The metaverse is almost here, and with it, new challenges arise in terms of inclusion. Who will have access to it? We will explore how Play-to-Earn games bring possibilities for everyone to be part of the metaverse.
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is the future of human interactions. A Metaverse (yet in development) is considered a network of 3D virtual environments focalized in human interactions. Through an avatar, people can work, study, socialize, take part in digital economies, acquire property, play, and more.
Although the Metaverse doesn’t exist yet, we can see it as the future of the Internet. Online videogames are the closest thing to a Metaverse at the moment. Some of them have taken advantage of technological advances and digital economies to offer users a new world of experiences.
Play-to-Earn games are an example of games built on the blockchain that reward users with cryptocurrencies or Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). With these cryptos, players can purchase upgrades for their teams, buy items, skins or exchange for money in the real world.
Play-to-Earn and profit distribution
Earlier, we explained how Play-to-Earn games redistribute the earnings among the players. They gain rewards for adding value to the community and spending time playing games. Traditionally, the game industry split profits only to developers, hardware vendors, distributors, etc. Players were there only to buy the game.
Last year, video game industry earnings were USD 60.4 billion in the United States alone. According to Statista data, that’s a growth of 200% from 2016 to 2021. By 2023, it’s estimated that it will continue growing.
The Metaverse future
Who builds the Metaverse and how it matters if this is the future. Many tech companies are aware of it. Facebook, as an example, changed its name to an abbreviation of metaverse: Meta.
What we currently know as “the Metaverse” may not justify the hype surrounding the word. We have Decentraland or The Sandbox as digital environments where users can create and interact in Play-to-Earn games, explore NFT art galleries, or have meetings. But, in a few decades, the Metaverse could entirely change how we interact.
Another example: you could meet with friends from another country to have a drink and enjoy an immersive Shakespeare experience, go to college online, or be in an office with your coworkers. If this becomes the case, the wealth distribution we experience with Play-to-Earn games is crucial.
Play-to-earn games and inclusion
The main idea of the Play-to-Earn scheme is that the assets are no longer centralized and not only go to the company that created the video game. On the contrary, the assets will also belong to the players, who will be able to move them, sell them, or even rent them, since there are very valuable assets.
From there comes the idea of the scholarship systems used by some video game communities. This system benefits both owner and player. Axie Infinity players, one of the most popular Play-to-Earn games, use this system.
In this modality, there is a scholar and a manager. The manager leases his digital team or tools (usually, very expensive NFTs), and the scholar plays in exchange for giving up a percentage of the profits. Scholars don’t need to put any amount of money to play. When it comes to a significant amount of scholars, managers, and teams, we can call it a Gaming Guild.
These scholarships unlock alternative ways of inclusion. Thus, those who don’t have money for an initial investment can play and receive profits. With these tokens, they can pay for daily expenses. They also serve for the player to acquire their own team eventually.
This type of game allows low-income people to do activities that help them in unstable economies (such as Venezuela or the Philippines). Similarly, women in a situation of financial dependency and people with special abilities will find an income that adapts to their rhythm of life.
More ways of inclusion in the Metaverse
Other ways to include people in the Metaverse through Play-to-Earn games are governance systems. The great Games Guilds are built as DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) to give a voice and vote to its members. An example of this is Yield Guild Games, whose idea arose in 2018 and gained strength with the 2020 pandemic.
This guild uses its token YGG (ERC-20) to make decisions regarding the guild’s technology, products, projects, token distribution, and overall governance structure. Last December, YGG’s community voted to collect more than USD 1 million in funds to help over 9 million people affected by Typhoon Odette in the Philippines.
Play-to-Earn games start the Metaverse inclusion but are not the end of it. For example, Web3 social networks are another way for users to earn crypto and be a part of a decentralized Internet.
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