Dec. 1, 2020
How does Blockchain help the gamers?
Gaming As We Know It
If you intend to play a game with some online features today, all data regarding your and others’ gameplay is stored on a server that is fully controlled by the game administrators. Typically, the data includes account information and the server history - which records and stores all events and in-game assets collected by the players (such as collectibles, items, and virtual money).
As the database is owned by a single company, players don’t have real ownership of their accounts and items. Also, centralized servers present many limitations and vulnerabilities, which may include:
- Server malfunction due to technical issues
- System infiltration by hackers
- Game shut down
- Undeserved ban of accounts
- Lack of transparency regarding game mechanics and rates
- Manipulation of the game economy by developers and administrators
In other words, the power is in the hands of the game companies. What you “own” or achieve in a game is what you are promised for today. What you will end up with “tomorrow” could be less, even nothing. But fortunately, blockchain technology is able to eliminate or mitigate most of these problems.
How does Blockchain help the gamers?
In the gaming context, Blockchain enables gamers to own their very own data. This follows the same universal trend we see in open banking and many other industries. With open banking applications you basically own your banking data, not the bank, and free to use it or get it used anywhere. As a distributed database, a blockchain-based system can be used to verify and secure all sorts of digital data, including in-game history, digital items, and tokenized assets. The main idea is to take away the power from the gaming companies and give it back to the players. This way, each player can have full control over their accounts and digital assets, and they are free to trade these assets anytime.
How may blockchain impact the gaming world?
This section introduces some of the most common ways in which blockchain technology may impact the gaming industry:
Some game companies have already started to enable players to be the true owners of their in-game asset. This is facilitated by smart contracts which mean that ownership of the digital asset is automatically passed to the player when a certain predefined condition is met (such as purchasing the asset, or completing objectives). Since the data in a blockchain is immutable, the smart contract cannot be reversed by the developer. This presents a number of opportunities for players to monetize their skills and progress. For example, a tournament winner could sell or auction off their game-winning tool.
Gaming companies have the power to manipulate the drop rate and the economy of their games. They can also lock or bind in-game items, making them untradeable.
One major development with the distributed ledger technology is the creation of a decentralised gaming economy. In one game, for example, players can receive a coin – an Ethereum based cryptocurrency – for completing certain objectives, and that coin can then be used to buy gift cards for a variety of well-known brands such as Uber. Essentially, you can pay for your Uber ride by playing a video game. Alternatively, you can exchange your coin for other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Suddenly, all those hours you spend on a video game can now provide you with additional income.
In other words, your gameplay becomes your source of income.
Blockchain and smart contracts have the power to reduce fees and speed up financial transactions. They can facilitate all sorts of payments, not only for trades between players (peer-to-peer) but also between players and developers.
By linking in-game data and items to blockchain tokens, gamers are able to trade assets between different games. This may allow players to recycle their digital assets while experimenting with different games. Since gaming items are represented using digital tokens, players can trade these tokens on other gaming markets, hosted on the same blockchain.
Fair playing ground
Depending on the implementation, blockchain enables the creation of open-source, distributed, and transparent gaming servers. In such cases, the gaming mechanics can only be changed if the majority of the network vote in favor of it.
In addition, the distributed nature of blockchains prevents hackers and cheaters from disrupting the game because there is no single point of failure.
When a game exists on a centralized server, the developers can abandon the project or shut the game down anytime. With blockchain, players can continue playing a game even if the developers move away.
As long as the blockchain network keeps running, the game remains alive. In some cases, new developers take over to continue improving the project.
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