What if death in cryptogames were as permanent as it is in the real world? It would allow for “new kinds of experiences and gameplay.” According to crypto researcher and investor Dave Stanton, this is the case.
Stanton proposed what appears to be a bizarre concept. It is a game of death. He desires to create a method that permits a cherished character who perishes in a game to perish forever. The character is issued as a non-fungible token (NFT) that is tradable on the open market.
“[I] believe that the value potential of NFT characters is much greater than traditional game characters,” Stanton wrote in a blog. “Thus, introducing a concept of loss by dying in game is much more interesting and engaging than before.”
Dead but still active as an NFT
Death is not a novel idea in gaming, therefore the shift to play-to-die may be simple. First-person shooter and role-playing game (RPG) characters “die” during gameplay. The number of lives granted to players may be limited or endless.
However, the current conception of death in video games is merely a feedback system indicating that you have performed poorly in a particular component of the gameplay. When you die in real life, the game is gone for good. When you play-to-die, you die.
Stanton believes that the sensation of true death may be adapted to crypto gaming. He hopes this “will unlock new experiences in gameplay, new opportunities for gamers to earn and potentially create some of the most enticing spectator experiences.”
His strategy centers on non-fungible tokens, which are immutable and unique data units recorded on the blockchain. NFTs can be used to represent images, videos, audio files, and other digital file types. And now, characters that have died in the gaming metaverse.
“NFTs can be bought, sold, traded, or used in other contexts outside of just one game,” he said. “These points are significant… compared to previous game experiences. Instead of only being able to use the character in that game, a player can now buy/sell on the open market.”
Stanton also discussed the expansion of NFTs that may be transferred and exchanged across several blockchains. “It means characters will have much more value (not just monetary value but emotional value to the player) because they are not tied to a single game,” he explained.
“This interoperability could manifest in many ways. Being able to use a character in multiple games is an obvious one. I think there could also be promotional partnerships, membership opportunities and many more we can’t imagine at the moment,” added Stanton.
How does it work?
Non-fungible tokens have introduced fresh curation and circulation options for art. Popular celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, and Madonna have endorsed them.
Non-fungible tokens, viewed by some as the Wild West of the blockchain business, have also begun to attract criminals. Rug-pulling incidents are regular. Phishing assaults have caused users to lose thousands of NFTs valued millions of dollars.
Dave Stanton theorizes how eternal death in crypto-gaming could function in his proposal. He envisions a first-person shooter or other fighting or conflict video game. The player’s character in this game is an NFT.
As a player wins battles, they gain talents. If you lose a combat, your character dies and the NFT is destroyed. What might this imply?
“If the game was very popular, any player could start from nothing and purely on merit build up a highly skilled character,” Stanton detailed.
“Theoretically, highly skilled characters would be rare since many would die all the time in game. They can then play with this character or sell it to someone who wants a skilled fighter but doesn’t want to put in the work to achieve it.”
Stanton argued that this could create “earning opportunities for good gamers with little to no capital. Rarity is not random (like with current NFT mints) but based on skill, effort and survival.”
“I think there’s also an opportunity for skins or items to be only unlocked by reaching certain levels or surviving a certain number of battles. This would create additional value for these characters beyond just the skills in the game,” he added.
Dying while gaming
Stanton said players “may become even more engaged and attached to their characters being extra thoughtful about their actions. This can lead to much more engaged gamers.”
There is a possibility that audiences will get more attached to a variety of highly competent, long-lasting personalities as a result of Stanton’s concept. He explained:
“Streaming fights/battles could attract many more viewers within gaming and more importantly, outside of it. Similar to how the biggest sports events in the world (Super Bowl, World Cup, Olympics etc) get fans of the sport to watch as well as many ‘non-sports fans’. [This is] because of the scale of interest in these events and impact it has on pop culture. Since the characters will ‘die’ in game if they lose, it elicits much more emotion for spectators and could be more interesting than current games.”
Not everyone is as enthusiastic about Stanton’s proposal. Long Do, game director at Anomura, an NFT pixel art play-to-earn gaming platform, told BeInCrypto that the notion of everlasting death in crypto gaming was weak.
“The weakness of the model is that most investors want to see models where there is little risk and huge upside,” said Do.
“For example, projects where there is no cost for investors to mint, but a huge upside if the secondary sales go viral and the floor price allows them to profit. This sort of model goes against that current thinking. From a gamification [point of view] it might make sense for those with higher risk tolerance. There is an audience for this, but it might not be perceived very well by traditional investors in web3.”
Dave Stanton admitted that previous efforts with eternal death in the game world had failed.
However, “if this is adopted in crypto gaming, we will see many new low barrier to entry merit based economic opportunities for gamers.” Also, there is “potential [for a] revolution in game viewing because it will feel more real and visceral to non-gaming spectators. Similar to how sports fans feel watching a game knowing the athletes are putting their bodies and in some cases like with motor sports and combat sports, their lives on the line.”
Cryptogaming drives Web3 development
According to DappRadar, during the third quarter of 2022, the blockchain gaming business continues to experience substantial growth.
The number of unique active wallets in the sector increased by 8%, or 912,000, from one month to the next, guaranteeing that its proportion of Web3 remained over 48% in the third quarter. Gameta was the most popular decentralized application in September, with over 1.33 million unique wallets.
It was stated that move-to-earn gaming projects are gaining popularity. On Near Protocol, The Sweat Economy issued a record-breaking 10,000 NFTs. Online NFT games Blankos Block Party and Star Atlas were the first Web3 titles to be offered on the Epic Games Store.
Gods Unchained entered the top five NFT trade volumes for collections. In September, nearly $18 million in sales were recorded. In Q3 ($1.3 billion), investments in blockchain-based gaming and Metaverse ventures decreased by 48% compared to Q2.
However, this is nearly double the amount raised for the year of 2021. DappRadar stated: “Blockchain gaming’s future is bright, and it is on track to become the frontrunner for Web3.”
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