Some words, alone, have the ability to trigger a visceral reaction in people. One of the most volatile words at the moment has to be “NFT,” especially in the context of gaming.
Personally, it has brought me lots of interesting conversation and connections, but most people roll their eyes or wave their fists when they hear “gaming NFTs.”
NFTs are a recent phenomenon that has the world in uproar Today, I will make the rare case for why I’m bullish on NFTs and gaming - and why you should be too.
A cosmetic collection
Collection is already a popular aspect of gaming. Players aim to get 100% of achievements, a rare skin for your gun, and multiple other cosmetics that only make you look pretty.
“It’s a waste of money, spend your money wisely.” Fine, but you’re already spending money in-game. Who cares what your mom says? She doesn’t understand that the $2,000 charge on her credit card is an investment in V-Bucks.
With people being exposed for crypto scams left and right, the word “NFT” conjure up the feeling that someone is ripping you off. People immediately feel defensive when the topic arises in the context of gaming.
No one is forcing you to use NFTs; they’re just an option. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.
Let me show you the potential of how NFTs could be positive for gamers.
How would NFTs in gaming work?
Imagine you own that OG League of Legends legacy skin - a super rare skin that you only have because you’ve been bashing your head against the ranked ladder for over 10 years.
You have the skin on your accounts and it looks awesome, but you don’t really own it. What if we lived in a world where you can actually own the items you earn in-game?
You loved playing World of Warcraft, but life has thrown new responsibilities and games your way.
You need the cash for some down payments for a new house or have found a new game to feed your addiction. Imagine being able to sell some of your gear or mounts for cash or other items in your new game.
“But I already own all my items!” No, you don’t.
You own the items the same way you own music on spotify/apple music. You have an account with all of your items saved. If the developers decide to ban or close your account, it’s all gone.
NFTs wont take over your items. Your items will be the same as they are, but they’ll also be an NFT.
“But why NFTs, why don’t the devs do it themselves?” This would tak too long to properly explaing, but the technology needs to be based on the same principles in order to facilitate trading and selling into a few functioning ecosystems.
Ethereum should be something you have heard of by now. Basically, you need the same foundation for all games to have the technology run on the blockchain.
What that means for a game like WoW or LoL is that the game would need to be build on top of the Ethereum blockchain (or any other, just using ETH as an example).
Technology is even being produced that would allow players to trade NFTs on different blockchains - so they wouldn’t all need to use the same.
To help you visualize this future with another one of the modern buzzwords: the Metaverse that we see in “Player Ready One” is the goal. Not the dystopian part (hopefully), but the virtual ownership.
Jumping from League to WoW to CS:GO to Fortnite. All these games would, in this world, have the same foundation and can therefore share almost anything with each other.
If I want to trade a CS skin for a League skin, I just have to find someone who has what I want and wants what I have. Of course, you could always sell your items without selling your entire account along with it.
How it’s already working
As a tangible example: Illuvium is a tripple-A game developed on the ETH blockchain. It’s a mix of Pokemon and the autobattler genre.
You run around the world, catching and collecting monsters that fight for you in the arena. You can train them, breed them, and more.
The best part is that everything you find is yours, thanks to the NFT technology. So, if you find a rare monster, you can decide to keep it or sell it for a nice premium.
Imagine this idea, but with real Pokemon. You already spend hours grinding for a shiny Snorlax. Imagine that being an NFT that you can sell for real money.
Big Time is another example of NFTs working in gaming - this time in an MMORPG. With the incorporation of the NFT technology, you are the master of your own fate and fortune.
The game is similar to most MMOs. You still go out, grind for gear, and prepare for wars. The only difference is that every item that you find is yours and yours alone.
It is always a good idea to question everything, and there will surely be some scuffed and scammed NFTs in gaming.
But, in my humble opinion, the NFT technology won’t change anything about what we love about gaming.
If properly handled, NFTs in gaming have the potential of giving more power and true ownership to the players. That’s something I can get behind.