Players used to simply interact with games on the screen — now, they are teleporting into immersive online virtual experiences.
When you were a child, you could only fantasize about jumping through your TV screen and playing with the Smurfs or riding in the Batmobile with Batman. But now you actually can — in a virtual world.
Gaming in virtual worlds is taking game developer and player engagement to a new level. But virtual gaming today is about much more than the immersive experience created by virtual and augmented reality. With the increasing number of gaming projects making their way to the blockchain, gamers now have the opportunity to not only play a game, but to own their experience as well. And game ownership creates a deeper level of immersion and engagement than ever before.
However, ownership in closed gaming ecosystems is limited for the game player; if you sell your gaming assets on Gaming DApp A, you cannot re-use the non-fungible tokens on Gaming DApp B or C to trade or play. Nor can you sell your games or digital goods on the other platforms. Players are stuck in gaming metaverses.
Gaming in Open Metaverses
The interoperability of blockchains makes it possible to connect virtual gaming worlds to each other. Gaming experiences and monetization opportunities can then be teleported across any gaming platform, giving players more freedom and value for their gaming purchases.
In the open metaverse, you no longer have central authorities like game developers defining what you can (or cannot) do in the game or how you can use the content you purchase. You have true digital ownership of all the content — either achieved or created as a player.
In The Sandbox, for instance, all the content, tokens and currencies are owned by the users via their wallets and accounts, with everything verified and transparent on the blockchain. Everything you create is finally yours. There is value in the content you make. With the tokenization of your digital assets, you can more easily track and benefit from the appreciation, scarcity or rarity of your digital assets.
Monetizing Your Virtual Gaming Experience
Until now, any in-app purchases or virtual currency bought in free-to-play games could not be withdrawn, re-used, resold or used in other ways across games or platforms. They were perishable consumable goods.
In open metaverses, gamers can monetize this value. All gaming content is user generated. You not only own your gaming assets and the experiences you create, but you're also a part owner of the gaming platform. In The Sandbox, for example, you are an owner as a holder of $SAND and LAND tokens. As the platform earns more revenue, you can earn more revenue.
When you buy land in a virtual world, you own a piece of a metaverse (LAND). By the coordinates on the map, players can teleport to your game, explore the map and play user-created experiences. Like a property in the real world, the tokenized land, games and gaming assets have real value. This creates a greater investment, so you are less inclined to simply abandon them and move to another land or a different metaverse.
You are really tied to this virtual world. And with your avatar, you can move into the next world through portals and teleport to neighboring lands. Other creators and players are also tied to the value they create and incentivized to conduct economic activity in the virtual world.
The location of the land affects its value. If your game is located near Atari, or one of the main Korean partners — Playdapp, SBS Game Academy, Sandbox Network, to name a few — it is more likely to be found by players. Digital location mimics the benefits of real world location, as is the case with the residential, commercial or industrial real estate industries.
Tracking Digital Gaming Asset Ownership
All transactions on the blockchain digital ledger are trackable in a fully transparent public digital ledger. The ability to prove ownership of virtual goods and services creates a real world economy based on digital game assets. A virtual industrial revolution is underway. A new virtual economic layer emerges based on all the game assets that are created by users and earned by players. We will soon see similar virtual transformations in other industries as well, and many are already happening.
Virtual goods with a trackable ownership record are more valuable. If an item is rare and there are only 10 copies of a magic sword, before you had to trust the game developer that indeed there were only 10 copies. On the digital ledger, you can prove the real value and scarcity of digital assets. Additionally, you can transfer those assets to other players.
Scarcity is also a key element of The Sandbox. This virtual world is composed of 166,464 lands in total, and there will never be any more created — the blockchain contract will not allow any more LAND creation. That is part of the beauty of using blockchain technology.
Building a Virtual Gaming Economy
From this new economic layer in virtual world games, a new world of opportunity arises. Before, you could stream your content, play, collect resources and trade them for fun or competition, but in most cases you were not able to earn money. You could not sell the goods, digital assets or game items you earned or created in the game, and if you could, you were subject to the limitations imposed by the platform.
In the virtual world of The Sandbox, you own property rights. The digital record of transactions in non-fungible tokens and tokens on the blockchain is enabling new possibilities. NFTs place unique digital identifiers on each game asset. Creators and players create economic supply and demand. They can then optimize game features and game assets to meet player preferences. Scarce, in-demand assets will be awarded a higher value.
Players will participate in a new economic model called, “Play to Earn.” You will soon be able to start businesses and find jobs in this virtual economy. A circular economy is being created where the resources collected by one category of players are sold and purchased by another category of player or creator. Under play to earn, play can become work and the byproduct of services bought and sold by other players.
In the virtual economy, you can be an architect and build out the visual environment of the game. You can design outfits, farmers can collect one type of resource to be sold in a shop, you can be a trainer — the list goes on.
Gamers today not only can possess proven digital ownership of their content, for the first time, they also are stakeholders in the metaverse where their creations reside.
Now, it's almost as if you really can go through your childhood TV and ride in the Batmobile with Batman.