randoms (52%).

These days video games are not only entertainment; they allow Gen Z to meet people with similar interests. More than half of all teens have made new friends online, and a third made a new friend (or friends) while playing video games. And that’s why Rockstar Energy Drink decided to aid them.

Visual representation of data 83% teenagers play video games with others

Rockstar Energy Drink unites gamers

Together with Rockstar Energy Drink, we accepted the challenge and decided to help Polish gamers find their gaming soulmates. Our goal was to raise awareness of Rockstar Energy Drink among Gen Z and help them make new friends. The campaign consisted of the following:

  • A specially designed landing page with a quiz,
  • A campaign on Polish streams informing about the quiz.

On the landing page, we included instructions and engaging CTAs. Each player had to sign in with their Discord account to take the quiz. Participants who completed the quiz received: 

  • An email with confirmation and the next step, 
  • An email with the contact details of their gaming soulmate.

We created three alternative artworks for the campaign. The first was general, alerting gamers about the opportunity to meet their ideal gaming partner. The second and third were more specific, asking questions about situations that could happen to anyone playing alone in a multiplayer game. We demonstrated Rockstar Energy Drink’s ability to communicate with the gaming community.

Throughout the campaign, we collaborated with various streamers who were perfectly matched with our target audience. As a result, we could launch a broad campaign and properly pique the interest of stream watchers.

Our results

The response was incredible – over 2.5 million views in collaboration with 1,414 polish streamers. On top of that, 800 polish gamers completed the quiz, and over 450 found their perfect match! It was one of the best campaigns we conducted to this day!

results 2.5 million views, +1400 streamers, 800 quiz completions, 450 matches

Antonina Marć
Content ManagerAntonina Marć

I can honestly say my passion is creating valuable content for gamers, streamers and brands interested in gaming. Outside of work, I'm a tabletop RPG Master, a LARPer, a comic book freak and the biggest dachshund lover you'll ever meet.

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