The Hermeneutic Circle and the Evolution of Play-to-Earn Gaming: Unlocking Context and Empowering Communities


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 20, 2023

4 min read


The Hermeneutic Circle and the Evolution of Play-to-Earn Gaming: Unlocking Context and Empowering Communities


In today's interconnected world, where ideas and information flow freely, it is essential to approach reading and understanding texts critically. The concept of the hermeneutic circle, introduced by Martin Heidegger, emphasizes the interplay between our understanding of individual parts and the whole text. This article explores the significance of the hermeneutic circle in critical reading and connects it to the emerging trend of play-to-earn gaming in the web3 era. By examining the common points and unique insights from these two domains, we can uncover valuable perspectives on how context shapes our interpretations and how communities are empowered through shared economic ownership.

Understanding the Hermeneutic Circle:

The hermeneutic circle suggests that our comprehension of a text is not a linear process but rather a continuous cycle of refinement. As we delve deeper into a text, our understanding of its individual parts contributes to our grasp of the whole. This circular process allows us to uncover new perspectives and insights that were not apparent during the initial reading. By re-reading a text multiple times, we can witness our progress in understanding, just as players in a game app observe their growth from a small town to a thriving city. The evolving context plays a vital role in shaping our interpretations and expanding our knowledge.

Contextual Awareness in Critical Reading:

Before embarking on a critical reading journey, it is crucial to be aware of the context in which a text is read. By reflecting on our expectations, existing beliefs, and prior knowledge of the topic, we can approach the text with a more discerning mindset. While this may be easier for individuals actively researching a specific subject, even random or passive encounters with content can benefit from contextual awareness. By considering our preconceived notions and being open to new perspectives, we can enhance our critical reading abilities and deepen our understanding of the text.

Play-to-Earn Gaming and Web3:

The rise of play-to-earn gaming in the web3 era exemplifies the application of the hermeneutic circle concept outside the realm of traditional reading. Play-to-earn games, like Axie Infinity, offer players the opportunity to acquire digital assets and earn money through gameplay. The game's creators recognized the need to align the production of new assets with actual work and effort, leading to the introduction of guilds and scholarship programs. This approach democratizes access to the game, allowing players from various regions, such as the Philippines and Southeast Asia, to participate without the need for upfront investment.

The Power of Community and Shared Ownership:

One of the underlying principles driving the play-to-earn movement is the belief that those creating value should directly participate in the platform's success. By eliminating middlemen, such as app stores and game publishers, a larger portion of the generated revenue can be shared with the community. This economic alignment fosters a sense of ownership and empowerment among players, reinforcing their commitment to the game and its ecosystem. The emergence of opt-in communities in the web3 era, incentivized by shared economic ownership, offers a stark contrast to the impersonal statistics-driven approach of web2 platforms.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the hermeneutic circle: Approach texts with an open mind and be prepared to revisit them multiple times. Embrace the idea that your understanding evolves as you progress, and re-reading can provide fresh perspectives and insights.
  • 2. Cultivate contextual awareness: Before engaging with a text, take a moment to reflect on your expectations, beliefs, and prior knowledge. Consider how these factors may influence your interpretation and be open to challenging your preconceived notions.
  • 3. Explore community-driven platforms: Look for opportunities to participate in community-driven platforms where shared economic ownership is emphasized. Engage in play-to-earn games or other web3 projects that empower individuals and foster a sense of belonging and empowerment.


The hermeneutic circle and the evolution of play-to-earn gaming in the web3 era offer valuable insights into the importance of context, community, and shared ownership. By applying the principles of the hermeneutic circle to our reading practices and embracing community-driven platforms, we can enhance our critical thinking abilities and actively participate in the creation and distribution of value. The future of reading and gaming lies in the hands of individuals who are willing to explore beyond traditional boundaries and embrace the power of context and community.

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