In 1993, Richard Garfield developed a powerful innovation in gaming. He bridged the idea of play and collectibles with a game called Magic: The Gathering (MTG). By 1995... it was a global meme. Why is this concept so important, especially as it relates to blockchain gaming? (1/n)

(2/n) Let's skip what this means for the physical gaming world (not to diminish the cultural impact of things like Pokémon, Skylanders, LEGO, etc.) and look at video games. The gaming industry has gone through many phases of monetization...

(3/n) The origin was simple. Publisher makes game, players buy the game. Done. Over time, that shifted to things like free-to-play with in-app purchases, in-game advertising, subscriptions, DLC expansions, and more.

(4/n) When they first emerged, many of these new models were met with derision, but eventually because normalized as players were willing to open their wallets in exchange for a game that was fun to play.

(5/n) But these systems mostly financially benefited the publisher, not the player. And sometimes (often), in order for these schemes to thrive, they needed to rely on highly addictive tactics that made gaming feel more like gambling (except you didn't win real money).

(6/n) Back to MTG, Richard Garfield and Wizards of the Coast generated immense profits for themselves AND players from this intersection of ownership and play. An economy was created that let players buy and sell amongst themselves, and thus have a stake in the upside.

(7/n) But this model has not quite translated to video games. Game publishers have treated video game economics like a zero-sum game, with players only finding ways to monetize through back-channel deals that were generally against any game's TOS.

(8/n) One reason @VitalikButerin was inspired to create Ethereum? Because Blizzard Entertainment weakened (nerfed) the power of a World of Warcraft character he spent hours and energy building up. As he put it...

(9/n) "I happily played WoW during 2007-2010, but one day Blizzard removed the damage component from my beloved warlock’s Siphon Life spell...and on that day I realized what horrors centralized services can bring. I soon decided to quit.”

(10/n) Fast forward to the crypto era, web3, pre-singularity, metaZuck, whatever cute name you want to call it, and Vitalik and many others have given game developers an opportunity to easily replicate the exact innovation that Richard Garfield brought to physical card games.

(11/n) Blockchain gaming encompasses many things, but the most dramatic shift it will bring is extending the idea of property rights to players. Meaning that a character, vehicle, weapon, ability, etc is something that can be owned.

(12/n) This benefits the game publisher (who can benefit from the initial sale and resale), and the players who can sell at a later date because the item is relatively scarce. This also means that many players can own a fraction of an item, and still use it in a game (soon).

(13/n) And unlike trading cards that can be damaged during play or lost in a boating accident (this is why so many people leave cards in original packaging or plastic cases) there is no wear and tear on digital items. This is the beauty of the "own and play" concept.

(14/n) There are less than a million unique users currently playing or holding assets related to blockchain games. There are 3 BILLION people on Earth who play video games. It's not hard to see the massive opportunity that lies ahead in this space.

(15/n) Of course, with more opportunity, comes more entrepreneurial (or nefarious) game creators. The market will soon be flooded with blockchain games now that we've seen how well it can work for a handful of publishers.

(16/n) So who will win the battle for the scarcest resource in Web3...attention? All things being equal (games that give players property rights), game publishers will more likely win if they...

(17/n) First. Prioritizie fun over ecomomics. Games that help people earn money will win until there are more games that help people make money AND also are fun. If people won't want to play your game for free, it's NGMI long-term on economics alone.

(18/n) Second. Prioritize ownership vs "grinding" for money. As the expression goes, "what gets measured, get managed." In web3 gaming... mechanics that get you paid, are what get played. Ownership places less influence on how one plays. It's passive income, vs active management.

(19/n) Third. Collaborate and increase interoperability. TradGaming publishers do not play well in the sandbox. Players must use different stores to purchase games, different hardware to access certain IP, and often cannot "cross-play" with friends enjoying the same game.

(20/n) In conclusion, Blockchain Gaming is nascent, and is predictably experiencing FUD and ignorance from the traditional games industry. This will rapidly change, and those contributing to the space today are going to be the ones who build the next Riot, Epic, and Nintendo.

(21/n) I will remain heavily involved in the space as a curator and educator, and will soon be revealing some exciting new contributions. In the meantime, please follow along as I occasionally sprinkle more blockchain gaming nuggets into my regularly scheduled tweet programming.

Want to learn more? Go down the rabbit hole of people on this list of creators, influencers, investors, and players participating in the #BlockchainGaming space.

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