As an avid fan of Pokémon games, I have been collecting the figurines, cards, and gaming cartridges of the original Nintendo games — for the past 10 years. I don’t consider myself a professional gamer, but even then, I have spent a significant amount of time and money on playing these games.
Enter the world of hobby gaming — a realm where passions intensify, and the digital world intersects with the real one. Today, we aren’t merely glancing over gaming as escapism; we’re plunging deep into the universe, its characters, and the lore.
Gaming as a Hobby
The essence of hobby gaming is far more than simply ‘playing.’ It’s the commitment of hours, sometimes lifetimes, and often, considerable financial investments. It’s the quest for knowledge, skill refinement, and the unquenchable thirst for ‘more.’ Whether it’s speedrunning the latest Pokémon games (as I did), or spending hours building a supercomputer on Minecraft, the heart of the hobby gamer seeks depth and detail.
And here, here is the untapped opportunity for web3 gaming to strike — catering to this audience of non-gamers who have turned certain games and genres into their lifelong pursuits.
Let’s now explore this further and see the various ways web3 games can take advantage of this unique player behaviour:
Personalisation and Interoperability
A hobby is something deeply personal. People are willing to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to get customised merchandise of their favourite fandom character and movie heroes. This love for personalisation isn’t just about aesthetic appeal; it’s a statement, an identity, a brand unto oneself.
Hence, it is not a stretch to expect this behaviour to translate into web3 gaming.
We already see this in web2 games like Fortnite, where players willingly pay up for custom skins for their characters. But what if this customisation could be interoperable?
Web3 gaming unlocks this paradigm shift. Imagine a player who plays Game A with his custom skin of a Prince. Another Game B could come and offer the player an opportunity to use his Prince skin in Game B. This interoperability of custom inventory can thus help new games onboard players from other games with less friction to switch.
Further, we can also make game stats and numbers soulbound, and let players accumulate experience across different games, enabling a Universal XP Model.
If you or someone you know is a creative person, you would have heard this line — “Wow, you’re so creative, you should sell your art!”
If you’re not a full-time artist, but are good at creating amazing personal avatars and items, web3 gaming unlocks a new way for you to earn off of your artistic expression.
Players can not just be consumers of the game, they can be contributors to the game’s custom inventory.
People who enjoy building character styles can spend their time building and selling personalised avatars to other players, leading to happy players and rich craftspeople.
Web3’s potential is not to be underestimated. It offers an unparalleled opportunity for game developers and studios to tap into the market of the casual gaming whales — a demographic that doesn’t just play but lives in and contributes to the game.
In this new age, games aren’t just products — they’re evolving universes, and we’re all invited to be their architects.
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