One of the small dangers of being in what is surely still a pretty niche industry within a huge industry is that social listening tends to give you what you want to hear. Or at least, what it thinks you want to hear. So, for someone working in blockchain gaming (the niche industry) within the overall gaming scene (the huge industry), you’re sure to be seeing a lot of nice things being said online. I do keep an eye on our Discord where our gamer community is most present. I’ve also been trying as much as possible to come on Twitter Spaces to spar with other blockchain or gaming or NFT industry people about developments and discussions. Like just a couple of weeks, where I had the pleasure to meet HackerNoon’s very own Utsav Jaiswal mashing it up about Web3 user acquisition. https://twitter.com/YoubiCapital/status/1590147159650758657?embedable=true And sure, there’s a lot of toxicity and negativity (particularly when the crypto sentiment is soured by everything going on in the background), but there’s probably a lot more that’s positive and encouraging -- so it helps to keep the momentum going for us in the business of building things. “Great Project”, so What? I won’t deny that it’s nice to see people buzz with excitement every time we share a sneak peek from our upcoming game or when we’re sitting around fielding questions from scores of interested crypto peeps. For me, it provides continuous and strengthening evidence that blockchain gaming is building on its promise and potential to be one of the true entry points for crypto and enablers of tomorrow’s Web3. But at the same time, I find a lot of value in looking at the ugly. Paying heed to the critics and listening to the naysayers, because often, a lot of what they say and feel is based at least partially on facts. Certainly, some of the arguments against blockchain gaming have a lot more meat than the majority of positivisms I see about my work or blockchain gaming in general… you know what I mean. “Great project”. “Amazing project”. “Huge potential”. “This is going to blow up”. “Bad Project”… so What? If I pay attention to some of the negative sentiments on Twitter, for example (and there are some tools that can help do this), there are some valid points. Remove the plain old unsubstantiated drivel and you do find genuinely frustrated gamers, almost as if in righteous anger. See some of these recent comments below from Twitter, for example, about a guy who can’t even try a new blockchain game because it’s too expensive: https://twitter.com/Babulson3/status/1594969443494686720?embedable=true Or about a game developer who’s written a manifesto about why he’ll never make an NFT game. this scribe post https://scribe.rip/look-what-you-made-me-do-a-lot-of-people-have-asked-me-to-make-nft-games-and-i-wont-because-i-m-29c7cfdbbb79?embedable=true Converting the masses to blockchain gaming won’t be an easy task. Particularly, because the mainstream gamer is a veteran of all kinds of cash grabs and shady things already going on in the gaming industry. The modern gamer is a cynic. Used to getting disappointed. Used to being seen as a wallet. Used to being inundated with all kinds of promises that end up falling short of even being a decent game they can enjoy. We in Blockchain Gaming Have to Do Our Job As my team continues to pour our love, sweat, and blood into our game, I find it important to take a pause every now and then and ask ourselves the questions that put us on this path of blockchain gaming. Yes, our focus is on building a great game with a great experience. Yes, we intend to explore and are developing our own unique proposals for blockchain tech improvements. But blockchain tech is an enabler, not the main feature, nor the discernible one. We need to answer the questions: Why do gamers play? What do they dislike about blockchain games? What can we do about creating more resilient crypto gaming ecosystems? How can we ensure our games are as inclusive as possible? How do we meet the unique needs of modern gamers who want to claw back financial value, without alienating the “purer” gamer for the sake of gaming? How do we keep games fun and not drown newcomers with crypto terminology that they really might not care about? And we may never arrive at the perfect answers, but we believe the effort to look for these answers will help us build better games. Because we have to admit it for now. Blockchain games aren’t fun… that’s the truth for most of what’s available out there. And that’s on us to fix.