Blockchain And Its Value Proposition

We all know what blockchain means and how its emerged over the last 10 + years. Its one of those emerging technologies that have actually real world value. If you have any type of digital assets we are probably at one of the greatest digital points in history in which we have actual control over those digital assets. The fact that digital assets, can be moved, altered or stored without them being stored on an external corporate server, is huge.

With all this being said and once we move through all the hype and so forth the truly interesting thing about the blockchain space is that right now, its truly just one giant R&D project. What is the definition of research and development aka R&D. R&D refers to innovative activities undertaken by organizations in developing new services or products, or improving existing services or products. This is what a lot of the projects currently in the blockchain space are attempting to do within their specific industry using Blockchain technology.

Right now we find that there is very few actual use cases for blockchain that are in a production state. Everyone is out searching for numerous use cases, but have yet to find such cases. We have companies trying to effect legal, banking, real estate, just to name a few. We’re talking about industries that have been around since the beginning of time in some shape or form, trillion dollar businesses, so trying to get them to change trajectory will take more effort and time than we realistically want them to.

Industry Fit and Use Case

But if we were to take a look at the gaming audience, its substantially different. For one, it is much smaller compared to the other industries listed above. Secondly, the user base is much more comfortable with playing with new technologies. In the gaming industry, if your not pushing the envelope or at the forefront of new ideas and innovations, your seen as a dinosaur.

This type of mentality that flows from gamers all the way up to game developers is something that helps to improve the pace of adoption. If I we were examine it further and inquire as to what would be the greatest reason for such a hopeful collaboration between blockchain and gaming, it would be the community within gaming. As noted, we are talking about people that are used to digital assets and currency, and tend to be a bit more tech savvy. They spend their time on multiple platforms, mobile, desktops, tablets, sometimes all 3 at the same time. In business terms they are a great system matter expert (SME) to start with.

Lets take a step back and take a mount Everest look at games. There are a lot of elements to video games, but the ones we typically run into for every game is sensory (sight , sound) and economics at its core. For example if we were to examine the currency of games, it typically represent time and productivity, it carries some type of value. Take any game that you know or currently playing, the greater your current score, you automatically associate with the amount of time or the level of which you were grinding out of that game in order to get there. That simplistic view also helps to explain why when items disappear from a game or users items or points get delete in a game that is linked to their profile or account, gamers and the gaming community tend to be very upset.

How do you value a player

To stay on the subject of value, one of the things that can be noted when taking a deep dive into every single game is that developers or studios assign values to their user base in some shape or form. Although not always visible, they include this information into all their games. If you wanted to see this in action, just look at the way they price things, or even the level at which you as a gamer unlock items or goals. Even the general hours it would take a gamer to reach a certain point in the game, these are all valuable information. Blockchain has the ability to extract the hidden value provided by developers and provide the opportunity for players to export the unrealized value.

Realizing the benefits to both gaming and blockchain both industries are pushing to combine the two into something revolutionary. Inevitably though, we will come to a cross roads and the decision will have to be made which industry is lead which? The argument can be made that perhaps Blockchain should be the one, after all, it comes with numerous feature sets. But how do you maximize the feature sets to not only gamers, but others that make up the gaming industry. We are talking about a ecosystem made up of developers, advertisers, streamers, influences, etc.

We’re in the midst of an evolution, not a revolution. — James Levine

So putting blockchain in front of the game as the main feature set, is a mistake, unless your targeting a specific crypt set of users. What we are doing right now is trying to put the square object into the round hole. Instead we should be thinking longer term, it should be more about incorporating blockchain into games and users knowing its there, matter of fact, they shouldn’t really care. The thought needs to be, how do we make blockchain the subatomic neutron that allows blockchain and gaming to live harmoniously, and join together when necessary for a common goal.

Bits and Pieces of the Blockchain

In any game design you have layers and places that you put bits and pieces of data, for example you put data in the graphics cards that run the graphics for a game and you put data on the processors, and then some data goes on the harddrive of the device. — James Mayo

And its the same thing with blockchain, we’ll have to figure out how this data model works and use them appropriately and in the right places rather than cram everything blockchain into a game.

You’ll start to see hybrid games spending their time and energy on game design and just touch the blockchain here and there when its really necessary. — Haniff Knight, Co-Founder of The Tap Project and Platform

From a gamers prospective, this curve for acceptance and adoption is quite easy. The opportunity for millions of gamers to start up a older game like “Modern Warfare 2” and export all their fall colour emblems and leftover currency that have been stuck in the game for years, into a wallet of thier choosing, and have full control of those digital assets to transfer them back into another game of their choosing, is absolutely amazing. The focus on the full experience should not be the expected goal, but rather small pieces inserted into games for specific reasons, that is the possibility that blockchain and the gaming industry provides. The revolutionary goal should be understood that some component of blockchain is integrated in every game without it being the, “catch phrase”. In order for this to work, we need both industries to get to the point where gamers will just start to look at brands and the association and use that to define if they want to play and game or if there is added value that a game can provide because it has blockchain pieces in it. The point we need to get to is that it shouldn’t really matter if its a blockchain game or not, users, developers, gamers, should just know that the game provides money, time or effort and has value at some point throughout the journey.

A year ago we had developers asking the question, “what is blockchain and why should i use it?” Then we had developers asking, “how do I use it now…?” In the very near future, we’ll have developers and game studios asking the question, “which pieces of the blockchain should I use for x?” And when it comes to gamers, the user base is willing to endure the pain of this innovative transition. For example one of the major pain points is transaction fees, and if you make the experience for the gamer in such a way that makes the game worth it, allot of gamers will start to use blockchain specifically because they are getting more value from it than they would a standard game.

Whats in the Future?

No one truly knows the answers to whats in the future for gaming and blockchain, but a lot of it is going to be hindsight bias, when we all look back we’ll say “I always knew that’s how blockchain and gaming would work” .The truth of the matter is that no one knows how its going to work fully for sure. The best we can do it guide and pivot along the way until the pieces fall into place. We as a project can only do so much by trying to create one of the most intuitive Dapps on the ethereum blockchain to help ease the challenges of this collaboration between the gaming industry and the blockchain. The rest is up to everyone to explore — so you can join in or just observe. Our suggestion would be to join in!

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