How to Explain Blockchain Gaming to Your Grandma by@itooamcraig

How to Explain Blockchain Gaming to Your Grandma

So your grandma just asked you about blockchain gaming and you thought, “Why does grandma want to know about blockchain gaming? Is she having a stroke? Am I having a stroke?” Don’t worry! Neither of you is having a stroke. That toast smell is the smell of Bitcoin mining rigs churning away. Why does your grandma live so close to a bitcoin mining farm that she can smell the fumes coming off it? Because you’re a terrible grandchild, so the least you can do is stop asking so many questions and start explaining what the hell blockchain gaming is.
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Craig Williams

Comic. Software Developer. Boardgame strategerizer. Creator of lazily concocted words.

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So your grandma just asked you about blockchain gaming and you thought, “Why does grandma want to know about blockchain gaming? Is she having a stroke? Am I having a stroke?” Don’t worry! Neither of you is having a stroke. That toast smell is the smell of Bitcoin mining rigs churning away. Why does your grandma live so close to a bitcoin mining farm that she can smell the fumes coming off it? Because you’re a terrible grandchild, so the least you can do is stop asking so many questions and start explaining what the hell blockchain gaming is.


What is Blockchain Gaming?


Not like that!

Not like that!

Here, just let me do it… Okay, Grandma, so you remember how during The Depression you stored all of your money in the walls because you didn't trust the banks, but then that money was eaten by squirrels? Well, think of blockchain technology as the walls, except for this time it's not full of squirrels that will eat your money. And we're not storing regular money in these walls; we're storing something called “digital assets”.


Don't let the term “digital assets” scare you, Grandma. A digital asset is just anything inside the digital world, that you own. Remember that email you sent me with a picture of your fried bologna casserole and your friend Meredith's obituary? Well, since you took that fried bologna casserole picture and uploaded it to the digital world, that's your digital asset! Now, traditionally, that bologna casserole would have gone to one centralized location in the digital world and stayed there, just like money going to the bank. But with blockchain technology, we slice up that bologna casserole and hide it in different walls, safely out of the hands of the bank. And since it's all digital, nobody has to worry about getting botulism from wall bologna! Get it, Grandma?


I don't trust banks or squirrels.

I don't trust banks or squirrels.

That's nice, Grandma, but I need you to focus. Now that I've covered blockchain technology, you might be wondering what that has to do with blockchain gaming, or if you can go home. Well. the answer is, respectively, “I'm about to tell you”, and “This is your home, Grandma”.


So, a blockchain game is just a game that uses that blockchain technology that we just talked about. You see, just like your email went to a centralized location before it landed in my spam folder, it's no different with traditional video games. But that's not the case with blockchain games! Let's take The Sandbox, for example.


This is a sandbox

This has nothing to do with the game, I just wanted to be sure we covered everything, Grandma.

This has nothing to do with the game, I just wanted to be sure we covered everything, Grandma.

This is The Sandbox game

Notice the virtual dinosaur dragon mech thing. This is impossible in an ordinary sandbox.

Notice the virtual dinosaur dragon mech thing. This is impossible in an ordinary sandbox.

Whatever you can imagine, you can make in The Sandbox, unless, of course, what you're imagining is some sort of interdimensional shape that transcends the very concept of spacetime and is impossible to perceive with the meager consciousness bestowed to us in this mortal coil.


But if you imagine that, Grandma, you're probably Cthulhu, and way too busy enslaving entire civilizations to play The Sandbox! But since you're human, you can craft whatever your heart desires! And guess what? Since this is a blockchain game, it's decentralized! Just like your email got cut up and stowed away in its very own metaphorical bologna wall, the same concept applies to what you make in a blockchain game. And the best part is, those things you make don't belong to some game company or Cthulhu, they belong to you! If you make something in The Sandbox, you own it!


Yes, Grandma, the nurse referred to you as one of “The Old Ones”, but that's not what she meant.

Yes, Grandma, the nurse referred to you as one of “The Old Ones”, but that's not what she meant.

