Hey guys, it’s Benton from Crypto Live Leak. It’s day 37 of quarantine here in Boston and I think it’s safe to say everyone is getting a little stir crazy. I hope you are staying safe and maintaining your local ordinances with social distancing. It is important more than ever to keep strong and maintain the course. The light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter and brighter each day and I know we can pull together as humanity to get through this.

What have you been doing to get through these times?

It seems like exercise and gaming are the two biggest things that I have been doing on a daily basis just to keep my sanity. I do exercise for both my mental and physical health, and gaming to keep my competitive spirit thriving, critical thinking sharp, and to maintain contact with all my buddies. Gaming has always been a part of my life since I was a young kid and it definitely has more of a social element for me now. While I had some time for thought the other day I was pondering what gaming would look like if it was fully integrated on a blockchain.

My ideas ran rampant and the opportunities seemed endless. My brain ran down rabbit trails filled with ideas about Basic Attention Tokens, user rewards, advertising, endless data validation, no cheating, and lastly digitization of in-game assets into something real like Crypto. Do you see where I am going now? We are talking about a revolution and a big bang collision with an industry that is about twelve years old (crypto/blockchain) and an industry that is about 40 years old (video gaming industry). Relatively speaking, both of these industries are far younger than many other billion-dollar industries across the world. The interplay and synergy between the two will be very interesting to see play out over the next five to ten years.

One of the games I have been playing the most is Call of Duty (multiplayer and warzone) and if you are reading this I’m sure you have as well. In a blockchain gaming world could you imagine your everyday gamer getting paid in crypto to do something they already enjoy doing? What I mean by this is what if the game rewarded you for your time spent playing the game or reaching achievements in the game. That premise seems like a win-win for the end-user and the video game companies if you think about it. Incentivizing gamers through crypto rewards encourages more user adoption and will lead to longer playing hours because the players’ time and performance are being rewarded. The user has the incentive to play and to keep playing because they get something real that is worth something. Attention is capital and in this respect, it’s capital for both the user and the company capturing that attention. Once the company has that attention they could then advertise and market to the user. The user doesn’t mind this because the company is rewarding the user for being advertised to. It flips the script for how things have been done in the past with traditional advertising, but this isn’t a new concept.

As a video game development company, I would assume your goals are growth, infrastructure development, and marketing. I feel that blockchain can help assist companies in each of those goal categories. Blockchain will maintain the integrity of the infrastructure by keeping a verification method of in-game activities for each user and prevent users from cheating the system or hacking data. If a company could be successful at deploying the technology the marketing would take care of itself if designed for their specific target market. Lastly, growth would need to be scalable and blockchain would allow companies to kickstart and maintain that growth by ensuring scalability. I just think it’s an interesting thought to have the two integrated and see what that looks like.

Other areas of blockchain integrations that I explored and thought about was having an in-game marketplace exchange for digital assets like upgraded items, upgraded players, rewards, perks, attachments, avatar attire, etc. Many other games have this like FIFA Soccer and Madden where a user can buy coins or tokens to purchase certain players or items but those in-game tokens aren’t worth anything. What if a user could spend Tezos, LiteCoin, or other cryptocurrencies to buy upgrades, classes, perks, rewards, etc, and if users wanted to sell these on an open market they could sell them to other users. The company would have to develop a crypto exchange or license out the technology to integrate an exchange, but the idea, in theory, makes sense. An in-game exchange where cryptocurrencies could be exchanged for real digital assets then sold is capitalism at its finest, and blockchain would bring order and structure for game companies to set up such things.

I am trying to think of things from both the company’s perspective and the end-user perspective, and it seems like every time I do blockchain aligns so well with both. Imagine in a game if every time you walked past a billboard or a sign on a building or saw an advertisement on the pitch or field it would track this and pay you for being advertised to. These Basic Attention Tokens could then be converted by the user into any other cryptocurrency the user wanted through the in-game crypto exchange. That is valuable in my mind from both the user’s view and the company’s advertising view. Companies could then broker deals for in-game product placement and make a cut of brokering these deals. That would be pretty nice right? Blockchain can blow your mind sometimes, at least that’s what I think.

Some of the biggest gaming buzz recently has been surrounding the cheating scandal with Call of Duty where Windows-based players were hacking the game and installing aimbots where players could automatically aim at an opponent’s head and wallhacks where said players can see through walls to identify enemy players. For the first few weeks after the Call of Duty Warzone launched cheaters were a plague ruining the integrity of the game. If the game was built on a Blockchain system could this have been completely avoided? I’m not too technically savvy with the backend development of a video game and how companies would integrate with blockchain for specific use cases, but when I see a problem blockchain always has the solution. Cheating can be solved by creating verification methods of in-game stats, performance, achievements, etc. and this puts the companies at an advantage when spotting users who might be outliers to the average data and can be immediately spotted and banned. From a security standpoint blockchain cannot be hacked and it will be known that the data supplied is valid. I feel that blockchain has way more applications from a security perspective, but I am ignorant of the specifics of coding and game software development.

All in all, I am excited to see the evolution of these two twisters that seem to be on a direct head-on collision in the next few years and the revolution that follows. From a gaming perspective, I cannot wait to see what comes out of this because the ultimate end user will see the benefits in the long run. We need blockchain in our lives and it’s coming, but we just need to be patient. All good things come in time and right now it seems like time is slower than normal. We are living in a new world during these COVID-19 times and the world as we know it is evolving and changing. Embrace the change, stay positive, and stay safe. Until next time, Benton, over and out.