GameFi is a portmanteau of the words game and finance. Initially, it referred to blockchain games that provide players with economic incentives in the form of a platform’s native token or in-game NFTs. By leveling up, winning challenges, and successfully battling other gamers, users could stack up their rewards and trade them on the open market.
However, GameFi has evolved since the early days of Axie Infinity, a pioneer in the space that is widely regarded as the most popular play-to-earn game of all time. Today, the sector has spawned novel renditions of the play-to-earn model, incorporating new concepts and ways for users to earn rewards.
If you’re deep in the trenches of Web3 and crypto, you’ve likely heard the word or are well-invested in GameFi. If you’re new to the scene or need more experience with decentralized ecosystems, trust us, it’s only a matter of time before GameFi becomes a household term. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the more prominent GameFi sectors and how they allow gamers to monetize their time spent playing.
Play-to-Earn is the “OG” of GameFi platforms, and unlike its pay-to-play counterpart, P2E allows players to keep the weapons, skins, armor, and any other assets they acquire in the game. This is in contrast to a game like Call of Duty, in which a gamer may procure a multitude of weapons and armor throughout their time playing, but once the gaming console shuts off, the assets acquired are lost.
The concept of ‘play-to-earn’ gaming gained traction quickly in Web3, where players can convert their gaming time into real monetary rewards. In many cases, this P2E gaming model requires players to invest in in-game non-fungible tokens (NFTs) before starting to play. However, not all games require upfront investment; some free-to-play games also allow players to reap financial benefits by simply playing.
Free-to-play games are already common in the market and require no prior payment from gamers. These games still offer NFTs that have monetary value, but they can be earned through gameplay rather than purchased outright. Players usually receive a certain number of NFTs at regular intervals as they progress and level up within the game.
Play and Earn (P&E)
In the early goings of blockchain gaming, P2E games offered little by way of graphics and gameplay. Take Axie, for example. The characters themselves were represented by simply designed creatures that “battled” on a backdrop of a still-photo setting, with little action and excitement. Other P2E games followed suit, and thus, the demand for a more entertaining alternative surged — giving way for Play and Earn (P&E) games to take center stage.
P&E fills the gap left by its predecessor by still allowing players to earn and own digital assets but puts a much stronger emphasis on gameplay, graphics, lore, and other components that make players want to play a video game.
Many view P&E as a win-win for the space, as it does a better job of attracting players from conventional gaming platforms for their enhanced visuals and gaming mechanics while retaining the current P2E players who considered opting out of blockchain gaming due to a lack of entertaining gameplay.
Move to Earn (M2E)
What happens when you combine physical activity with decentralized gaming components? You get a reward-based workout known as Move to Earn! M2E is an innovative new way of incentivizing people to stay active. Platforms such as STEPN, WALKEN, and others reward individuals for completing activities such as walking, running, and biking. Participants in the program can earn points based on the level of activity they complete — the more activity completed, the higher their reward.
Devices such as smartphones, step counters, augmented reality, GPS, and non-fungible tokens are used to monitor exercise habits and activities to reward users, typically with a platform’s native tokens that can be converted to stablecoin or other tradeable digital assets. Players can also mint crucial M2E NFTs. STEPN, for example, enables players to mint digital NFT sneakers that can rise (or drop) in value depending on several market-related and non-related factors.
Currently, many of today’s M2E games are in their Beta phase; however, the interest surrounding them has not subsided, and apps such as STEPN and WALKEN have the communities to prove it.
Sleep to Earn (S2E)
There’s nothing more rewarding than a good night’s sleep; unless, of course, you’re getting paid for it. Sleep-to-earn apps reward users with crypto in exchange for having a good night’s sleep. Crypto is usually the platform’s native token, which can be spent on the app or swapped for other cryptocurrencies.
The sleep-to-earn procedure is straightforward. To begin, download a sleep monitoring app such as MetaGym, SleeFi, or Sleep Future. Once loaded on your device, the app will monitor your sleep habits and reward you depending on how well you sleep. The better you sleep, the more rewards you’re entitled to earn.
By now, you’ve probably already figured out the benefits that come with apps of this nature. First, your body is more rested as you’ll be encouraged to disconnect from your devices before bed and ensure a deeper, more peaceful sleep. Also, it’s passive income while you’re out cold — hard to beat that.
In conclusion, the potential of GameFi concepts cannot be overstated. By utilizing blockchain technology, developers can create innovative and exciting experiences without the restrictions of traditional gaming. Users can also reap the benefits of this technology with secure and transparent gaming, moving, or sleeping experience. However, it doesn’t end here! Concepts such as Educate-to-Earn and Create-to-Earn have also started to gain traction and should make waves in 2023. The possibilities for how far GameFi can expand are endless, much like the entire Web3 ecosystem.
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