HomeBlockchainHey avid gamers, blockchain isn’t that dangerous

Hey avid gamers, blockchain isn’t that dangerous

It’s a narrative we’ve been listening to for what looks like years now — “blockchain-based gaming will onboard new Web3 users en masse.” 

The promise of a gaming panorama the place gamers actually personal their characters and in-game property, the place builders can create in a decentralized, censorship-resistant surroundings, and the place the ability dynamics of the gaming trade are flipped on their heads.

It’s a compelling narrative — one which appears increasingly more doable as Web3 matures and the expertise’s potential continues to unfold. 

And but, the query stays: Why hasn’t it occurred but?

One of many largest causes we aren’t dwelling in a blockchain-enabled gaming utopia is resistance from an sudden quarter: avid gamers themselves. Surprisingly, or not at this level, avid gamers are sometimes essentially the most vocal critics of blockchain, crypto and NFTs — which appears counterintuitive given the potential advantages of those applied sciences for the gaming neighborhood, proper?

Perhaps the vitriol is warranted. We in Web3 like to evangelise the virtues of honesty, transparency, equality and true possession. However let’s be actual, the variety of scams, spoofs, hacks, phishers, ill-intentioned influencers and abundance of downright shady people make for some fairly dangerous PR. And the avid gamers are greater than conscious. Simply go on any gaming subreddit and seek for the phrases “non-fungible.” RIP.

My little brother owns each gaming system ever made and spends the time that he’s not gaming, watching different individuals recreation on-line. He summed it up for me: “Gamers hate NFTs, crypto, and blockchain stuff. It feels like someone is going door-to-door trying to sell us crappy knife sets. Like, ‘hey, look over there,’ while they stick their hands in our pockets.”

I get it. Between FTX, the hacks, and ponzi-style NFT pump and dumps (to call just a few) — it’s a foul look, man. However I’m right here that can assist you look previous all that only for a minute. I’ve seen the mountain, and it’s wonderful!

I wrote this text to vary my brother’s thoughts, or to present him at the very least a rounder perspective on what blockchain gaming might provide. The crypto world could be rife with soiled rotten scoundrels, however that doesn’t imply that blockchain gaming is a bust.  

Why blockchain gaming is smart

Centralized management: The World of Warcraft Debacle, aka Vitalik Buterin’s villain (hero) origin story

A key problem with the present state of gaming is the extent of centralized management that recreation builders and publishers preserve over their merchandise. This management typically extends past the preliminary creation and launch of a recreation, affecting ongoing gameplay and the participant expertise. 

Some of the telling examples of this problem is the World of Warcraft incident involving none apart from the Shiba godfather himself, Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum.

World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer on-line role-playing recreation (MMORPG) that has captivated hundreds of thousands of gamers worldwide since its launch in 2004. When individuals say MMORG, WoW is the sport that involves thoughts. So what’s the issue right here? The sport’s developer, Blizzard Leisure, has the flexibility to change gameplay, stability character courses and tweak the sport surroundings at will.

In 2010, Vitalik Buterin, an avid WoW participant, skilled the arbitrary nature of this centralized management firsthand. The sport builders had decided to weaken the talents of the Siphon Life spell, a key ability of Buterin’s beloved Warlock character.

This incident deeply pissed off Buterin, who felt powerless towards the centralized authority of the sport builders. He had invested appreciable effort and time into growing his character, just for the builders to successfully diminish his character’s powers at a stroke. 

The shortage of recourse or skill to problem this choice made Buterin aware of the restrictions of centralized management. It was an expertise that may persist with him, finally influencing his choice to develop Ethereum.

“On that day I realized what horrors centralized services can bring,” Buterin wrote.

Save file corruption: The Madden NFL 23 Incident, aka the large fumble

The Madden NFL 23 incident, which occurred in late 2022, revolved across the corruption of many gamers’ Related Franchise Mode (CFM) save information resulting from a “data storage issue” at EA, the sport’s developer. This incident not solely disrupted gameplay, but additionally erased the progress gamers had made, inflicting appreciable frustration and disappointment.

In a decentralized mannequin, the place information may very well be saved on a blockchain, any such incident may very well be averted. Blockchain-based techniques are inherently immune to information loss and corruption resulting from their distributed nature. If one node fails or loses information, the opposite nodes within the community preserve the integrity of the general system. Not solely might gamers have extra confidence within the safety of their information, however they may additionally doubtlessly management and switch their recreation progress independently of the sport developer or platform.

The lesson right here is evident: Using blockchain expertise in gaming can present a safer, dependable and player-empowered expertise. 

