This summer, if you browsed publications as diverse as El Pais, The Motley Fool and Business Insider, you will have seen reports written on people playing video games for money. Or, to put it more correctly, people playing video games for cryptocurrency-related assets that are worth money. The publications were eager to discuss the concept of gaming – or doing other activities – for cash in virtual worlds.
Gaming for Money In the Metaverse: Does It Have a Future?
The big subject for these articles at the moment is Axie Infinity, which is both a game and a cryptocurrency. If you haven’t encountered Axie Infinity, it’s something akin to Pokémon games – you breed, conduct battles and trade creatures (called Axies). It looks like it’s aimed at kids, but its players are adults who are seeking to make money.
With Axie Infinity, you can obtain Axies with “love potions”, which feed the little creatures. However, these love potions can also become a type of cryptocurrency called Smooth Love Potion (SLP). There is another cryptocurrency linked to the game called Axie Infinity Shard (AXS). And, there is also a fundamental link with the cryptocurrency, Ethereum. All of this is related to the trend of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). Axie is, as such, an NFT game.
You need to buy three Axies to start
We won’t bore you with all the technical cryptocurrency stuff linked to Axie Infinity, or similar games like The Sandbox and CryptoKitties. But we do want to ponder whether these types of games are here to stay? And, whether they can truly be a way of earning a living? For instance, some Axie Infinity players can earn up to $625 CAD per day playing the game. We should, however, point out that players are expected to buy three Axies before they can play (they cost a minimum of$250 CAD each in the current market). And there are other complications with crypto, so it’s not as if you just log on and watch the money roll in.
Indeed, we should really stress here that this is not a quick way to make money. It, in fact, represents a gamble. But might these types of games point to a future of a more virtual economy? After all, Big Tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg are really pushing the idea of creating virtual worlds where money is made.
But to answer those questions, we need to think a bit more broadly about the metaverse – this digital land where the virtual meets the real world. That’s where these games take place – in the metaverse. A good way to think of the metaverse is a shared virtual environment – a bit like The Sims, but much broader, of course. There are even those who think we all might end up working in the metaverse one day.
People can earn real money in the metaverse
Earning money in the metaverse is not a new thing. Last year, for example, a story broke about Decentraland’s casinoemploying real people to work in the metaverse. Now, this casino in the metaverse is pretty rudimentary compared to what you see at a real casino site, and you’ll likely want to avoid it if you are a serious casino player. If you want to experience the best live casino games online with real dealers, for example, you’ll probably want to avoid the metaverse and head to a top-rated site like Casino.com. That way, you can be sure that the games are licenced and fair: the metaverse is in its Wild West days, meaning regulation is almost non-existent.
But technically, it is a real casino in Decentraland, although there are some crucial differences. The most obvious being that it exists only in the gaming-like world of the metaverse.But there is that kind of merging of worlds where people come to play and socialize in a virtual space. Moreover, people were being paid to work as hosts in the Decentraland casino, engaging with players and even encouraging them to play games. In essence, people were being paid to work as video game characters. That’s a mind-boggling concept when you sit back and consider it.
All of this represents a blurring of reality, and it can be difficult to apply traditional thinking to the metaverse and the games within it. With conventional thinking, Axies and cryptocurrency have no value. But clearly, they do have value to some people. And, more importantly, a huge number of people have engaged with this new society within the metaverse. Because so many people put a value on it, you can be sure that it will have a future.
So, yes, we do see these games for cryptocurrency sticking around, and most likely evolving. But perhaps the more pertinent question is whether we will all be doing it one day? Some experts have claimed that the metaverse is a fad. Others have claimed it will be even more important than the internet. The truth is that we just don’t know yet. But it does feel like we are at the beginning of something here, and it might be about much more than collecting cute Pokémon-like characters to earn a bit of cash.