Could gaming be a pathway forward for those economically affected by the pandemic or other external causes? Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency is providing a way forward for those who do not want to settle for or do not have the means for a more traditional employment.
For those concerned about extreme poverty around the world, the gaming world is seldom seen as a response. What could fantasy lands, trading cards, and living a largely private life on screens have to do with fixing poverty?
Gaming has traditionally been a niche space where players, passionate about alternate immersive worlds providing challenge, competition, and community, spend much of their leisure time. Gamers will give many hours daily and weekly to their game of choice, and are happy to pay into the game in order to accomplish more, establish rapport with other players, and form fascinating online collections.
Play to Earn Games Taking Off
But there’s a new vertical in town that is differentiating itself from traditional game models: the world of cutting edge ‘Play to Earn’ (P2E) cryptocurrency games. With poverty becoming more prevalent for some during the pandemic, this new online culture is seeing explosive growth with millions of players every month.
As with other cryptocurrency projects, many are skeptical about the P2E world. Just as in the ‘dot com’ bubble, where many flooded into the new gold rush of the World Wide Web with a famous subsequent market crash, there have been failed endeavors in the advent of cryptocurrency. These get a lot of bad press as rug pulls and multi-level marketing have been no strangers to the space. With that said, leaders in the space, such as Splinterlands, are looking to turn that narrative on its head.
But the lesson from the 2000 bust isn’t that we should fear new technological frontiers–but rather choose the right ones.
Email. Amazon. Social media. Few grasped the significance and possibility inherent in these new frontiers, with news segments laughing about them and the experts frequently writing these off as niche-nerd fads. But many of those who grasped the potential early, in spite of the ire, won big.
This time, it isn’t limited to only those with access to economic advantages or specialized education. P2E models allow for anyone around the world to have access to earnings regardless of economic positioning. Anyone with access to the internet can participate– and win.
Splinterlands, the leading P2E gaming platform boasting both billions of plays and millions of users, is one of those big winners, going on four years of successful, exponential growth.
Remarkably, a large aggregate of the Splinterlands user base are in low gross national income (GNI) countries. In these countries, the money made via P2E cryptocurrency games can be life-changing and can provide a primary source of income. This is especially true to those who may not have the means of maintaining a permanent position elsewhere due to factors such as health or mobility limitations.
In this new P2E world, as long as you can find a device and internet connection, earning an income can now be achieved through playing games against other friendly, competitive gamers around the world.
While P2E is a relatively new permutation of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency opportunities in the past have led to stories of survival–such as in Venezuela in the wake of governmental collapse, and Greece’s historic 2013 bank shut down.
While those who stumble into cryptocurrency find it often positively changes their lives, it remains murky and largely yet unknown in the mainstream world. Its capacity to provide impressive economic opportunities to those suffering from lack of resources is especially unknown.
Splinterlands CEO, Dr. Jesse Reich, has long had a commitment to cryptocurrency as a path forward for many without hope toward legitimate peace and personal prosperity, saying,
“The ability to provide opportunity for all is one of the things that first sparked my serious interest in the field of cryptocurrency, eventually leading to the founding of Splinterlands as a Play2Earn blockchain game.”
Reflective of that commitment, Splinterlands regularly gives away in-game scholarships in order to avoid cost being prohibitive to those who are struggling financially. Splinterlands has also hosted events in lower GNI countries with a similar intent of onboarding players from around the world to play and benefit.
It’s clear that these cryptocurrency gaming developments should no longer be discounted by mainstream gamers. Play2Earn is blazing a permanent new trail into this powerful niche, and is set to transform the lives of large sectors of the population around the world.
Mike Szalajko, Marketing Director at NFTy Arcade, agrees.
“Crypto is a means to aiding the elimination of world poverty,” Szalajko said. “Blockchain gaming has proven to be one of the most sustainable verticals in web3 when it comes to the adoption of new users. Established Play and Earn principles allow for people in low income areas, as well as people with mobility impediments, a means of earning a livable income provided they have access to a phone or computer. The rise of blockchain technology and the spread of global crypto adoption will allow for a consistent means of income for future generations.”
So, in 2022, be on the lookout for ways to aid poverty–while gaming. (And maybe earning a little extra for those growing gas bills in the meantime.)