Licensing settlement expiry: The Blizzard-China shut down, aka WoW strikes once more

Right here comes one other WoW second — and never in a great way. The sudden shutdown of Blizzard’s video games in China in early 2023 was a shock that underscored the vulnerabilities inherent in centralized gaming techniques. Thousands and thousands of Chinese language gamers misplaced entry to fashionable video games just like the World of Warcraft franchise, marking the top of a two-decade partnership between Blizzard and NetEase.

For a lot of, this was extra than simply an inconvenience: It was a devastating lack of a cherished pastime, a neighborhood and a digital dwelling. 

The tense parting between the 2 corporations highlighted the affect that enterprise selections and contractual disputes on the company stage can have on gamers. The selections made by Blizzard and NetEase affected hundreds of thousands of avid gamers who had no affect over the end result.

In a decentralized gaming world, such shutdowns may very well be averted. Video games might function independently of licensing agreements or particular person corporations, and gamers would retain entry to their video games and characters, no matter company disputes or enterprise selections.

Blockchain’s inherent transparency might additionally be certain that gamers are by no means left at nighttime in regards to the state of their video games. With blockchain, gamers might actually personal their gaming property and experiences, resulting in a extra resilient, player-empowered gaming trade.

Increasing the gaming expertise

In conventional gaming, the property gamers earn or buy are sometimes saved on an organization’s server and ruled by the sport’s phrases of service. Regardless of gamers investing time, effort and sometimes cash into buying these property, they don’t actually personal them. Any change within the recreation’s coverage, a server shutdown, or perhaps a ban can result in gamers dropping their property.

Blockchain-based gaming gives a compelling different.

Right here, in-game property are tokenized and saved on the blockchain. Which means that gamers have precise possession of their property — they’ll maintain, switch, promote and even lend their in-game gadgets freely without having permission from the sport builders. This may provide a higher sense of reward and motivation for gamers, recognizing their funding within the recreation.

Blockchain gaming additionally introduces the idea of portability. At the moment, in-game property are confined to the sport they had been obtained in. You may’t take your highly effective sword from one RPG and use it in one other. Nonetheless, with blockchain, in-game property might turn out to be interoperable. Which means that a weapon or character acquired in a single recreation might doubtlessly be utilized in one other.

Provable equity: A leap in gaming belief

In a standard gaming surroundings, belief is positioned within the recreation builders and operators to make sure equity. Players play underneath the belief that the principles are being utilized constantly, and that the outcomes of their actions are generated pretty. 

Nonetheless, this isn’t all the time a certainty. With centralized management, there may be potential for manipulation of recreation outcomes, opaque decision-making and even unfair banning of gamers. That is the place blockchain can step in to dramatically improve the belief avid gamers can have within the video games they play.

Blockchain expertise can allow what is called “provable fairness.” By leveraging the inherent transparency and immutability of blockchain, video games can present mathematical proof that every final result inside the recreation is truthful and hasn’t been tampered with.

In a blockchain-based recreation, the mechanics that decide outcomes (just like the roll of a cube, the draw of a card, or the spawn of a loot field) might be ruled by good contracts that are open-source and visual to all. When an final result is generated, it’s recorded on the blockchain, making a everlasting, immutable document. Which means that each participant motion, recreation final result, and transaction is verifiable by the participant.

If the principles of the sport are pre-programmed into a sensible contract, they can’t be modified arbitrarily. This ensures that the sport guidelines stay constant and clear, and gamers can confirm that they aren’t being cheated.

Save recreation?

Blockchain expertise continues to be in its early phases, and it’ll take time for the gaming trade to totally perceive and handle the prevailing points — the potential for hacked wallets, crypto’s volatility and potential environmental affect, the prevalence of crypto whales.

Nonetheless, the potential advantages of blockchain gaming, reminiscent of true possession, decentralized management, interoperability and provable equity, provide a tantalizing glimpse of what the way forward for gaming might appear like.

It’s not nearly “saving the game” — it’s about shifting the paradigm to present the ability again to the gamers. And that’s a recreation price enjoying. Nonetheless assume blockchain gaming is silly, Jake? It’s okay should you do. Love, your massive brother.

Josh Winer is an intuitive storyteller doing his half to form the model and product narratives at QuickNode — a number one end-to-end web3 developer platform. Beforehand the content material lead at icy.instruments, Josh has the distinctive skill of figuring out and shopping for invaluable digital collectibles. When not shaping the panorama of web3 with QuickNode, Josh is deeply entrenched within the currents of blockchain, gaming, and AI — a lot to the immense pleasure of his unimaginable spouse!

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