From its humble beginnings as the underlying technology for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, blockchain technology has come a long way. It has now found itself propping up areas of various industries, including gaming. But what exactly is blockchain technology and how does it apply to the world of gaming? Let’s take a closer look with no prior knowledge necessary!
Understanding Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology can be thought of as a decentralized digital ledger that records data and transactions across a network of computers. Each block in the chain stores information, creating a permanent and unalterable (immutable) record of data. This technology is based on the principles of transparency, decentralization, and security.
That wasn’t easy to understand, let’s try an analogy: Blockchain is a digital journal where each page (a block) records transactions. Once a page is full, it’s sealed, and a reference to it is included on the next page, forming a chain. Everyone can have a copy of this journal and see new pages being added, but changes to past pages are all but impossible.
How Blockchain Technology Improves Games
One of the major problems that blockchain technology solves in gaming is that of ownership and control. In traditional games, players do not truly own their in-game assets or have control over how they are used. This is because the game developer and publisher retain all rights, and can manipulate or even take away players’ assets at any time. A current example of this problem that has outraged players — even those who are anti-blockchain — is Call of Duty.
With blockchain technology, ownership of in-game assets is transferred to the players through digital tokens. These tokens are unique, non-fungible (cannot be replaced with something else), and cannot be duplicated. This gives players true ownership and control over their assets, making them valuable.
Enhancing the Gaming Experience for Players
In addition to ownership and control, blockchain technology also has the potential to greatly enhance the gaming experience for players. Through smart contracts, in-game transactions can be automated and executed in a secure and transparent manner. This means that players can trade, sell, or even loan their in-game assets to other players without the need for a third party.
Furthermore, blockchain technology also allows for cross-game compatibility, meaning that players can use their in-game assets across different games and platforms. This opens up a new world of possibilities for gamers, as they can build up their virtual asset portfolio and use it in various games. There are currently barriers preventing this, from walled gardens to different game engines, but the opportunity is there.
Friday Night DEADROP is about to get even more fun. Squad up with your friends, tag your best loot, and take on the Cleaners tomorrow at 6PM PT. pic.twitter.com/vGSMmOAItv
— Midnight Society (@12am) July 13, 2023
Finally, blockchain can improve gameplay in many genres. For example, take an extraction FPS where players get loot and then try to escape with what they found before being killed and a rival taking the items for themself. These items the player loots and tries to escape with, or still from other players, will have genuine value, making the experience all the more exhilarating. A perfect example of this is Deadrop, a game in development by the legendary streamer, Dr. Disrespect, and his studio Midnight Society, who have a perfect understanding of what blockchain can do for gamers.
Examples of Successful Blockchain Games
Gods Unchained is one of the most popular blockchain games that has been growing in popularity since 2018. This TCG allows players to own their cards by making them NFTs that can be freely traded on marketplaces.
The Forge Arena is a Counter-Strike-inspired competitive FPS in which the weapon skins are NFTs. Counter-Strike has developed an enormous gray economy around its weapon skins that cannot be truly owned, whereas The Forge Arena legitimizes that market.
The Sandbox is a metaverse project that contains many games and gaming experiences within it, a creator economy, and major brand partnerships including Adidas, Snoop Dogg, Atari, Paris Hilton, Tony Hawk, and The Walking Dead, among many more.
The Future of Blockchain Gaming
As blockchain technology continues to evolve and become more widely adopted, the potential for its implementation in gaming is immense. It has the ability to create a truly decentralized gaming ecosystem, where players have full control over their assets and game developers have less power to manipulate gameplay.
Blockchain technology can revolutionize the gaming industry. It offers a solution to longstanding issues such as ownership and control of in-game assets, while also providing many possibilities for enhancing gameplay. It can be easy to get lost in terms such as “Play-to-Earn“, but that is just one use-case of blockchain technology in games, and arguably not even the best one.