Article, Fintech

Blockchain Technology & Gaming: My Hopes For The Future

Blockchain Technology & Gaming: My Hopes For The Future

I’m an avid video gamer with countless hours on Steam (A digital distribution platform mainly for games), with dozens and dozens of games on my account. I can safely say I’ve over a couple of thousands of hours on various games on the Steam platform alone. That couple of thousand hours does not include other games that are not on the Steam platform such as a popular online game called Guild Wars 2, where I have another couple of thousand hours also. As well as a long list of other games that I’ve also sunk many hours into also.

The video game industry is a huge one.  Generating over $27.3 billion USD in 2011 and estimated to generate over $33.5 billion USD in, with an estimated 2.5 billion active registered video gamers in 2016 (statistics by https://www.statista.com/statistics/293304/number-video-gamers/).

Evidently, there’s a lot of time and effort put into video games!
Several features that the Steam platform has, is that it records and tracks your hours spent playing each game. Games you play track and reward you with achievements for completing and achieving specific goals within the game and then it even rewards you with digital assets, that you’ve earned while playing. Popular games such as Dota 2 and CSGO offer rewards to the player that is tied to their Steam account. These rewards can be cosmetic items or digital trading cards that the player can then choose to use themselves, trade it for other digital assets or even sell it off to the same community of fellow video gamers for some fiat currency in their own account, which can then be used to buy other games or digital assets on the platform.

This makes the user feel that the time and money they’ve spent means they can earn back digital assets that are actually of some worth of other players. While yes, video games should be purely for the fun and enjoyment, it’s always nice to see the things you’ve earned and achieved.

The issue, however, is that all of this only applies to games that are on the Steam platform. If I go and play a game elsewhere, it will either not have the same sort of rewards and sense of ownership or a completely different system where the other platform will have their own different rewards and digital assets. This also means a different kind of market completely!

This is where Blockchain technology can come in.

Note that I’m talking and highlighting the Steam platform in particular because it’s the most popular platform that boasts around 15 million active users daily. There are other platforms such as Battle Net, Origin, GOG and Itch.io, but this is where I hope to see Blockchain push the video gaming world forward.

The games and digital assets that belong to my Steam account, are on Steam. The games and digital assets that belong to my Origin account, are on Origin. So on and so forth.

Some ‘digital cards’ that I’ve earned while playing that can be sold on the Steam Community Market for 2.22 THB, or traded for other things.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s no hassle in switching between the different platforms and there’s no real issue. The different platforms usually have different games that exclusive to their platform as a way of competing and attracting gamers over to their platform.
That’s fine, the different platforms don’t have to merge. They can all live in harmony.

But imagine if it were this way instead. You have an account or some sort of gaming wallet similar to todays cryptocurrency software wallets on phones and desktops. And even though there are different platforms with different digital assets and video games, you have just one account to rule them all {Sauron would approve).

I’d like to note that there are already a quite few gaming focused cryptocurrencies out there, such as Firstblood, Enjincoin, Unikoin Gold to name a few. And that my personal opinion is that Enjincoin is the closest in doing what I would like to see for the future of video games.

Your one account would hold and record all digital assets and all achievements, hours, rewards between all the different gaming platforms. The records and ledger of ownership would be decentralised on the blockchain. That way, you know YOU own that particular digital asset and your digital video game achievements will be with you forever.
Even if the servers of the online game I’m playing shuts down, or the developer studio of the video game I play goes bankrupt and a new company buys them out and changes everything in the game, I still own that one sword I looted a couple years ago that can no longer be earned and I can keep it as a trophy or even sell it off.

Here’s a link that gives a very nice and easy explanation on the economics of gaming, as well as discussing somewhat on how Enjincoin aims to fix the problems and their vision for a gaming cryptocurrency; https://medium.com/@enjin/economics-of-a-gaming-cryptocurrency-part-1-9e32a7842076

While what I hope and envision for the future of video gaming does not necessarily have to include a common currency used by gamers between the platforms (Like what some of the gaming cryptocurrencies, like Enjincoin are trying to achieve), it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing to have that either, allowing us to use 1 currency across platforms, exchanging them for games or trading them with other players for digital goods.

And with it all being on a blockchain, you won’t need to worry about a server maintenance or a server attack (like the DDoS attack that Blizzard experienced back in April 2016). Letting you access your goods at any time. Also with blockchain technology, issues such as item duplication and achievement exploits would be a thing of the past.

I give out my support to most of the gaming cryptocurrencies out there, like Enjincoin and their vision for the future of video gaming, as well as anyone else who wishes to take full advantage of the marvels of blockchain technology and use it to help the gaming community. And though it will be nigh impossible to unite all the different big companies such as EA, Valve and all the others, a gamer can only hope and dream that one day we’ll have a united and common platform to share between all of us.

 

Awesome links and citations:

See what other uses Blockchain has:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/11/17/what-is-blockchain-used-for-besides-bitcoin/#30d29b7a446e

Top 10 gaming cryptocurrencies:
https://blog.icotracker.org/top-10-gaming-cryptocurrencies-ico/

The economics of gaming and gaming cryptocurrency with Enjin:
https://medium.com/@enjin/economics-of-a-gaming-cryptocurrency-part-1-9e32a7842076

Image courtesy of spacecoyote, DeviantArt

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A lover and advocate of all things Tech, Loy has had an exciting time learning about Blockchain and the possibilities it brings for the future.