There are a few problems with pet ownership that increase the barriers to entry for millennials and generation Z.
- Time commitment
As global competition increases, young people have less time to commit to pet ownership. Pets must be fed, watched, exercised, and loved! Owning a pet is a difficult journey that is becoming increasingly out of reach for many young urbanites.
Pets such as dogs require space to roam around and exercise. Space is obviously quite limited in the cities and urban areas that many young people live in.
In the past, vacation and travel were a luxury limited to the aristocracy. However, travel has become more accessible in modern society. Pets can become an anchor that prevent people from traveling. Many young people end up giving their pets to their parents, which in the end limits their parent’s ability to explore the world in retirement(especially if they don’t trust pet-sitters like my parents!).
The solution? Digital pets!
Increases in technology over the last 20 years have already shown a valid proof of concept for “artificial pets”. The 3 examples I will refer to are Paro, the robotic baby seal, Neopets, and Pokemon!
However each of these has a flaw that has prevented them from becoming an adequate substitute for conventional pet ownership.
Paro, the robotic seal, has been used to provide companionship to elderly people in nursing homes: “We know that pet therapy helps physically, psychologically and socially, and Paro does the same thing for people who are unable to care for a live pet,” — Takanori Shibata, Engineer for Paro.
Paro was even classified as a medical device in the USA in 2009!
Despite Paro’s success, each Paro is identical, limiting the feeling of “true ownership” possible with these devices.
NeoPets was a game that allowed players to collect and play minigames with digital “pets” during the early days of the internet. People still play neopets today! However, a quick scan of their website shows that NeoPets is a relic of the early internet age. The frontend looks like it hasn’t been updated since the early 2000’s. The rise and fall of Neopets illustrates the problems of centralization. The original development team behind the product moved on, yet control of the website remained centralized, preventing the community from building a new, updated experience for themselves.
Pokemon took the world by storm and is still enjoyed through many mediums by gamers all over the world! Pokemon trainers can catch, collect, and battle their Pokemon and millions have enjoyed this experience over the last 20 years. However, true ownership of Pokemon has never been possible — players are still at the mercy of developers/game creators and are limited in their ability to exercise their property rights. For example, despite an initial surge in Pokemon Go, the game faded — in our opinion due to the lack of a liquid market in which to trade/sell their Pokemon and a lack of a fulfilling/competitive PVP system. If the game had been on the blockchain, resourceful devs could have forked the ownership data over into an app that was actually fun!
We believe that Axie Infinity has solutions to the inherent flaws present in these harbingers of digital pet ownership.
- Uniqueness and opaque digital scarcity
Each Axie is an ERC 721 token with a genetic code that is stored on the Ethereum blockchain. Because there are so many possible genetic combination and the fact that each Axie gets its own unique serial number recorded on the blockchain, each Axie is guaranteed to be unique! They are a far cry from the identical robotic Paro Seals!
2. Decentralized data storage
Because all of the genetic data for Axie Infinity is stored on the blockchain, our playerbase is less likely to be abandoned like the NeoPet community! Even if our developers had their memories wiped forever, resourceful community members could use the open source genetic data and fork the game over to a new front end!
3. Ease of Exchange
Because all market transactions in Axie Infinity are recorded on the Ethereum blockchain, transactions between players can be performed smoothly and without need for trust between the two parties! No more meeting strange neckbeards in public places to perform game asset exchanges!
In addition, to this “logic” we believe Axie Infinity is the next step in pet ownership for one simple reason: they’re cute! People like cute things, no need to break it down for you.
Just look at Puff, the first Axie ever created!
See you in Discord!
The Axie Infinity Team
For more information please join the conversation on our Discord or follow us on Twitter.