What Are NFTs And Why Gamers Will Eventually Love Them?
It’s almost impossible to go through your social media and not come across a WL (whitelist) giveaway on Twitter, see stuff like “WAGMI”, “FLIP”, “MINT”, and “APED”, people flaunting different kinds of artworks on tweets and avatars and explaining how they made a ton of money, or receive unsolicited DMs or tags from strangers about some NFT project. It can get tiring, and at some point, you also begin to wonder… What is this NFT stuff all about?
What is an NFT?
NFT is an acronym pronounced N. F. T. Who would’ve guessed?
It is a distinctive digital asset that represents ownership of digital or even physical items such as art, music, video clips, game collectibles, and so on.
Someone once commented on a Twitch Livestream that NFT meant “Ninja Fortnight Trolling,” and seemed pretty serious about it too. Now while that not is entirely wrong, the NFT in this context stands for Non-fungible token. Non-fungible simply means that it cannot be exchangeable or replaceable.
Imagine you go to a store to get the HyperX Cloud gaming headset, you’re getting one, but other people can also get that exact headset from the store. So, it is not unique to you alone. In essence, the headset is fungible. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are also fungible because all units maintain the same value, so one bitcoin in my wallet has the same value as one bitcoin in Elon Musk’s wallet.
Non-fungible tokens are the opposite of that. Each unit or item is special and can only be held by one person at any given time. An uncommon in-game collectible or Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa are good examples of non-fungible items. Each NFT item has just one original copy in the world. This means that just because someone has a replica of an NFT, doesn’t indicate that they own that NFT.
So not everyone that has an NFT pfp on Twitter actually owns one?
Exactly! You’re catching up. Just because you download an image or have a video of an NFT on your device doesn’t mean that you own the NFT or the monetary value it carries.
Do you remember the viral coffin dance meme? I’m sure the sound is playing in your head right now. I’ve had it on my phone since 2020 to troll my friends. The meme was sold as an NFT for over $1 million back in April, and like you probably guessed, none of that money came to me.
How Do NFTs Work?
NFTs are created on the blockchain, the same technology that powers cryptocurrencies. The blockchain is like a system that allows anybody to store data that cannot be changed or controlled by any centralized body. The nature of NFT is that no one can replicate it or remove your ownership of the asset, except if you decide to transfer it to someone or sell it in a marketplace.
Can anything be an NFT?
Technically, yes. Anything that can be digitally tokenized on the blockchain can be an NFT. Pretty weird kinds of stuff have been made into NFTs and have been sold. You may have seen BAYC and Cryptopunk avatars on Twitter, Discord, and Twitch. These simple-looking designs are worth thousands and value thousands and even millions of dollars. They both have the leading NFTs communities.
Beeple, a digital artist, sold his artwork — Everydays: The First 5000 Days — for $69 million at Christie’s auction house after previously only being able to sell prints for $100.
Moving from pictures, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s original tweet sold for $2.9 million last year.
I know what you’re thinking…
But no, your awesome Ghensin Impact meme on Twitter with 2.0K likes won’t sell for $2.9 million.
I’m just here thinking, who is paying that kind of money for a tweet?
Why Are Gamers Against NFTs?
Gaming is actually one of the integral parts of the development of NFT. Cryptokitties was a blockchain game that was one of the early adopters of the concept dating back to 2017, where players could trade virtual kitties that sold for as high as $170,000 — no, not talking Tom.
That is not to say that there has since been an encompassing acceptance though. If you know the gaming industry well enough, then you would know that gamers are the rawest and most direct people around. Absolute savages and trolls!
The studio that made STALKER 2 wanted to add NFTs like items that let a player become an in-game “metahuman,” but players all over social media had mostly negative things to say. Because of the backlash, the NFT option was quickly taken away to avoid a drop in the number of players.
Similarly, Ubisoft Gaming Company added in-game collectibles — character skins, customers, accessories, and loots to its popular Ghost Recon Breakpoint game. There were so many harsh comments on social media and so many dislikes on YouTube that you might think that’s why YouTube hasn’t brought back the dislike button yet.
The bills keep coming
Games like Fifa, Need for Speed Online, Modern Warfare Remastered, and Fortnite are now filled with microtransactions like loot boxes—in-game chests or slot machines that give random bonuses and virtual items, character customization, boosts, special character unlocks, and access to special accessories—equipment, trade cards, backpack, outfit, and so on that require in-game tokens that cost real money have frustrated gamers and made it harder for them to enjoy the game.
They don’t like the fact that other gamers can just buy items that ordinary gamers would have to stress and work really hard to acquire. If you’ve ever played Path of Exile and have had to obtain the Mirror of Kalandra without any purchase, you would have an idea of what I’m talking about.
Gamers just want to play the game without having to keep enriching the game studios to their detriment and the NFT talk just seems like another way to exploit players. Imagine clearing a stage or the game, realizing there’s no more use for an item, and thinking, is that it? All that money is gone?
What’s the missing piece and where can you find it?
Value! That’s the word you’re looking for. You want to have true ownership of your assets and enjoy their value for as long as you own them.
NFTs are the key to unlocking that aspect of gaming that gives back to the gamer. It allows the use of an item that was bought from the game studio or another player and sells it when it has served its purpose or for a higher value.
I know I sound like the guys from the beginning of the article but hear me out.
Some games like Axie Infinity are purely NFT games; they were built on the blockchain and practically everything is tradable as NFTs, from characters to in-game items. Other platforms like Decentraland and Sandbox have digital real estate that can be sold, rented out, and used to host events virtually. Sandbox especially has tools that allow non-technical users to create and monetize games by trading its digital assets as NFTs.
Decentralization, interoperability, ownership, Value. These features are what will characterize gaming in years to come.
Why NFTs Are The Key Piece of The Future of Gaming
With NFT, gaming will likely become a full-time job where gamers can create games, make gaming collectibles and content, and have secure and true ownership of in-game items that they can trade and play with. Gamers don’t have to rely on just prize money, salary, sponsorship, and live-streaming to earn money.
Speaking of live streaming, it may interest you to know that Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch, which is well-known for gaming, also co-founded Fractal, a marketplace for buying and selling gaming NFTs. Big names are moving! You should too.
Integrating traditional games into web3 is not a bad thing if done correctly. More games will come up where you don’t necessarily have to spend money, and NFTs will be given as rewards for tasks that will become valuable as the community grows. With the use of cryptocurrencies becoming more acceptable as means of payment, companies will switch to blockchain options that may not necessarily “tag” these items as NFTs.
You Will Eventually Come To Love NFTs
The most awesome part about NFTs is the removal of control from big corporations and giving that power and control to you.
The Loot project is an NFT project that provided 8000 NFT with traditional RPG names, and the devs didn’t give any instructions on how to use it but left it to the creators to find a way to make use of it in their games. If you think about it, owning one of those NFTs will mean that you can use it across any game where it is incorporated.
Because of the use of blockchains like Ethereum, Polkadot, Avalanche, and others, NFTs and tokenization will provide a gaming experience like no other. Consider the various types of competitive games with financial incentives that can be created using this technology. Blockchain will usher in a brand-new era of gaming. And the best thing is that you’ll be there to witness it.
Play & Earn will be the most popular with most gamers in the end, but there will be such a huge market for people in the gaming industry that you can’t even begin to imagine.