Video games have always been affected and changed by technology and money. The question for those at the top has always been, “How can we monetize this?” 

Creators often approach game design from a gameplay loop or storytelling perspective but like any other form of art, games can be built around a different purpose, such as cryptocurrency. 

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are essentially a collision between cryptocurrency and the art world. Put differently, NFTs are digital assets that would normally be worth nothing but are “magically” worth much more money by being tied to an Ethereum blockchain. 

Now “nothing” is a bit hyperbolic but what value would you assign to a GIF, video, image, tweet or other digital item?

Digital things that would normally be worth, you know, nothing or very little since most people don’t care who owns ‘Charlie Bit Me.’ Most people just care about consuming or enjoying a picture or video. But that’s up to each person to decide.

Vox published a great article that goes into more detail on what NFTs are and cexplains how their value is created and measured. Saturday Night Live can break it down for you too. You don’t have to completely understand NFTs to measure their impact or witness their influence.

NFTs have value and their role in videogames is growing. NFT games may be relatively new as of writing but the amount of money involved in the video game space could spell a bigger impact radius, especially with how intrinsically tied games are to technology. 

It’s too early to accurately gauge how much NFT games will affect the industry (and planet) as a whole but non-fungible tokens moved through other industries fairly aggressively, regardless of how fans felt.

It will be interesting to see how the NFT game genre transforms over time. There’s already quite a variety in the kinds of games and experiences in the space. 

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is a blockchain game that’s based around Ethereum. The game features different axies, which are unique creatures in the world. The game’s goal is to breed and battle Axies, which can also be traded with other players. The game also has a currency that can be used on its marketplace. The digital pet trader does require Ethereum currency, a digital wallet, and more. This isn’t just a cute video game, even if it looks like it on the surface. 

CryptoKitties

CryptoKitties is a cat breeding and trading game. Each cat is completely unique and cannot be replicated. It’s been around since 2017 and even made headlines everywhere when it clogged up the entire Ethereum market

Mist

Mist is perhaps the most unexpected NFT-style game until you think about it. Mist is an open world action RPG that combines what most players know and expect from action RPGs and MMOs. 

Quests, raids, PvP battles and exploration are all part of Mist. It just also uses its own cryptocurrency tokens that can be purchased, sold and even farmed outside of the game. This is something I would need to very carefully avoid because I could quite easily get addicted to several parts of the gameplay loop. I’ve avoided World of Warcraft all these years for similar reasons. 

Videogames started out as a new language for embarking on adventures to different worlds. They’re still just as magical, but now more people know the language and more things are possible while maneuvering through digital worlds.