If you keep up with gaming trends in some capacity, you’ve undoubtedly come across the concept of “NFT-supported” games or the term “Web3 gaming” itself in recent news. If you aren’t already familiar with these terms, you might feel a little lost or behind the times.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! “Web3” is an overarching term that refers to a large list of features when it comes to Internet technology, but one of the most defining components is decentralization. Content creators and developers utilizing Web 3.0 platforms aim to put more agency and power in the hands of the users through blockchain and peer-to-peer technologies, rather than relying so heavily on private companies to run things.
As far as what gaming looks like on Web 3.0, you can expect much of this decentralization to present itself in different ways, but ultimately players have a far greater influence on the direction and development of games than previous generations. These games are built on the same blockchain technology as crypto currencies and NFTs, which may raise an eyebrow if you’re keen to identify money-making schemes, but you should fear not as these games are reaping the benefits of the technology itself more than anything else.
What Are Features of Web3 Games?
We’ve mentioned decentralization as one of the biggest features that sets Web3 games apart from traditional ones, but there are many others. Unlike traditional games, Web3 games offer benefits such as:
- Ownership: Web3 games allow players to own digital assets through NFTs in the form of in-game items, cosmetics, etc. You might think that these features are present in traditional games, but what’s different is that you as a player own these items instead of unlocking its use for your account, which is still overall owned by the developer or company. You can use these digital items in other Web3 games, giving them an element of permanence that can be valuable in the long run.
- Player-Driven: As previously mentioned, the decentralized structure of Web3 games places more power into the players’ hands. This takes many forms, from play-to-earn ecosystems in which players can earn real-life currency from in-game items, to developers working closely with the communities that are created in their games. There is no overarching authority that says things will be this way or that; everyone has a voice. A great example of this is Blood Vessels by Kongregate, which is a completely community-driven, D&D style game where players decide how the campaign progresses.
- Zero Downtime: Well… maybe not quite zero, but relative to traditional games it might as well be. The autonomous nature of decentralized, blockchain technology means that there won’t be any significant maintenance delays that shut you out of your favorite games.
- Transparency: When games are hosted on blockchains, they are impervious to hackers. You can enjoy security of your information in this way, and all game-related NFT transactions are a matter of public record, so your ownership or selling of items is made clear to everyone.
There are also features other than the ones listed you can enjoy in Web3 games that you won’t find in traditional ones, but the most important point to remember is this: Web3 games possess all of the features of traditional ones, but simply offer you more.
What Are NFTs in Web3 Games?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are one-of-a-kind digital items that players can own in Web3 games. We touched on this in the previous section, but to recap, these items can take on many different forms, such as avatars, achievements, in-game currencies, and even games themselves.
Ownership of these video game NFTs may not seem like a big deal, but if you plan on playing games for a long time, it is. These are digital items that you as a player actually have ownership of, and they are completely unique. Similar collectibles and items exist in traditional games and can vary in rarity, but there are ultimately duplicates that are free to be collected and used by other players.
Most importantly, you don’t actually own any of these digital items in traditional games, you simply unlock their use for your account while the developer still technically owns the game, and thus, these items. NFTs in Web3 games are owned by you, the player, and you are free to take them with you from game to game. You may even sell them for real money on supported NFT marketplaces, if so desired, usually in the form of crypto currency that the game is founded on.
Are Web3 Games Just Crypto?
This is an easy misconception to make, but Web3 games are not the same as crypto currency, they are simply very closely related, and somewhat intertwined since they both live on blockchain technology. Web3 games offer many benefits and features through the form of crypto, or will only accept payments in the form of crypto when trading NFTs or purchasing in-game items, but ultimately they are separate entities. Crypto currencies are also fungible tokens, which is a characteristic in stark contrast from the NFT-centric structure Web3 games aim for.
If you’re curious about Web3 games but heard that they are some grand crypto currency scheme, don’t worry: they’re not.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, Web3 games aren’t going anywhere, and will continue to develop and be perfected. It’s understandable to be hesitant towards Web3 games if you’re concerned about their close tie-ins with crypto currencies, but again it’s logical to include crypto benefits if they live on the same blockchain. Many Web3 games even have free to play options, so potentially, you can play for free while reaping the benefits of finding NFTs to sell for real money. Web3 games offer everything traditional games do, plus more, so cast aside your hesitation and try some out!
If you want to learn more about Web3 games or gaming NFTs, click here.