AiR World founder Gabriel Kwong

How can a metaverse gaming platform drive foot traffic to businesses in the real world

AiR World founder Gabriel Kwong said their users visit their partner malls which serve as a gateway to the metaverse at least 3 to 5 times a month.

Remember the phenomenon that was Pokemon Go, and how it boosted foot traffic in malls all around the world? This was what AiR World Founder Gabriel Kwong has been doing for local businesses in Hong Kong, but he did it by incorporating the latest talk of the town—metaverse.

Kwong and his team created a metaverse-to-go gaming platform where real-life, physical locations act as a gateway to another dimension of AiR’s virtual world. 

“AiR means ‘Adventure In Reality.’ So what I'm trying to do is, I want to add adventure elements in the form of gamification into real life. We're placing this metaverse experience into the real world,” Kwong told Hong Kong Business.

“Let’s say you go to a fast food shop chain. On the tray, you will see a piece of paper with the message ‘Why don’t you come to Burger Land?’ and a QR code. By scanning that QR code through the AiR metaverse mobile application, users can play some games and collect virtual items that can also win them a free burger from the restaurant. To the business that means conversion, and to the consumers it’s a fun way to earn a free burger,” Kwong added.

Kwong said players can also collect virtual items in one location and use it in another gateway. 

“For example, in the Burger Land, you might be able to collect some seeds which can be used in the Farm Land, located in another shopping mall. These seeds, when planted, might grow into a fruit-bearing tree. The fruit you harvest from that tree has corresponding points which can help you redeem, let’s say a parking coupon,” Kwong shared.

True to their claim of driving foot traffic, Kwong said a single user of their platform would visit their partner malls at least three to five times a month to access their metaverse gateways.

As of August 2022,  AiR metaverse has 10,000 active users and has recorded close to 100,000 QR code scans which, according to Kwong, means that users are really going to the physical gateways.

“That's how gameplay and actual business conversion can work together. That's how we use our metaverse ecosystem to bring two partners together,” Kwong said.

No danger

Whilst AiR requires players to go out and experience metaverse, Kwong assured that players are safe when they do so because all location gateways are places where a person would usually visit.

“The gameplay happens naturally throughout one’s life and everyday experience. We’re not really asking the players to go somewhere dangerous or in the woods. We’re basically just asking our players to live their lives and along the way, when they go to a shopping mall they might encounter some of our metaverse gateways in which they can easily access and enjoy with our mobile app,” Kwong said, adding that the AiR metaverse’s concept is “lifestyle gaming.”

Kwon also said that their gamers don’t take so much time as one game section would take two to three minutes max.

“You can scan to play something whilst waiting for your food or waiting for your transportation at the Subway or the bus station,” he said.

The game also has no age restriction, according to Kwon.

“There’s no game that is not suitable for a younger audience. We actually have parents who told us that their kids enjoy playing simple games at different locations like farming and fishing, etc. There are also senior people who are into collecting benefits from shopping malls,” he said.

Kwong hopes that through the AiR metaverse, businesses and non-crypto savvy users can understand the metaverse better and see its benefits.

“Metaverse to average people or businesses is still more like a PR stint. When people want to know more about what metaverse can do for the general public or businesses, there's still not a clear indication or a clear path,” he said.

“We wanted to make metaverse practical, meaning there is deliverable. What we're trying to do here is to be able to lower the entry barrier, to make sure that [businesses see] metaverse as beneficial, more accessible, and approachable,” he added.


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