What do Gamers and Crypto Enthusiasts Have in Common?
I’ve been an avid gamer since my early days and I’ve been overseeing the development of major gaming products for the past 5 years. Recently, I’ve also dived into the realm of crypto as we’re building a blockchain-based game distribution system.
I was astonished to discover that the gaming and the crypto crowds overlap in many respects, and even when they don’t, you can still find many common qualities and experiences.
- Both are innovators and early adopters
- They’re both used to poor UX
- They both tend to hack
- Asia is leading the way in both gaming and crypto
- Gamers have been using quasi-crypto technologies for decades
Now this is why:
1) They are both innovators and early adopters
Gamers are curious.
Gamers are keen to try out new products and to experiment within the games they play, from secret combos to discovering Easter eggs, let alone mapping and/or building modifications or “mods”. Many popular titles were actually mods created by gamers.
While cryptocurrencies have not yet been adopted by society in general, the people who have taken the time to delve into the subject are curious and innovative in the extreme. Just like most gamers.
2) They’re both used to poor UX
Let’s start from the crypto world. To navigate it, you need to be either tremendously passionate or highly motivated.
If you are neither, you will get lost in the mess that is the crypto user experience (UX). You need wallets, exchangers and various schemes to move your funds, let alone exchange them for more tangible goods.
While it would be bold to describe the gaming UX as ‘poor’, PC gamers are more than used to glitches, bugs, hacks, workarounds, server downtimes, network setups and cracks, and that is doubly true for the “older” generation.
Gamers have seen game and e-sport UXs evolve from the Stone Age to overshadow many of the old giants of the entertainment space. Who better to adopt the struggling crypto crowd and use their experience to improve both? That said, fixing the crypto UX is a tall task indeed; in fact, a gargantuan effort requiring the whole community to come together.
3) They both tend to ‘hack’
This compliments the first two points.
Both gaming and dealing in cryptocurrencies require creativity and hacking to best serve the user’s needs.
How many gamers learnt coding by cracking and/or trying to edit game save files? Crypto people also need coding skills to write automation scripts and many more tools to make their ventures work.
Both gamers and the crypto crowd have always needed to dive deep into documentation to find solutions and hacks. And I’m only talking about the end-user level here!
4) Asia is leading the way in both gaming and crypto
That’s quite self-explanatory—the largest gaming markets are in countries like South Korea, China and Japan. Unsurprisingly, this region was among the birthplaces of the crypto ecosystem and is the focal point for ICOs, venture capital and enthusiasts.
In fact, there are over 3 million cryptocurrency account holders in Japan, while South Korea and China are two of the most popular e-sports markets in the world. With South Korea’s dominance in League of Legends and the awe-inspiring influence of Tencent Holdings Limited in China, the region is leading the world in both fields.
5) Gamers have been using quasi-crypto technologies for decades
Now this is interesting. I have recently realized that my in-game items and currencies, though not stored using blockchain technology, serve the same role as crypto-assets. In-game currencies are actually quite similar to cryptocurrencies, barring the decentralization element. They are scarce, made to create an actual working in-game economy and fungible.
While in-game items are non-fungible, they can still hold value and be traded between players using the relevant principles of economics.
Sometimes, you can even convert in-game items and currency to hard currency; however, that brings its own share of trouble because third parties set up to take advantage of the system inevitably spring up, not to mention the possibility of it all crashing in flames depending on the decisions made by the single entity which is responsible for running it all.
The similarities between crypto tokens and in-game assets are staggering, but so are the challenges you encounter when trying to build a stable and economically sound token economy. This is one of the fields where experience from both gamers, game developers, and the crypto community can be used to improve both. While the world has been swept away with the crypto hype, gamers have been living in a similar ecosystem for years. They are not only used to the features of crypto, or let’s say, virtual currency; they feel at home in this environment without even knowing exactly why.
What’s in there for us?
Introducing blockchain will not instantly make the gaming industry even better than it already is. However, it does open up some extremely enticing possibilities such as true ownership of games, multi-platform trading or even possibly narrowing the “PC vs. Console divide”.
Seizing these amazing opportunities, however, is not easy. Of course, nothing worth doing ever is. Day in and day out, we are working towards this goal but it is not something you can do alone.
If blockchain, crypto, and gaming enthusiasts can come together, learn from each other and cooperate to improve all of it, the sky’s the limit. Will you give it a try or stay on the ground, watching?