Play to earn

NFT gaming for work

A recent tweet led me to YieldGuildGames, or YGG, described as “a decentralized gaming guild of players and investors who generate yield from NFT-based games.” The Discord server was filled with requests from Filipino players asking for “scholarships” to play Axie Infinity. It cost several hundred dollars to get three Axies, Pokemon-like creatures, to play the game, but players can earn several dollars a week playing the game, and many people in the Philippines have come to rely on it for income. It’s really quite something.

I watched this documentary with the girls earlier today. Elder had a couple reactions to it. The first was to the economic conditions, “is that where they live?” and the other was whether I would buy her some Axies so that she could earn some money also. No.

I did however, look into sponsoring a team. My wife’s brother and father are both married to Filipino women, so I reached out to them so see if either of them had any insight into this. No answer yet, but I also reached out on the YGG Discord and wound up having a long talk with their head of partnerships, who goes by the alias Sarutobi Sasuke. Right now, you can basically donate Axie’s SLP token to them and it will be used to see teams, but there’s no actual investment opportunity available with YGG as of yet. There are other groups that are funding teams for a revenue stake, but I haven’t looked into that yet.

Sarutobi had a long-ranging conversation that touched on a lot of stuff in the blockchain gaming space. He’s keeping tabs on a lot of different projects, and we both agreed that this whole play-to-earn phenomenon is just getting started, and is going to open up a lot of interesting possibilities for people in developing countries, as well as work in general. This is kind of my whole thesis behind Star Atlas, but it did make me question what’s going to happen if the game gets flooded with farmers from around the world trying to eke out a living in the game.

It’s remarkable how far the game industry has come in the last couple decades. I remember Chinese gold farmers getting run out of World of Warcraft back in the day, and now we’re at the point where farming for real world money is actively encouraged. It’s a very interesting development. It’s indeed a very strange world where a seventy-five year old man plays a video game twelve hours a day to be able to buy his medicines. Fucking weird.

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