"'Play-to-Earn' Gaming and How Work is Evolving in Web3 | Future"


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 15, 2023

4 min read


"'Play-to-Earn' Gaming and How Work is Evolving in Web3 | Future"

In recent years, the rise of "play-to-earn" gaming has been revolutionizing the way people work and earn money in the digital world. One of the most popular play-to-earn games is Axie Infinity, developed by a Vietnam-based company called Sky Mavis. In Axie Infinity, players acquire unique digital pets called Axies and engage in battles with other teams of Axies. However, what sets Axie Infinity apart is its focus on creating a connection between in-game work and real-world value.

The concept of play-to-earn gaming originated from the CryptoKitty community, where the production of new non-fungible tokens (NFTs) had to be tied to actual work and effort. This led to the idea of guilds, which are communities that scale the efforts to introduce people to play-to-earn gaming. Axie Infinity implemented a scholarship program through guilds to provide access to players worldwide, not just in the Philippines where the game gained significant traction.

The Philippines has become a hotbed for play-to-earn gaming due to its love for mobile games, relatively high crypto literacy, and communal culture. Filipinos have been early adopters of various social networks and platforms like Facebook, making them well-suited for embracing the concept of play-to-earn gaming. The underlying belief behind this shift in work dynamics is that people creating value should participate in the platform's upside.

By removing middlemen such as app stores and game publishers, Axie Infinity allows the value generated by the game to be shared with the community and creators. Traditionally, these middlemen would take a significant portion of the revenue generated by a game, but Axie Infinity's model ensures that the community benefits directly from their efforts. This economic alignment is a key principle of the web3 movement, where individuals can earn their livelihood through their participation in digital platforms.

Axie Infinity has positioned itself not just as a game but also as a social network. This approach has attracted various groups of players who participate for different reasons and derive different kinds of value. The goal is to maintain a robust ecosystem of participants with diverse motivations, ensuring the game's long-term success. In terms of capital flows, Axie Infinity has seen more funds being deposited into its ecosystem than withdrawn, indicating a growing interest in play-to-earn gaming.

The community aspect of Axie Infinity is crucial to its success. It has built a nation-like community with shared cultural values, entertainment overlaps, and even a unique lingo or jargon. The more people own Axie tokens, Axies, and land within the game universe, the stronger and more entrenched the economic and social relationships become. This shift from web2 to web3 is characterized by opt-in communities that are incentive-aligned through shared economic ownership and cultural affinity.

One of the notable effects of play-to-earn gaming is the behavioral change it brings about in its players. As they start earning income through the game, their spending patterns and priorities shift. This has a significant impact, particularly in emerging markets, where small, low-value transactions play a vital role. Axie Infinity's custom blockchain, Ronin, was created to empower the community and allow them to determine their growth path, free from external market conditions.

The transition to web3 and play-to-earn gaming presents an opportunity to replace traditional middlemen like Facebook and Google with community-based structures. These structures can onboard new players, teach them how to play the game, earn money, and use cryptocurrencies. It shifts the focus from treating individuals as mere statistics to recognizing them as content creators, learners, and earners. The stories of people whose lives have been transformed by earning money through play-to-earn gaming highlight the significant potential of this new paradigm.

As we look to the future of work and the evolution of web3, there are actionable steps we can take to embrace this shift:

  • 1. Emphasize economic and cultural alignment: Platforms should ensure that the value generated by their users is shared back with the community and creators. This alignment fosters a sense of ownership and incentivizes active participation.
  • 2. Foster diverse participation: It is crucial to create an ecosystem that attracts players with different motivations and values. This diversity ensures that the platform remains engaging and relevant to a wide range of users.
  • 3. Enable accessibility and education: Play-to-earn gaming can be a powerful tool for onboarding new users into the world of cryptocurrencies. By providing accessible entry points and educational resources, platforms can empower individuals to participate and benefit from this new form of work.

In conclusion, play-to-earn gaming represents a significant evolution in how work is perceived and valued in the digital age. Platforms like Axie Infinity have demonstrated the potential for individuals to earn a livelihood through their participation in games, blurring the lines between work and play. By aligning economic incentives and fostering strong communities, play-to-earn gaming has the potential to reshape the future of work and empower individuals worldwide.

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