Video games are usually seen as an escape from reality. People play them to get a break from their stressful lives and lose themselves in the the places, characters and narratives the games offer, which are often otherworldly. Science fiction has portrayed a world where reality and video games begin to overlap in many instances. Take Spielberg’s Ready Player One (2018), Cronenberg’s Existenz (1999), or Spike Jonze’s Her (2013) for example. The blockchain may bring these fantasies where virtual and physical realities meet closer to fact.
The Blockchain Connection
Take any game where players can create or win assets for example. For a long time, it was almost impossible for game assets to have transferable value in the open market. Weapons or skins won in a game would stay in that particular game and never acquire real economic value anywhere outside it. All of that is set to change with blockchain games. Imagine a future where you are having lunch with a friend and you both open your wallets to exchange in game assets. You look at their weapons and you buy their arsenal. Imagine a future where assets won in one game can be traded for assets in a different game. All of this is possible with games that run on cryptocurrency.
Going Deeper into the Rabbit Hole
But the list of utopian blockchain inventions does not end here. The cryptocurrency XP (Experience Points) promises to give you tokens for activities you enjoy in real life. Examples are going to the movies or a restaurant, or going to school; or possibly finishing a marathon on time. The team behind XP is also going as far as to incentivizing action within a community through remuneration with XP tokens. If this far-fetched project ever takes hold, you could then use your experience points that you earned in real life to buy in-game assets.
Linking real world experience to success within a game could even make video games less addictive. The price of XP rose from $0.000000044 in 2016 to $0.006031 in January 2018, a 13,706,718% increase. This shows that there might be demand for this kind of product. This coin follows a proof of stake model and the team has made some upgrades to the blockchain in favor of smaller stake holders.
More Games that Use Blockchain to Bridge Between the Virtual and the Real
Apart from XP, there are scores of other projects that use blockchain technology to blend the virtual with the real. Decentraland is another example. This game is a virtual reality world that runs on the ethereum blockchain where players can buy parcels of virtual land and develop it into anything they want. It could be an underwater resort, a city or an extra planetary casino. Users can then monetize their parcel of land and visit other users’ parcels.
Decentraland’s economy runs on a fungible token called MANA, and parcels of virtual land are sold as Non-Fungible Tokens. This project is reminiscent of the OASIS virtual reality of Ready Player One, a globally networked virtual reality land where players can monetize from how they develop their parcel of real estate.
Augmented Reality and Blockchain
Another project named Mossland is also selling virtual real estate through cryptocurrency. However, this project is not about virtual reality but augmented reality. It uses the same technology as Pokemon Go. You can buy bits of the augmented reality portion of real-world places and add accessories, like an augmented reality King Kong to the Empire State.
Rather than creating a virtual space, AR creates a point of contact between reality and virtual reality, resulting in an enhanced experience. The fact that it is an augmented reality project as opposed to a virtual reality, allows it to build more palpable links between real life and video games. The Mossland ICO sold out in less than 40 minutes and raised $5 million through the pre-sale of its Ethereum-based coin, Moss Coin, laying a firm foundation for the launch of the project.
The Future is Here
The key link between the virtual and the real is monetization and the ability to transfer value in and out of both worlds. Especially when it comes to the value created in the virtual world. Transferring it into the real world is a fundamental pillar for the eventual fusion of video games and the real world. Cryptocurrencies that link the real world and game economies, are the linchpin of this new sector in the gaming/blockchain industry.