New NFT/Crypto Game model - Play to Die
Alternate title: Let's make death real in the metaverse (and other fun adventures in crypto)
Let’s make death real in the Metaverse.
Okay… not actually. But what I mean is let’s introduce the concept of death in crypto gaming in the same way it is in real life, permanent.
Permanent death in gaming opens all new kinds of experiences and gameplay
WTF are you talking about?
When you play an FPS or RPG game you can “die” in the game. Additionally, you will have some number of lives either a set amount or infinite amount. The concept of death exists in the game but it’s more of a feedback mechanism that you have performed poorly in a certain aspect of the gameplay vs actual death where it’s game over for good.
I think there is an opportunity to introduce this concept into crypto gaming that will unlock new experiences in gameplay, new opportunities for gamers to earn and potentially create some of the most enticing spectator experiences.
Why now? Why Crypto?
Permanent death has been tried before in various games but with minimal success. For a variety of reasons it hasn’t garnered as much attention or appreciation as the other models where you have a set number of lives or infinite ones.
In my opinion, NFTs open up a new opportunity where this could work. I think there are two key aspects to this:
NFTs represent digital ownership
NFTs can be bought, sold, traded, or used in other contexts outside of just one game
I believe these points are significant and unique compared to previous game experiences because instead of only being able to use the character in that game, a player can now buy or sell on the open market (yes, marketplaces exist but not at the scale or liquidity NFTs provide). Also, we’re beginning to see the interoperability aspects of NFTs and I believe this will continue to grow. If that’s true, it means characters will have much more value (not just monetary value but emotional value to the player) because they are not tied to a single game. This interoperability could manifest in many ways. Being able to use a character in multiple games is an obvious one. I think there could also be promotional partnerships, membership opportunities and many more we can’t imagine at the moment.
All of this leads me to believe that the value potential of NFT characters is much greater than traditional game characters and thus introducing a concept of loss by dying in game is much more interesting and engaging than before.
Theorizing on new experiences, behavior & gameplay
Imagine a FPS, combat game, or other fighting/battle game where your character is an NFT and as you win battles you accrue skills but if you lose a battle your character dies and it burns the NFT. What could this mean?
If the game was very popular, any player could start from nothing and purely on merit build up a highly skilled character. Theoretically, highly skilled characters would be rare since many would die all the time in game. They can then play with this character or sell it to someone who wants a skilled fighter but doesn’t want to put in the work to achieve it. This creates earning opportunities for good gamers with little to no capital and rarity is not random (like with current NFT mints) but based on skill, effort and survival.
I think there’s also an opportunity for skins or items to be only unlocked by reaching certain levels or surviving a certain number of battles. This would create additional value for these characters beyond just the skills in the game.
Since dying in a game means you lose your character, players may become even more engaged and attached to their characters being extra thoughtful about their actions. This can lead to much more engaged gamers.
I think it’s also possible spectators will become more attached to various highly skilled long lasting characters. More on this below.
Streaming fights/battles could attract many more viewers within gaming and more importantly, outside of it. Similar to how the biggest sports events in the world (Super Bowl, World Cup, Olympics etc) get fans of the sport to watch as well as many “non-sports fans” because of the scale of interest in these events and impact it has on pop culture. Since the characters will ‘die’ in game if they lose, it elicits much more emotion for spectators and could be more interesting than current games.
There are definitely countless other possibilities I haven’t thought of or mentioned. However, I believe the concept of permanent death in gaming adds a lot of engaging aspects for both players and spectators that hasn’t worked in the past but could now with NFTs.
In my view, if this is adopted in crypto gaming, we will see many new low barrier to entry merit based economic opportunities for gamers as well as a potential revolution in game viewing because it will feel more real & visceral to non-gaming spectators. Similar to how sports fans feel watching a game knowing the athletes are putting their bodies and in some cases like with motor sports & combat sports, their lives on the line.
special thanks to @MilstGuga for reviewing this post