If you thought remote working was game-changing, wait for the video game work to pick up pace. Blockchain-based NFT games like Axie Infinity and Splinterlands have shown that a play-to-earn business model has the potential to revolutionize the gaming industry.
Pandora’s box has been opened, so to speak, and gambling to make is here to stay. There are already people who log into an online video game to spend their days making a living. In this article, we’re going to examine what a world will look like where earning income through video games is the norm.
After Venezuela suffered catastrophic hyperinflation, people were forced to work on minimum wages and made an unsustainable $ 5 a month. However, in the wise words of Jeff Goldblum, “life finds a way”. Individuals had developed a way of making a living playing the RuneScape (OS) video game.
This was achieved in a form of in-game work – gold farming – where users played the game to extract various items to sell to users for US dollars. This happened despite the fact that RuneScape developers Jagex banned any form of transaction of digital items for real currencies.
It was a controversial practice and some RuneScape players thought farmers were simply exploiting the game without contributing to the community. This resulted in them making PK’ing (killing players) players who thought they were farmers. Which in turn opened up a new source of income to protect these players’ farm accounts. This is a perfect example of how new job markets can become snowball-like. Venezuelan players could make a living, and there were even media reports of players making more money than local doctors.
As long as in-game transactions can take place between players, users will try to take advantage of this by purchasing items with real money. For the integrity of the game, it is not in the developers’ best interests to let individuals pay to win as it gives the users with the highest disposable income an unfair advantage.
However, the fact that digital items gain such value and new “jobs” are created can lead to an all-out gold rush (pun intended). It corresponds to the advent of the internet and the associated avalanche of developer jobs.
Blockchain gaming is still very new and if labor markets can evolve in games that were not designed for them, one can only imagine the possibilities found in games that are designed to make economies and labor markets work and economies To enable labor markets.
These new markets must be drastically different from what has been seen in RuneScape. In-game items that offer an unfair “advantage” should not be in the market for real transactions as this will discourage new players who feel they have to pay for a playable standard. However, there is no reason why items that are of no use cannot be sold. In-game items that are of no use will usually value aesthetics.
Aesthetic value should not be taken lightly. This can be seen in games like Counter-Strike, which sell weapon skins in secondary markets for $ 4,200, and even in League of Legends, where the “PAX Twisted Fate” character skin costs $ 300.
What kind of jobs?
Looking ahead, what could real income jobs look like in a blockchain powered game? While it’s hard to speculate, I’ll try to provide some rough ideas:
Time consuming tasks
One thing that will always be tied to value is time. Video games have long included time-consuming tasks in their games, and as we saw in the Venezuelan RuneScape example, gamers have spent their time farming gold. The in-game items grown have value because of the time it takes to obtain those items. Blockchain games can go a step further, where players can offer their time to extract certain in-game items for real financial incentives. This can be clearly seen in Axie Infinity, where players are editing quests to earn SLP, the native token for Axie Infinity. It is claimed that if they invest the necessary time, Axie Infinity players can earn up to SLP 4,500 per month, which is currently worth around $ 935.
Article generation / design
As mentioned earlier, aesthetics can be of serious value to some users. The blockchain sandbox MMORPG game Ember Sword recognized this and will open the item design process to game users who can spend time designing a new aesthetic skin (an item that has the same utility but differs by its appearance differs) and sell this to users other than NFT. These NFTs can have encoded royalties that allow both the user who designed the item and the developers to own a percentage of the royalties in order to generate further profits if the item is sold on the secondary market at a higher price . There is then another scaling option for users to brand their items and even start an in-game business by hiring virtual workers who apply their branding design basics to items. The same principle applies to virtual architects, interior designers, and stylists, and the list goes on and on.
Social / personality
Personalities can be very valuable and this is most evident in Twitch streamers. There are people who, despite having no skills or techniques in video games, attract millions of viewers. There are opportunities for certain people with “attractive” personalities who are paid to simply spend time in a certain area of the virtual land in order to bring more users into the area. This can be something you want to pay someone for if you own a virtual casino, for example, so the deal can be mutually beneficial financially. Here, too, there may be some form of license fees / commissions as an incentive for certain users to fulfill this role at a high level.
Play for others
A proven in-game value creation task can come from dungeons, raids, and boss combat tasks. This usually involves users battling through a large number of enemies to get a final boss who, if users can defeat, will drop the most valuable in-game items / loot. This type of work in the game is both skill and time consuming. Therefore, it is aimed specifically at experienced players. However, it also offers better players the opportunity to offer their “services” to help less experienced players accomplish these tasks.
A note of caution
How these technologies and the jobs that come with them will evolve is still a mystery. That means we should proceed with reasonable caution. There is a risk that better and easier financial gains can be made in economically less developed countries through video games that keep workers from doing more important jobs, as we have seen from reports that some RuneScape players over-earn emergency services workers.
One caveat is that these digital economies are coming from a global market rather than just a local market, and it seems like this will bring additional money and opportunity to less economically developed areas like we saw at Axie Infinity in the Philippines to have.
One nice thing about cryptocurrency is the freedom it gives users to control their own wealth. What we see in blockchain gaming is an evolution of the cryptocurrency. For some, it’s just a cool new feature where our items can be traded for profit regardless of the parameters of any individual game. For others, this is a life raft, a means of generating much-needed income in a completely new and revolutionary way. Who would have thought that video games could unironically portray a life well spent?