The blockchain gaming space has been ramping up innovation in the last year or two and we are seeing more novel games. One trend in blockchain gaming is the use of physical activity to earn crypto and interact with an NFT. A few years ago I saw a health company create an app in which NFTs could level up the more you move, trackable through your smartphone. This has led to a potential sub-genre of Play-to-Earn (P2E) called Move-to-Earn.
But, what is “Move-to-Earn”?
What Is Move-to-Earn?
The concept is intuitive enough — it’s exactly what you think it is. P2E games allow you to earn by gameplay loops and completing tasks. Whatever the genre, this is the backbone of how you earn crypto by playing a game, whether passive or active. Move-to-Earn changes the gameplay loop to involve physical activity. That is, the game pairs with your smartphone and smartwatch (or whatever wearable tech tracks your movement) and by moving, you progress in-game.
Gamers are often seen as sedentary creatures, but there has been a swell of interest in physical well-being (as there should be!) and the new Move-to-Earn genre could play perfectly into that. There are several games aiming to tie in-game progression into player movement in real life and Genopets is leading the charge presently.
What Is Genopets?
Genopets is a Move-to-Earn mobile RPG where your Genopet can level up and improve based on your physical activity. Interest has been high in the Solana project, with the first NFT sale attracting over 40,000 players trying to claim only 3,333 unhatched Genesis Genopet Eggs. The developers are now launching “Habitats” through another interesting initiative.
“Sell your hard-earned Genopets NFTs in the open marketplace while you take steps to earn $KI from your Habitat. Use $KI to either craft special items to upgrade your Genopet’s aesthetics and skills or sell your $KI to other players in need of a boost. Summon your Genopet and start trading your sweat for crypto.” — Genopets.me
When you’ve got your pet nice and strong (and improved your own health while you’re at it) you can enter the Battle Arena to fight other players in turn-based mini-games. You can even set up wagered games for items.
Why This Could Be the Start of Something Big
There are two interesting threads to this. The first is that the concept of Move-to-Earn is a good one and I’m glad to see it’s picking up steam. With step counters, health apps, and general wellness being more in vogue than it ever has been, it’s a relatively untapped market for gaming, let alone blockchain gaming. We haven’t seen anything particularly viral since Wii Fit! Pokemon Go is the closest example and a fair one; the interest was going outside to catch Pokemon, not the clunky AR experience.
The second thread is Genopets. Some of the other projects working near Move-to-Earn (not all offer the ability to earn crypto, just progress) struck me as a little dry; a good idea poorly executed. Genopets is a fleshed-out idea that marries a number of popular fundamentals. Pet RPG games have proven successful and blockchain lends itself to them well, but crafting, character customization, PvP and PvE, and rankings make for a more holistic experience, especially when married with the novel concept of Move-to-Earn.
There are a lot of barriers I can foresee, like gaming step counters in creative ways, but none of these are insurmountable. This is something to keep an eye on for gamers and investors alike.