Gamification — Into the Metaverse
The gaming industry has been around for decades as a source of entertainment across all generations – from listening to Mario’s iconic coin chime on Nintendo to today’s life-like models of Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty on wireless consoles, we’ve all grown up on an assortment of these enjoyable simulations.
The lens of gaming as a recreational activity has evolved immensely, thanks to modern technological development that enables more complex cloud-based and virtual reality (VR) advancements to be integrated into them. With more and more people engaging in an online-everything ecosystem, the gaming sector is gaining traction for bringing the vision of realistic experiences to life. And with the concept of metaverse uplifting existing internet technologies via an interoperable and unified virtual space, video gaming can redefine the future of online interactions, content ownership, and even realistic trading.
In this post, we take a look at some of the game-changing initiatives that are embracing the “gamification” of everyday lives to build diverse businesses and play-to-earn models in the race of futurism.
Changing The Game: 2016-2018
The idea behind the convergence of the physical with the virtual isn’t particularly new, with names such as Fortnite, Roblox, and Second Life acting as examples of what can be called “proto-Metaverses”. The immersive ecosphere of these gaming platforms that function on the collaborative elements of in-game environments, avatars, and accessories have helped give them full steam ahead in the emerging world of the metaverse.
Roblox, an online entertainment platform that focuses on shared digital experiences, is amongst some of the early players who pushed the envelope to make their mark in the metaverse gaming landscape. In 2016, the multiplayer online company added VR to support its social platform, with the aim of bringing imagination to life. However, it was during the pandemic that the brand furthered its ambitions of virtual shared experiences – with Roblox employees working from home hosting online meetings in their ‘virtual Roblox headquarters’, holding holiday parties, and even going as far as creating a first-of-its-kind virtual concert experience that was performed entirely within Roblox. Two years later, another gaming universe that came to the limelight was Axie Infinity, whose player-owned economy feature where players truly owned and traded NFT resources helped it quickly become a fan-favorite, as well as a source for income in emerging markets.
Making History: 2019-Present
The gaming industry made massive leaps in the subsequent years that raised the bar for the future of virtual gaming. In 2019, popular free-to-play Battle Royale game Fortnite stole headlines for hosting the first-ever in-game concert featuring DJ Marshmello, a 10-minute spectacle with dancing avatars that was lauded by fans. But that wasn’t the end of the game’s musical events – as the Epic Games’ brainchild broke records when more than 12 million concurrent players attended the first showing of Travis Scott’s Astronomical concert on its platform; and even had Grammy-winning artist Ariana Grande as the headline performer for their Rift Tour – a musical journey that allowed players to experience popular tracks in magical new realities with the ability to travel side by side with their friends. What’s more, the online video game also introduced Fortnite Party Worlds – social spaces that enabled players to hang out with friends as well as potentially make new ones, and also play some mini-games.
With the advent of decentralization and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gaining traction, many of the virtual worlds took to integrating these revolutionary concepts into their infrastructures. The first fully decentralized virtual community Decentraland is one such initiative that tapped into the opportunity of Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) to let users own important smart contracts and assets – including policy updates, virtual LAND ownership, and auctions via the MANA cryptocurrency, whitelisting of NFT contracts, as well as allowing or disallowing wearables within the browser-based platform. The Ethereum-powered metaverse recently collaborated with Team Australia to host the Australian Open, and also had South Korean electronics giant Samsung open its ‘Samsung 837X’ virtual store inside the virtual hub.
Numerous gaming platforms have since then been in the news for their respective metaverse approaches, with names such as American computer systems design services company Nvidia Corporation, interactive entertainment company Epic Games, US-based augmented reality company Niantic Inc. (best known for developing the AR mobile game Pokémon Go), and South Korean video games developer KRAFTON coming out on top. The Sandbox, a community-driven gaming ecosystem, also announced its play-to-earn metaverse Alpha event that enabled users to monetize their time via purchase of land, creation of NFTs within the game, as well as the ability to earn the Sandbox token (SAND) by completing various quests.
Metaverse Gaming: The Next Version Of The Internet?
Even though the massive amalgamation of interoperable gaming spaces is yet to be achieved, the many game-changers from across industries and geographies that are entering, leveraging, and actively investing in play-to-earn models to upgrade interactive experiences are building a promising road ahead for immersive gaming universes. A prime example of this is the 3D metaverse game Cens World, which launched as the ‘Future Metaverse Open-World Game of the Century’ – thanks to its utilization of advanced technologies to allow players to craft their own stories and give their characters personalities. With such one-of-a-kind and profound gaming experiences coming into play, one thing is for certain – the vision of creating a whole new dimension that is channelized by modern technology is the next frontier of the internet's future, as well as ours.