The metaverse is often described as the future of the internet. But what exactly constitutes the metaverse? According to joystickgames.com, It is frequently thought of as similar to AR (augmented reality) or VR (virtual reality), but there is much more to the metaverse. In the metaverse, you can enter a virtual environment that is connected to a wide variety of digital environments. The metaverse is multi-purpose, as unlike VR and AR, the cross-purpose functionality of the metaverse enables it to be used for anything from gaming to concerts to watching movies.
The way that the metaverse functions is that you have a 3d representation of your own self, that can be anything and it is known as an avatar. This avatar enables you to participate in the metaverse as a representation of your own self, a figment that is completely under your control and helps you explore and interact with the various options, facets and features of the metaverse.
So how can gaming help become the gateway to this wondrous land? I’m glad you asked.
The gaming industry has been around since 1970s and 1980s, with games like Pong and Space Invaders attaining critical and commercial success. The gaming industry has come a long way since then, with forecasts estimating a 126-billion-dollar growth in its size by 2025. To put this into perspective, the world’s largest video game vendor, Tencent, had a net valuation of 1 trillion dollars at its peak in January 2021. Traditionally, gaming has been seen as a leisure activity, something that people to do to unwind, a hobby, expensive at times, but one that is viewed no differently than other expensive hobbies, such as betting or gambling or, say, scuba diving. It became popular because all of the expensive hobbies mentioned above and many more could be played through gaming with the added benefit of being in the comfort of one’s home.
Video Games were, traditionally, a one-way revenue activity, with video game publishers and developers earning revenue from consumers in exchange for the privilege of accessing proprietary data. In fact, video games had strict copyright controls and licenses and tampering or collaboration beyond the specified limits of a game was usually not allowed with the game publisher or developer being the sole authority in charge. Therefore, it can be said that game publishers and developers operated as a sort of centralised authority for the games they made.
However, with the advent of blockchain technology, a lot has been changing in the gaming industry. Blockchain technology refers to the use of DLT, or distributed ledger technology to keep records of transactions in a ledger. These transactions are marked with a cryptographic symbol known as a hash, and many transactions are stored together in a block. After a block is mined, it becomes part of the chain, as the act of mining the block validates the transactions, making it immutable. This blockchain technology has been used in games to keep records of transactions.
The way that blockchain technology intersects with gaming is that in traditional games, with the control exerted by developers and publishers, all in-game assets were locked. Your progress, your skills and attributes were linked to your account, and any variation was not permitted. With the deletion of a game by the developers, or its gradual obsolescence, your hard-earned progress and time spent inside the game universe amounted to naught. Enter Play to Earn (P2E) gaming. The way P2E gaming works is that you can exchange, trade and sell your in-game assets and attributes like coins, tokens, skills, etc in the form of NFT’s or otherwise in marketplaces. These NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens are records of your assets minted on the blockchain, signifying their validity and authenticity. Therefore, the more time you spend in the game, the more assets you will naturally get, as you level up and defeat enemies and such, and in the P2E gaming model, you can trade those assets in exchange for cryptocurrencies or fiat currency.
This essentially means that in a P2E gaming model, a bustling economy has been built. You play games by spending time on them, then you leverage that time spent into currency, making it awfully similar to “real” life where your time is exchanged for a wage. The ability to trade your in-game assets also makes your avatar similar to a real person, as virtual marketplaces function exactly similar to real ones. This development in the field of the metaverse and virtual technology that has been brought about by P2E gaming essentially means that P2E gaming can rightfully be called the gateway to the metaverse.