Terms like “metaverse” and “NFT” have been popular on the internet for a while now.
These are indeed two important web3 concepts. The world of gaming is gradually integrating these two elements and according to some, they could shape the future of video games.
What is the metaverse and NFTs?
In short, the metaverse, also known as the metaverse, is a living 3D digital universe. It consists of several 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-Functional Tokens”. It is a Blockchain verified digital asset. This authentication certificate makes the token unique and non-exchangeable. The owner of an NFT therefore becomes the sole real holder of the digital asset, be it a video, an image, a video game asset or any other virtual currency.
Besides the existence of metaverse created by companies like meta, Decentralland Where The sandpitvideo games were the forerunners of this technology with ‘persistent worlds’ such as EVE Online or MMORPGs like warcraft. Online games P2E (Play-to-Earn) have also started introducing NFTs and other paid items that allow users to monetize their playing time.
Online gaming, pioneer of the Metaverse?
The majority of the public has probably taken notice of the metaverse with Mark Zuckerberg and the renaming of facebook in meta. This one dates back to 2021. However, pioneers do exist 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 game industry have already offered universes where interaction between players is possible. As in the metaverses of Decentralland, The sandpit and others already had users with a fictional avatar or an avatar inspired by their real-life functions 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, living areas, etc. It is also possible to have your own home and customize it as you see fit. This perseverance is very attractive to gamers. In the metaverse, for example Decentralland, it is possible to acquire a plot of land to build a neighborhood, a shop, a shopping center or other. This transaction requires cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum…
NFTs were already comparable to loot obtained from quests and completing objectives. The value varied depending on the rarity of the items received. Non-functioning 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. When gaming is just for entertainment, metaverses enable professional interactions. After all, it is possible to attend conferences, concerts, fashion shows or participate virtually in courses.
The P2E games allows players to earn income by paying for items such as skins or items. In the case of metaverses, this is similar to job postings. These digital worlds are often looking for artists for the look and fashion of avatars, the architecture and decoration of cities and virtual homes. Creators be it NFT or applications are also in vogue.
We have already mentioned the presence of precursors to the metavers and NFTs. The gaming world has offered similar experiences with these two concepts long before they were so popular. The in-game virtual concert experience Fortnite (2017) byepic games shows that actors are leading the way.
Roblox released a game of the same name on PC in 2006. Currently available on Xbox, Android, iOS, and Mac OS, the title features over 50 million user-created games. This world offers you the experience of shooting games, management and simulation. You can customize your avatar and your home. It is also possible to craft accessories and sell them to other players to obtain Robuxthe in-game currency.
It’s impossible to miss Minecraft made in 2009 by mohjang. Microsoft saw the potential of metaverse through this open world title. The player can practically shape the world of Minecraft as he wants. The key word is “build and design”. The conversion of the virtual and the real world is also possible. Niantic did it with pokemon go (2016) with augmented reality (AR). It’s more of a reverse approach to metaverse followers, with society bringing the digital universe closer to our reality.
Technologies behind metaverse games
The metaverse allows video games to offer a more immersive gaming experience. However, providing a populated and diverse world requires advanced technologies. Developers are turning to Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Indeed, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain play a fundamental role in metaverses and NFTs.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) games are also in vogue. The Playstation-VR and the helmet OculusQuest are the main gear for VR titles. 3D reconstruction is also central to 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 require you to buy avatars before you can start the game. The price of a character obviously depends on its rarity.
An NFT can also be part of an object game. It can be a skin for a character, a weapon or an equipment. These exclusive elements can be obtained through loot boxes that require transactions, or through 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 some license to make a profit.
How do you play a metaverse game?
The equipment to play a metaverse game can vary a lot from title to title. For an online gaming session, some only require the presence of a PC and a good connection. Others require creating a digital wallet like metamask or the crypto wallet of Coinbase for buying and selling NFT.
VR games require a headset, such as the Oculus Quest for meta or the PlayStation VR for sony. Titles that exploit AR on console currently require accessories such as kinects, but researchers would prepare glasses for more exercise and mobility.
The metaverse in gaming is still in its infancy and continues to grow. The introduction of buyable and salable items such as NFTs also opens up new possibilities for developers and players alike. One thing is certain: immersion will be there.