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This article was written by Humpty Calderon, Community Manager at Ontology.
Over the past few years, the gaming industry has seen incredible growth. Expanding 23% in 2020 from the previous year, its blockchain integration has seen the popularity of gambling-to-win and crypto models soar.
Against this backdrop, many gamers and developers are skeptical of the benefits that blockchain can bring to games, which has led to recent backlash against some studios integrating NFTs. Tangible use cases that showcase the benefits and solutions that blockchain can provide will be important in demonstrating that this technology can enhance what gamers already know and love about gaming.
Through backend games with blockchain technology, including decentralized identity (DID) solutions, players can truly own and be rewarded for their in-game assets in ways that weren’t possible before. In doing so, they are linked to a safe and secure online identity that can be transported to several different virtual worlds.
Blockchain allows studios to take the gaming world to a whole new level. This can help ensure that in-game items are traceable and that the value they hold isn’t just locked into a game. Linking the blockchain to in-game items such as weapons, skins, and other items collection allows them to retain a unique new form of value, while ensuring that the value remains safe. This means that if a game is eventually removed or sold to another company, players can still retain their value. By linking a digital record of an asset to a person’s decentralized identity, players can prove ownership of the item and can take that record with them from a game if needed. In this way, DID can facilitate interactions between different blockchain-based games to provide a diverse range of benefits to players.
DID solutions are a blockchain infrastructure that can back-end a game in order to verify the identity of players, confirm the traceability and validity of their in-game assets, and ultimately increase player security. As the gaming industry grows, the appetite for confirmation of ownership of in-game items like treasures, trading cards, and other quest items that can be collected is also growing, and the blockchain can help users meet these needs.
We’ve seen individuality become increasingly important to Gen Z, who make up a large part of the gaming community. According to reports, 87% of Gen Z play video games, with 65% spending money on virtual items in a game in 2021. By attaching an ownership record to an immutable ledger on the blockchain, players can truly prove they own these items. , which makes the exchange process much clearer and safer.
Players often trade in-game items such as skins, lives, and skills through forums, social networks, and trading platforms. The reason they choose to do this outside of the games themselves is that many games don’t allow the exchange of items for real currency, nor do they have the infrastructure to really verify the objects. Quick and easy to navigate KYC verifications using DID is an option that can be used in games to enable fair trading and protect players from scams and other malpractice. This means that players negotiating can confirm their identity, while remaining aware of the legitimacy of the person they are dealing with. Additionally, if players decide to opt out of the in-game economy to trade via social channels or forums, they can always request DID verification to prove the legitimacy of the person they are trading with. Thus ensuring that they are safe both in and out of the game.
Web3 will eventually allow players to seamlessly traverse between different games and virtual worlds that make up the metaverse. In practice, this could mean a player could take their avatar from a game like Call of Duty and bring it into World of Warcraft to complete a quest. There they could buy a sword and later sell it to a Decentraland player, where they could use cash to purchase virtual land. The possibilities are endless, but for this to become a reality, players must have an interoperable digital identity that will allow them to roam many virtual worlds with a consistent identity, including their wallet, assets, and personal information. Decentralized identity enables this.
DID solutions also mean that players own and have full control over their own personal data, allowing them to securely log into different systems without exposing their private information. This level of security is a crucial element for games, ensuring that every transaction in a game is verifiable, recorded and stored securely, and above all cannot be modified. Players spend countless hours building their game profiles, skills, and collecting items. DID can help gamers secure these gaming assets while protecting their privacy and preserving their precious time. The solutions are designed to allow players to create a stronger version of their online identity and with full control, the DID holder can decide what information they choose to share with a private key that grants the user access checked only.
With the global gaming market expected to reach $250 billion by 2025, the appetite of gamers seeking to truly own their gaming assets and hold a secure interoperable identity across multiple virtual worlds will only increase. Decentralized identity can create a whole new ecosystem of true ownership in video games, while adding security, protecting private information, and building trust. It would change the entire industry for the better, creating a more transparent arena where gamers can rest assured that their real and virtual assets and identities are safe. If used correctly, decentralization will shape the future of gaming.
Humpty Calderon is Community Manager at Ontology.
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