Survey: What are the most recognizable pop culture figures for Gen Z?


Pokemon Detective Pikachu is a title you can watch for free on HBO Now and HBO Go this month. (Photo courtesy of WarnerMedia)

(ABC4) – What’s the most iconic character in pop culture? Your answer will most likely vary depending on your age and the entertainment options you were exposed to.

A new survey aimed to figure out which character Generation Z is most familiar with. Gen Z is defined as anyone who was born in the year 1997 or later, according to the Pew Research Center. The most popular form of entertainment remains video games, with research showing 8 in 10 Gen Z individuals regularly play video games, with the average player gaming over seven hours a week.

Keeping this in mind, the survey focused on video game characters to determine which one holds the most recognizable fame. The survey asked 1,800 respondents aged 16-24 to match video game characters and famous figures with their correct portraits.

Overall, the survey found Gen Z correctly identified video game characters at an average rate of 80%. The survey also found that 26% prefer gaming to other forms of entertainment, 87% play daily or weekly, and only 10% stream movies or TV instead.

In first place with an overwhelming 85% recognition is the iconic yellow electric mouse Pikachu from Pokemon. Right on his tail is Mario with 84%, Sonic the Hedgehog with 83%, Luigi at 82%, and Kirby at 80%. It should be noted that all characters make an appearance in the Super Smash Bros. video game series, which remains one of the most popular video games since its 1999 debut.

(Courtesy of Get Century Link)

The survey also aimed to compare video game character recognition to those of notable cultural figures. Gen Z survey respondents correctly identified cultural figures with 56% accuracy.

The top spot went to civil rights icon Rosa Parks with 72%, followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates with 67%, pop singer Dua Lipa with 63%, William Shakespeare with 62%, and Winston Churchill with 48%.

(Courtesy of Get Century Link)

To check out the full study, click here.

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