As we all know, gamers live totally in a world of their own.
Not only have they worked long hours, days and even years to hone their gaming skills, they also like to buy virtual items (like for instance, a special helmet to protect themselves in Player Unknown’s Battleground or P.U.B.G., or, for that matter, a huge rifle to shoot their virtual rivals to death).
And do not think for one second that these collectibles are merely “knick-knacks” for these game enthusiasts. They actually value these items highly and the value of these items keeps on increasing as time goes by (as in the case of any other precious antiques). Thus, it comes as no surprise that these gamers have also been trading these virtual collectibles among themselves over the internet.
No wonder why several game producers are enthusiastically adopting non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, to control and monetize the trade of those in-game items. How can they not? These NFTs can actually imbue the quality of scarcity and enable true ownership of digital assets, including these virtual gaming mementos, according to this article here penned by the Everest Ventures Group.
The use of blockchain among gamers is nothing new. About 2015, game developers started adopting blockchain to verify the authenticity of the tokens (the gold and diamonds for top players) on their platforms.
To find out more about how the NFTs can enhance gamers’ economic lives, read this article up until the end. The article will comprise two parts, namely:
- What are NFTs,
- What are its benefits for gamers, and
- How blockchain can improve gamers’ welfare.
Besides connecting digital items with game accounts, NFTs are also related to crypto wallets, associated with users’ wallet addresses on a decentralized ledger, and thus tradable on all the marketplaces available for that blockchain, even outside the game platform itself.
With all these features, NFTs can help individuals to retain ownership of their virtual items or sell their virtual items to other players, maintaining the unicity of the item. Just to make it clear, the NFTs are not selling a copy of the item, but the actual item.
Paying for digital contents (be it music, artwork or virtual game mementos) through the blockchain using the NFT system is also much more integrous than simply stealing/ripping these contents off the net, with the additional benefit to be the official owner of such NFT content.
The benefits of NFTs for gamers
All in all, NFTs can help gamers trade their virtual collectibles through the peer-to-peer (P2P) network, which allows them to complete transactions in a more safe and official manner. This way, gamers can actually make money from the digital collectible they no longer want.
Furthermore, NFTs retain the ownership status of the virtual collectibles, even when these items (or the games which contain them) have already been taken down the system by the game developers. This may lead, some day, to a museum of digital artefacts conserved in NFTs from ancient games.
Under such systems, the gamers can also build new games on top of the virtual collectibles. For instance, the Steam community market, which makes user-generated content available, helped the average designer earn US$38,000 over the year.
This way, gamers can make money beyond their strategic gaming prowess. Furthermore, by selling these items directly to each other through the blockchain, these gamers can prevent the big game production houses (the traditional gatekeeper of the gaming industry, obviously) from sucking a big chunk of their earnings and stashes it to the conglomerates’ coffers.
Finally, blockchain also accommodates a multiverse of different game universes, thus accommodating different game currencies and items to be traded between each other. This paves way for higher market diversity, helping gamers with a more diverse range of interests to make money buying and selling their creations.
How can blockchain technology help improve gamers’ overall welfare?
Actually, as we have touched upon a little bit earlier, gamers can earn a living not just by being professional players but also selling collectibles. Yet, this is by no means to say that people can become professional gamers just like that. As we know, the centralized gaming revenue-generating system as we know it today is a little bit elitist, just like any other sectors.
Yet, the P2P network supported by blockchain promises to make entry more flexible for more people to join the club. This is great news. A study done by the Pew Institute, for instance, revealed in 2015 that about 72 percent of all teens were playing video games.
Owing to the long hours, days and even years they spent in honing their skills, they had impressive skills and talents. When they can easily find communities with whom they can play for money and trade collectibles.
This can also serve as a solution for our global problem of youth unemployment: in 2017 alone, there are about 71 million unemployed 15- to 24-year-olds around the globe, many of them facing long-term unemployment. This is close to an historic peak of 13 percent. Among them, there surely will be some talented gamers. If they can make money from their gaming activities through the NFT, they can actually actualize their talents, earning a living from the thing they love the most.