Over the course of history, the face of gaming has evolved at an unprecedented rate. Aided by advancements in technology, the gaming arenas have gone from the arcade halls, where you could find the likes of Pacman and Space Invaders, to handheld Gameboys, to Sony releasing their first Playstation and Microsoft doing likewise with their Xbox, through to the Nintendo Wii, online casino play and Esports. But it seems that the world is encountering and preparing itself for a new wave of gaming right now, in the form of GameFi.
The existence and popularity of cryptocurrencies is propelling gaming into a new realm. Catapulting it into a place where users can enjoy the gaming aspect, while making money. It only seems like yesterday that we were talking about cryptocurrencies infiltrating the online casino world, but just as people were starting to get their head around crypto bonuses, there is now the opportunity to be financially rewarded through a different form of gaming.
GameFi, the combination of game and finance, exploits the blockchain technology used in cryptocurrency to create virtual spaces where players actually own aspects of a game. A phenomenon more commonly known as NFTs (Non-fungible tokens). Depending on the game, these NFTs could come in the form of land, skins, real estate, or weapons. This is a big shift from the centralised universes of previous generations of gaming. Then you were plunged into a digital world, with no tangible reward. Now you can take ownership of items you have worked hard to win. There is the added incentive of boosting your bank account. And such is the GameFi craze. Players now exclusively play games such as Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, Aavegotchi and Splinterlands as full-time jobs.
The play-to-earn model along with the rising popularity of cryptocurrency are fuelling the the GameFi movement and taking gaming to a new level. The before-mentioned Blockchain technology is key to this operation. The decentralised nature already offers multiple benefits for the use and exchange of cryptocurrencies. These include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dogecoin as a non-fiat currency. And the same advantages are evident in GameFiing.
A reason more and more people are taking to this new movement is the alottment of autonomy and ownership. There is more power for a player. This in turn improves the overall gaming experience massively. A good example of a virtual community in which player actions are more meaningful and tangible is in the game Axie Infinity. For those not familiar with this game, it is very much like Pokemon.
Instead of being a character in a gameworld, GameFi gives you the opportunity to affect the game world. To start off, you buy or rent NFTs in the form of Axies. These are like Pokemon, and have individual characteristics and statistics. And like with Pokemon, you also lead them into battle, which is where the financial rewards lie. Winning battles, GameFi rewards you with smooth love potions (SLPs). These can not only breed new Axies, but can also be sold for cryptocurrency. Furthermore, there is a scholarship program in which players can lend their Axies to other players and receive a percentage of any of their winnings.
This digital asset ownership factor is one of the aspects driving the success of GameFi in the current age. This combination of skill, strategy and management provides another avenue to make money, beyond that of Esports and online casino play. These two gaming arenas are still extremely popular, but the gaming world will need to make more space for GameFi in years to come.