NFTs and Crypto: Earning Money by Playing Video Games by@amritzoad

NFTs and Crypto: Earning Money by Playing Video Games

The benefits of modern technologies like Cryptocurrencies and NFTs in gaming are immense. Not only they help the game developers, but also the gamers by giving them a platform to earn money without breaking their immersion. This way of marketing and selling of a product is akin to that of focusing on a niche audience, a philosophy which every successful start-up is follows. Platform like Twitch are good but not every gamer wants to leave anonymity and talk to so many people at once. Games like Eve Online show us how games can create their own currency and gamers can earn it in-game and exchange it with USD.
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Amrit Zoad

Interested in Art and the Future

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Doesn't that sound like a fantasy? What if I tell you that it is more likely that the gaming scene of the future will look like this.


HOW DO OBJECTS GET THEIR PRICE TAG?


In essence, any object's value, material or virtual can only be determined by its Kin and no one else.


Since the world is becoming more and more specialized, a tool useful to you can be really a worthless item for someone else. A gimbal for example is useless for a normal person but of high value for a cinematographer. So, the value of 'objects of the future' cannot be determined through a common man's perception. The value of a gimbal can only be determined by a cinematographer and can range for $60 to $5000 depending on its function and usability.


The same analogy goes for specialized software like MATLAB which is of use only to the engineers and of which annual license for a single user costs $10,000. This software is used to write code and solve complex equations but a normal man a $10 calculator would do just as good of a job. Let's call these groups of people with similar goals as Kin. In essence, any object's value, material or virtual can only be determined by its Kin and no one else.


The strategy of catering to the Kin is equivalent to targeting a niche audience. Due to the over-saturation of companies which pander to a wide range of audience, a start-up sees success only when they target a niche audience. Not only this is within their financial constraints but also such a strategy generates them profit like no other.


WHAT IS VIRTUAL OR MATERIAL, IF YOU CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE?


What if, the skins you unlocked or bought with fiat were indeed NFTs and you can resale them if you wish so?


The excitement when people unlock skins in games like Counter-Strike: Global Offense and Fortnite is telling of the fact that the human brain cannot distinguish between the value of material and virtual objects.


Just like material goodies help them to brag in front of strangers in real life, virtual objects help to flaunt in front of their fellow Kin. The price of the virtual objects is similar to the price of specialized material objects as explained above since they are highly subjective and are determined solely by the Kin.


The only problem with these virtual items from the aforementioned examples is that, they are based on an archaic philosophy of game designing where only the game developers are allowed to earn money, off the game. Therefore, the items in these games can only be purchased with USD (more on this later) and are not resalable.


This is immersion-breaking for the player who spends their time playing the game only to realize that the only thing that holds actual value is the fiat currency. This also motivates them to stop doing what they truly enjoy and go find a "real" job like everyone else. Now imagine, if this was not the case. What if, the skins you unlocked or bought with fiat were indeed NFTs and you can resale them if you wish so? This changes the game altogether, no pun intended. Axie Infinity which is traded as $AXS is an NFT-based game like Pokémon where each monster is an NFT.


The common monsters which you can catch will of course have no value. But the monsters you mix and breed will. This token is running quite hot now and is backed by the billionaire and Shark Tank's famous Mark Cuban.


A SLIGHT DETOUR


Twitch isn't for everyone but crypto is.


Websites like Twitch make it possible for gamers worldwide to monetize their time playing video games with a decent PC and a webcam. This is another way of how gamers all over the world would earn money without indulging in immersion-breaking activities.


This service is a unique blend of streamers who are also content creators and their viewers, a special type of people who enjoy watching others playing a game. Every single genre of video games create their Kins.


Genres like -- Fighting, Souls-likes, Horror, Adventure, Puzzle, Racing, etc. There are also different tiers of subscriptions and the Twitch Channel offers special benefits like unique emojis based on inside jokes and profile tags to their subscribers belonging to higher tiers. This creates a sense of community and loyalty towards the streamer. The only problem with Twitch is that while it's good for streamers and their subscribers aka viewers, most gamers are not content creators and they usually prefer anonymity while playing their favorite games and prefer chatting over talking. Twitch isn't for everyone but crypto is.


IN-GAME ECONOMIES


Think of the game as, like a country using ISK as its legal tender.


Games like Eve Online allow gamers to earn ISK (Interstellar Kredits) just by trading in the game. You can be anyone from a Starfleet commander, an asteroid miner, or even a pirate. An asteroid miner, for example, earns ISK by selling the minerals they acquired by mining in-game. These minerals won't regenerate and the miners would have to find another source after the present asteroid depletes. The generated ISK can be converted into USD and that is how many players who play the game, earn their livelihood.


The game has a running economy similar to our real world and the exchange rates keep on changing depending on who does better. Think of the game as, like a country using ISK as its legal tender. The game often makes headlines due to the money lost in millions caused by in-game wars in opposing factions but news related to its booming economy and increasing interest of new players always take a backseat. To regulate the in-game economy, the game developers have hired economists who are tasked to regulate it. This has never been heard of in a video game and mixes FinTech with online gaming.


WHY SHOULD WE PAY FOR THEIR MISMANAGEMENT?


If the developers can implement a better currency and help themselves as well as the player in the process, why should they not?


The fiat currencies have their own share of trouble. Not only they are old in technology and backed by thin air, but also mismanaged by their respective central banks since their value only depreciates with time. So, what if an independent entity creates their well-managed, decentralized currency and NFTs, for their Kin, backed by modern technologies like blockchain?


Cryptocurrencies are the currencies of the future. Their values are backed by the service they provide (except meme tokens), and they use very clever deflation strategies like setting a hard limit for minting and token burning. For the uninitiated, this basically means that the price of these currencies will rise even if they lie idle in your wallet. The use of cryptocurrencies in video games will be easy to implement since many popular games are free to download and run on in-app purchases model, already. If the developers can implement a better currency and help themselves as well as the player in the process, why should they not?


METAVERSE AND BEYOND

Recently in the Epic vs. Apple hearing, the term metaverse was used very often for describing the future of games like Fortnite and Roblox. What Tim Sweeney, head of Epic Games, thinks of this addictive game's destiny is a similar form of the world that won't only have an economy but a social playground for the Kins to hang out in while maintaining their anonymity.


The money generated in the process of playing the game can not only be used on in-game items, but also converted into any fiat currencies and used to pay bills and buy groceries. Platforms such as The Sandbox have already developed a voxel-based metaverse where gamers and developers alike can create 3D playable characters and objects which are also NFTs and thus, have a resale value. As the technologies are becoming more and more immersive with the advent of VR, AR and Brain-Computer Interfaces in the future, as pointed out by Valve's Gabe Newell, the fantasy of living in a metaverse is going to become ever compelling.


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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