So what exactly are those “things” you make anyway? Well, those are something called NFTs. Don't worry about what that stands for Grandma; that's a different article and that'll just confuse you more. Just think of it like this: Let's say you're playing The Sandbox and you decide that you want to become a virtual trader of your very own fried bologna casserole. This effectively makes the game into what is known in the industry as an “FBS” or “Fried Bologna Simulator”. And the first step to becoming a proper bologna trader in your FBS is to make that delicious fried bologna casserole, so that's exactly what you do; you craft your very own Grandma Bertha's Fried Bologna Casserole. Now, just like the real fried bologna casserole, this virtual bologna dish has your unique spin on it, with the virtual Werther's Original topping and everything!


First rule of Fried Bologna Casserole Club...all members 85 and up.

First rule of Fried Bologna Casserole Club...all members 85 and up.

And the cool thing about having something unique to you that you also own is that you can sell it. That's right, a lot of blockchain games allow you to earn money! So, Grandma, you know how you convert your fixed income into a giant cup of quarters that you stuff into a slot machine that then converts those quarters into poverty? Well, lots of blockchain games work the opposite of that. See, instead of the “Play-to-leave-you-in-utter-destitution-wondering-why-you’ve-become-a-recluse-with-an-insurmountable-addiction-that-only-alienates-everyone-you-love” business model of most casinos, blockchain gaming is “Play-to- earn”. Instead of dumping quarters into a machine, this machine dumps quarters in you! And, of course, by “quarters”, I mean cryptocurrency, and by “you”, I mean “you”... Seriously, Grandma, I need you to listen and stop pressing the Life Alert button. We're almost done here... So, you see, Grandma, with the power of blockchain gaming, now can stop selling your dementia medication to Eugene!


Who's Eugene?

Who's Eugene?

Never mind that, Grandma. Let's just give you another one of those examples. Say you log into The Sandbox and you decide that fried bologna casserole NFT you made is ready to sell. If another player buys it from you, they pay you in what's known as SAND.


What is SAND Crypto?

SAND is the currency used in the game, but because it's a blockchain game, that SAND is a real cryptocurrency! And the best part is, just like your other digital assets, it’s decentralized! And since it's decentralized, do you know who that cryptocurrency belongs to?


All your SAND are belong to me.

All your SAND are belong to me.

No Grandma, Obama doesn't want your SAND. Obama has nothing to do with this. We're talking about blockchain gaming. That SAND that you earned from selling that ooey-gooey bologna casserole belongs to you! And you can take that SAND and spend it on other people's virtual bologna NFTs or whatever kind of digital asset you want to buy in The Sandbox, or you can even exchange it for a different cryptocurrency! See grandma, just like you can exchange US currency for other currencies, or bingo cards for insulin, you can exchange cryptos. But that's not even the best part!


See, unlike the US dollar, most cryptocurrency doesn't have a fixed price. Its price is primarily determined by demand. And that means in some cases your cryptocurrency might even be worth more than when you initially got it. You might YOLO all of your pension into SAND and see it yeet to the moon! Just remember to HODL!”. But Grandma, I understand that at your age, you might not want to adopt some newfangled currency, and that's fine too. You can exchange that cryptocurrency for cash to hide in the walls and get eaten by squirrels.


Is this it? Is this the NFT? Is this how NFTs work? Is this how recursion works? We've confused Grandma.

Is this it? Is this the NFT? Is this how NFTs work? Is this how recursion works? We've confused Grandma.

So that pretty much covers it, Grandma. We've talked about blockchain technology, we touched on NFTs (i.e. unique bologna), and we showed you what makes blockchain gaming different (i.e. you own your unique bologna, and sometimes you can sell it). Now you understand blockchain gaming, or maybe you don't. It doesn't matter because visiting hours are over anyway and I'm pretty sure they're about to install another crypto mining rig in your laundry room. Any questions before I go?


Who's Eugene?

Who's Eugene?


This article is part of The Gaming Metaverse Writing Contest hosted by HackerNoon in partnership with The Sandbox.


Submit your #gaming-metaverse story today for your chance to win up to $2000.

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