NFTs and gaming (part 2): The gamification of everything
Why hello 👋
Have you read the first part of this series, where we tell you about some of the great things that gaming companies are doing with NFTs?
Of course you have.
Why would we ask?
Well, this week we will be telling you guys about gamification, a concept that can also be used in very different contexts but that perhaps reaches its greatest expression when applied by game developers to elevate NFTs.
What is gamification, then?
Really quick way to explain it: you’ve watched/read Harry Potter, right? You know how their school, Hogwarts, separates students into four houses? Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin?
Those four houses are then expected to compete for “house points”, awarded by teachers for proper academic performance and removed for misbehavior. Whichever house has more points by the end of the school year, wins a trophy to great fanfare.
This is a form of gamification of school. You are turning something that has nothing to do with games into a game. This can serve a number of purposes, such as increasing participation, making boring tasks more entertaining, or, such as in this case, providing both negative and positive stimulus to encourage performance.
JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, didn’t invent this method. The house system actually exists in real life, in British public schools.
Gamification has a large tradition in human history, even if it wasn’t always called this way.
NFTs can do more than you think
In the last chapter of this series we told you mainly about NFTs as in-game objects (though we do have some more things to say about that, stay tuned), but now we want to talk about NFTs as objects that can be used and enjoyed in other ways.
One of the true advantages of NFTs over other forms of record-keeping software is that they are actually owned by you. While stuff like gamercards or historical gaming records of any kind are circumscribed to specific digital environments, NFTs are on-chain and you can do with them what you will.
You can keep them, sell them, trade them, give them away, and you can use them in whichever way you want.
So why not give them superpowers?
NFTs can change depending on… well, almost anything. It’s just a matter of how you program them. This means that you can in fact change the very nature of the NFT according to world events, the results of a tournament, the success (or failure) within a game, etc.
A famous example of this was Beeple’s election NFT, which changed to reflect the result of the 2020 US general election. When the president was known, the NFT stopped showing the Donald Trump and Joe Biden fighting and became a picture of a bloated and defeated Trump full of graffiti. In the case of a Trump win, this would’ve been very different.
Can you imagine an NFT that changes its features according to someone’s wins in games or tournaments? Or an NFT that shows a different picture according to time-based events in games?
There’s many ways to deal with this feature, and the potential is limitless.
Make them collectible
“Oh, why do you even bring this up? It’s one of the most basic features of NFTs, everyone is already collecting them.”
Well, yes, but are they gamified?
Can you think of any example of a videogame where collecting is an essential part of the gameplay?
You know, a videogame where collecting unblocks aspects of gameplay, and the elements you collect become essential to your strategy while playing?
Seriously, just… a videogame where people grow attached to what they collect and has been experimenting with transferring collectibles from platform to platform for ages.
Really can’t think of any?
Well, can you imagine how far you could take that concept by doing that with NFTs? Axie Infinity has generated an immense secondary market for their NFTs because they are wholly gamified. These NFTs aren’t just items you can use, they are the whole game.
Make them keys
What if only people who had specific NFTs had access to specific experiences? Not to bring up Pokémon again, but some gamers will remember when some Pokémon (such as Mew) would only be accessible to people who made it to specific Nintendo physical events. Otherwise, you’d have to cheat (such as using a GameShark) to get it.
This is early experimentation with unique digital objects, and we love it.
NFTs can take the concept a lot further, though, by providing access to such exclusive events even to those who can’t travel to Tokyo at the drop of a hat. Rock band The Kings of Leon are doing meet n’ greets and providing other exclusive treats to fans who purchase their album as an NFT, in a very limited edition.
You can apply this concept to… anything.
Specially minted and exclusive NFTs can serve as keys to almost anything a videogame company can provide, from such simple things as DLC to much more sophisticated things such as, for instance, a studio tour.
Make them real estate
Ah, but this…
This goes way beyond gamification.
If you want to know how NFTs can be used to create metaverses, where users can actually own territory, then you will have to check back in for part 3.
Until then, we’ll see you again 👋