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ownership

Online and video games are becoming more than just games. For some they are a hobby, for others a relief and for an increasing number of people, they are becoming careers and prospects for long term personal development.

Not too long ago professional gamers fought for glory and recognition way more than they did for money. Today the amount of money these young athletes receive is envious to most. Online gaming also allows for people to gather, sell and distribute and organize virtual goods. These goods can also demand staggering sums. There are a lot of games which offer advantages for money and these games usually are branded as P2W’s or “Pay to Win Games”.

The most popular games like League of Legends, Fortnite and Dota2 are built upon cosmetic upgrades for weapons or characters. As these purchases get more popular and frequent players develop the need for more privacy, flexibility and consistency. This is mainly due to the fact that the opportunity was noticed by many companies who started “farming” in-game currencies and items. A business which was never thought possible in the 1990’s had many workers spend 16-hour shifts in grinding.

Free-to-play games give players the strongest sense of ownership

Free-to-play games really changed the business model and offered a huge, new, unexplored market to those willing to invest. You could literally sell virtual, non-existent goods for real money. Most games have really heavy rules and restrictions on in-game transactions. Many players feel connected to the items they have “farmed” and consider them their property and this leads them to seeking ways to sell “their” items. Due to the heavy restrictions, players are forced to rely on “Middle-men” to buy/sell items, accounts or other game-related assets and often find themselves scammed.

This is a black market and since a large percentage of the users are underage, this creates a huge problem. No transactions are safe and game developers often intervene with bans or suspensions. Free-to-play games have players, who could use a quick buck and many of them aren’t afraid of the consequences. The amount of time and sometimes money, players spend on in-game assets, makes them feel a sense of ownership.

This opens up the core issue. The players’ sense of ownership is rarely legal. It doesn’t matter if you pay the company or go through black markets, you don’t own anything. Ironically enough it’s decentralization, which makes real ownership possible. The database exists independent of any person or organization, which makes the records true and fair.

Blockchain doesn’t require trust. Fraud is impossible, on the blockchain itself, at least. If all transactions are secured with blockchain technology gamers’ virtual items can become real. This is also a good opportunity for the developers to “evade” responsibility. Crashes and surges can be blamed on the market. Scams would be possible, but would focus on things outside the developer’s control like the players’ social media or emails.

With the barriers of ownership redefined, the sky’s the limit

Blockchain will have all players assume the responsibility that comes with ownership. That means you won’t be able to ask the developer for help if your password gets leaked or stolen. Profit will be a focus for many players since ownership implicates the ability to trade. This can become a career on its own, especially for famous gamers or streamers.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to blockchain’s potential and the same can be said about online gaming. Blockchain, allowing worship and exchange of items for currency, would easy the legal issues game companies have faced with gambling laws. The revolutionary nature of cryptocurrencies and online-gaming makes their impact near-impossible to predict. The future however, belongs to those willing to embrace and adapt to change. You can read more on the connection between online gaming and cryptocurrencies here.

About Ian Karamanov

Based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Writing about cryptocurrency, politics, finance and esports. Keen interest in unedited history, spirituality and freedom.

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