Terms like “metaverse” and “NFT” have been popular on the internet for a while.
These are indeed two important web3 concepts. The world of gaming is gradually integrating these two elements, and according to some, they could constitute the future of video games.
What is the metaverse and NFTs?
To sum up, the metaverse, also called metaverse, is a living 3D digital universe. It consists of different virtual spaces that allow users to have social interactions in a dematerialized world. You can talk, work, play or even meet and chat with other users represented by their avatars.
The term NFT comes from the English “Non-Fungible Tokens”. Translated, this literally reads “Non-Fungible Tokens”. It is a Blockchain-authenticated digital asset. This authentication certificate makes the token unique and not interchangeable. The owner of an NFT therefore becomes the one and only holder of the digital asset, be it a video, an image, a video game item or any other virtual coin.
Besides the existence of metaverse created by companies like Meta, Decentraland Where The Sandboxvideo games were the forerunners of this technology with “persistent worlds” like EVE Online or MMORPGs like Warcraft. Online games P2E (Play-to-earn) have also started to introduce NFTs and other paid items allowing users to earn money from their playing time.
Online gaming, pioneer of the Metaverse?
The majority of the public have probably taken notice of the metaverse with Mark Zuckerberg and the renaming of Facebook in Meta. This dates from 2021. Pioneers do exist, however, and have paved the way for virtual worlds. These actors almost all have one thing in common: video games.
The relationship between gaming, the metaverse and NFTs
Before 2021, companies in the gaming industry have already offered universes where interactions between players are possible. As in the metaverses of Decentraland, The Sandbox and others, users already had a fictional avatar or one inspired by their real features to move and interact with.
These games, which we will see later, are based on worlds that can evolve, even in our absence. Some universes have competition areas, housing areas, etc. It is also possible to have your own residence and customize it as you see fit. This persistence is very attractive for gamers. In the metaverse, for example Decentraland, it is possible to acquire a plot of land to build a neighborhood, a shop, a shopping center or others. This transaction requires cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum…
NFTs were already similar to loot obtained from quests and completing objectives. The value varied depending on the rarity of the items received. Non-fungible tokens also apply this ranking system to value a token.
The difference between metaverses and worlds in games
However, there are differences between the virtual worlds of video games and the metaverse. If gaming is only for entertainment, metaverses allow professional interactions. It is indeed possible to attend conferences, concerts, fashion shows, or to participate in courses virtually.
The P2E games allow players to earn income by paying for items such as skins or items. In the case of metaverses, this is similar to job offers. These digital worlds are often looking for artists for the appearance and fashions of avatars, the architecture and decoration of cities and virtual residences. Creators, whether NFT or application, are also in vogue.
We have already mentioned the presence of precursors to the metaverse and NFTs. The gaming world has already offered similar experiences to these two concepts, long before they were so popular. The in-game virtual concert experience Fortnite (2017) ofEpic Games demonstrates that actors are at the forefront.
Roblox released a game of the same name in 2006 on PC. Currently available on Xbox, Android, iOS, and Mac OS, the title boasts over 50 million user-created games. This world can offer you the experience of shooting games, management and simulation. You will be able to customize your avatar and your house. It is also possible to create accessories and sell them to other players to obtain Robuxthe in-game currency.
It is impossible to miss Minecraft created in 2009 by Mohjang. Microsoft saw the potential of metaverse through this open-world title. The player can practically shape the world of Minecraft however he pleases. The watchword is “build and shape”. The transposition of the virtual and real world is also a possibility. Niantic did it with pokemon go (2016) with augmented reality (AR). It’s more of a reverse approach to metaverse followers where society brings the digital universe closer to our reality.
Technologies behind metaverse games
The metaverse allows video games to provide a more immersive gaming experience. Providing a populated and diverse world, however, requires advanced technologies. Developers are turning to Blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain indeed play a fundamental role in metaverses and NFTs.
Games using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are also in vogue. The Playstation-VR and the helmet OculusQuest are the main equipment for VR titles. 3D reconstruction is also at the center of the metaverse. This technology faithfully reproduces in 3D the elements of the real world, and complements other existing techniques.
NFTs in games
In the specific case of NFTs, they may or may not be part of the game’s metaverse. This is an example ofAxie Infinitywhich requires the purchase of avatars before you can start the game. The price of a character will obviously depend on its rarity.
An NFT can also be part of a game through objects. It can be a skin for a character, a weapon or an equipment. These exclusive elements can be obtained through lootboxes requiring transactions, or by direct purchase on a dedicated platform. Non-fungible tokens can also be independent of a game. Publishers or rights holders can simply decide to produce tokens on one license or another for the sake of profit.
How to play a metaverse game?
The equipment to play a metaverse game can vary greatly from title to title. For an online gaming session, some only require the presence of a PC and a good connection. Others will require creating a digital wallet like Metamask or the crypto wallet of Coinbase for buying and selling NFT.
VR games will require a headset, like the Oculus Quest for Meta or the PlayStation VR for sony. Titles exploiting AR on console currently require accessories such as kinects, but researchers would prepare glasses for more practice and mobility.
The metaverse in gaming is still in its infancy and continues to grow. The introduction of purchasable and salable items like NFTs also opens up new possibilities for both developers and players. One thing is certain: immersion will be there.
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The metaverse and NFTs in the future of gaming? – High-Tech Games Mag
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