Over the course of many years game worlds have been evolving and the introduction of blockchain technology adds a whole lot more to it. Blockchain technology is redefining game worlds, expanding the concept into something that’s omnipresent. Purists will hate it as some elements will not be ‘gaming’ in the most traditional sense, but it’s definitely happening. Game worlds are expanding, slowly swallowing everything they can touch.
Traditionally a game world is an artificial universe in which the events of the game occur. This started on home consoles and arcades, but the events in those game worlds never left the physical machine they took place on. People would only share stories about their adventures or high scores.
With the introduction of the internet, gamers could experience game worlds together. Players adventure together, and online leaderboards show who’s the best of them all. However, all these events only take place inside a virtual game world. Sure, they are shared experiences, but in our physical world these adventures are nothing more than stories or bragging rights.
Thanks to blockchain technology and the idea that in-game currencies have real world value, that entire concept can be thrown out of the window. Sure, at this very moment the highest quality blockchain game can’t get close to the AAA graphical standards set by the latest hits on the Playstation 5. However, there’s one thing that every blockchain game does better, and that’s creating a valuable impact that goes beyond bragging rights and stories.
Value in game worlds
Games following a play-to-earn business model allow players to earn or create value through gameplay. Players earn in-game resources or currencies, which they can sell on an open marketplace. Winning battles in Axie Infinity earns players SLP tokens, which currently have a value of 3 cents. Having a good scoring fantasy football team in Sorare, can win players news cards. They can sell these cards for money on the marketplace. Playing Gods Unchained will give you card packs as you level up.
The thing is, the game world doesn’t end when you close the game and shutdown your computer. The value from a play-to-earn game slips into the physical world. As a result people are trading the in-game currency, lending virtual land, creating value through all kinds of propositions. An Axie called COKE become popular due to an integrated crypto art promotion, boosting the value of this particular character. In-game currencies like SAND, COIN and AXS are also part of decentralized finance, or… DeFi is part of the game world. Virtual worlds like Cryptovoxels, The Sandbox and Decentraland bring all kinds of different people to the stage: They can become trainers, landowners, resource farmers, traders, architects, or just someone having fun. As a result everything and everybody is – to some extend – becoming part of the gaming economy.
Because a game’s economy connects to blockchain technology, there are many different ways to create value. In addition players will have all kinds of different reasons to play a game, and as a result the game world is expanding into our own physical world. Similar to how football is just something you watch or play with friends for some of us, while it’s a source of income for others. However, those others can be gamblers, trainers, coaches, players, agents, club owners, sponsors and so on. Just how the game of football still carries value outside of the pitch, gaming is now doing the same.
Are you ready, player?
A game world is no longer limited by virtual borders. These games are reaching out into our physical world, swallowing currency exchanges and creative content creators. Even social media is a playground, as game worlds need to leech on other platforms to suck more people into the play-to-earn economy. Ultimately our world will be gamified, and gaming will be our world.
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Robert Hoogendoorn is a gamer and blockchain enthusiast. He got in touch with crypto in 2014, but the fire really lit in 2017. Professionally he’s a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games & tech industry. He’s a content manager and creator at heart, working on Play to Earn and for a variety of third party magazines and websites.